Bariatric Surgery Program
If you are very overweight and haven’t found success in losing weight with a healthy diet and exercise program, surgery might be an option for you. Weight loss surgery is usually for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or those who have a BMI of 35 or above with other conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea.
Additionally, the FDA has approved the adjustable gastric band procedure for individuals with BMIs of 30-35. Our weight management program is a fully Accredited MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accredited Quality Improvement Program) by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS)
CHI Health Immanuel has been named a Fully Accredited MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accredited Quality Improvement Program) by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The MBSAQIP Accreditation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes and a complication rate of less than one percent in bariatric surgery.
The ASMBS and ACS MBSAQIP was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that meet the highest standards in the industry and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided. As a fully-accredited program, CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center agrees to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.
CHI Health Immanuel is also recognized as a CIGNA Certified Hospital for Bariatric Surgery.
CHI Health Immanuel in Nebraska is recognized as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Center of Distinction for bariatric surgery. Blue Distinction Centers for bariatric surgery are healthcare facilities with demonstrated expertise and a commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients. To be considered for designation, the facility must provide a full range of bariatric surgery care, including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up and patient education.
- The Bariatric Surgery Program offers board-certified surgeons who specialize in bariatric surgery
- A multidisciplinary team addresses all aspects of weight loss: physicians, surgeons, nurses, dietitians, health educators, and fitness experts specializing in bariatric patient care
- Medically monitored to ensure safe and effective weight loss
- A recovery team, trained in the specialized needs of bariatric patients, is available on a highly skilled nursing unit that features private rooms
- One point of contact – our nurse navigators will help “navigate” you through the entire process – from insurance approvals to pre- and post-surgery appointments to long-term maintenance support
- All surgeries are minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, meaning less pain and scarring and a quicker recovery
- Collaborations with other specialties, including cardiology, internal medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and pulmonary medicine to ensure the full-continuum of care
- Bi-Monthly educational seminars for program candidates
- Monthly post-operative patient support groups
- Long-term patient follow-up, with educational and nutritional support
Our monthly support groups provide a secure, warm setting for patients undergoing the process of lifetime diet and lifestyle changes that can improve surgery outcomes and are necessary to achieve enduring weight loss.
Support sessions have been shown to directly increase the chances of short- and long-term patient success following bariatric surgery. Regardless of where a person is in relation to the bariatric surgery process—just considering it or at any point prior to or after the weight loss procedure—he or she is welcome to attend the sessions.
Group members, surrounded by people who understand and support their goals, receive up-to-date weight loss information, consider issues in context of the history of obesity, and have the opportunity to discuss personal or professional issues that arise from losing weight. Group members also learn and are given reinforcement for nutrition, exercise, and behavior modification skills.
Bariatric Surgery Support Groups are available at Immanuel Medical Center, and Mercy Hospital – Council Bluffs. The support group meets monthly with a new topic for education and conversation each session. For more details, please see our schedule.
Understanding Morbid Obesity
The original definition of morbid obesity was any individual who was greater than or equal to twice their ideal body weight, or greater than or equal to 100 pounds above their ideal body weight as determined by the 1983 Height and Weight Standards of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Morbid obesity could also be defined by the amount of total body fat although this value is not easily obtained. Normally 20 to 25 percent of body weight is fat.
The modern definition of obesity is based on body mass index (BMI) as presented in the Practical Guide to the Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, a joint publication of the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.1 Body mass index compares body weight (in kilograms) to height (in meters) (BMI = weight/height2). "Normal" values are less than 24.9 kg/m2, and "overweight" individuals have a BMI between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2. "Obese" patients are placed in three classes: Class 1 = BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m2, Class 2 = BMI 35 to 39.9 kg/m2, the "Morbidly Obese" Class 3 = BMI 40 to 49.9, and "Super Obese" BMI > 49.9 kg/m2.
The biological basis for severe obesity remains unknown. Recent investigations, however, have identified multiple abnormal proteins present in the brain and peripheral blood of morbidly obese patients and experimental animals. These proteins, many of which are known to alter appetite, satiety, and energy conservation, are being associated with genetic abnormalities as well. Whatever the final pathogenesis is found to be, it is certain that morbid obesity is truly a disease -- not just a disorder of willpower -- and indeed a most complex disease. At a minimum, contributing causes are inheritance, environmental, cultural, socioeconomic and psychological.
It’s obvious to many people who have lived with morbid obesity for years that the disease has a severe negative impact on quality of life. Because of morbid obesity, you may choose not to participate in certain activities. You may feel that you have limited career choices. What you may not know is that morbid obesity has been found to affect the quality of your health and the length of your life.1
Morbid obesity has been linked to several serious and life-threatening diseases. These co-morbid conditions include type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, acid reflux/GERD, and cancer. Most of these conditions do not develop for years. So many people living with morbid obesity may have one or more of these health issues without even realizing it.
Bariatric surgery may offer you a whole new outlook on health. One study found that gastric bypass surgery reduced the total number of co-morbid conditions of participating patients by 96%.2 Many surgeons recommended bariatric surgery as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes.3 In some cases, resolution of type 2 diabetes occurred within days of the surgery.1 A meta-analysis stated that several studies found that bariatric surgery patients felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.1
1. Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA 2004;292(14):1724-37.
2. Wittgrove A, Clark G. Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Roux-En-Y 500 Patients: Technique and Results, with 3-60 Month Follow-up. Obes Surg 2000 Jun;10(3):233-9.
3. Pories W, Swanson M, Macdonald K, et al. Who Would Have Thought It? An Operation Proves to Be the Most Effective Therapy for Adult-Onset Diabetes Mellitus. Ann Surg 1995;222(3):339-52.