University of Missouri

8 Things to Know about Weight-loss Surgery

If weight-loss is one goal that seems out of reach, weight-loss surgery may be the answer
8 Things to Know about Weight-loss Surgery

Our weight-loss team guides patients on their weight-loss journey, both before and after a procedure.

If weight-loss is one goal that seems out of reach when diet and exercise haven’t produced results, weight-loss surgery may be the answer. Here are eight things to know when considering bariatric surgery.

Are you a candidate for surgery?

To qualify for a weight-reduction surgery, a series of guidelines must be met. For example, your body mass index, or BMI, must be at least 40 or greater or 35 or greater if you have high risk health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. To calculate your BMI, use an interactive tool available at

Weight-loss surgery can help eliminate other health issues.

After surgery, people feel fuller faster, resulting in a decreased appetite and reduced food intake that leads to weight loss. As an added bonus, weight-loss surgery can eliminate or lessen the severity of Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and chronic back pain in up to 85 percent of patients. The chance of death caused by these conditions can be reduced by as much as 40 percent.

Missouri Bariatric Services
1000 W. Nifong Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 210
Columbia, Missouri 65203

Roger De La Torre, MD
Bariatric Surgery
J. Stephen Scott, MD
Bariatric Surgery
Kevin Suttmoeller, DO
General Internal Medicine

Columbia Bariatric Associates
3220 Bluff Creek Drive, Suite 100
Columbia, Missouri 65201

James B. Pitt, DO
Bariatric Surgery
Nicole M. Spencer, DO
Bariatric Surgery

CONTACT: 573-882-5673

Weight-loss is a journey toward improved health.

Weight-loss is a continual process, not just a one-time decision. It is more than a surgical procedure; it’s a life-altering decision. As you lose weight, you gain confidence and the belief in yourself to continue to eat right, exercise and do the necessary things to live a healthier lifestyle.

Our weight-loss team guides patients on their weight-loss journey, both before and after a procedure. Through educational seminars, patients are supported by a multidisciplinary team of weight-loss specialists.

Different procedures are designed to meet different weight-loss needs.

Surgical operations to control obesity are based on one or both of two principles. The first is restriction, in which the amount of calories or food ingested is controlled by limiting available space. The second principle is malabsorption, in which the absorption of food is controlled or reduced. Our nationally recognized bariatric surgeons perform three options for weight-loss surgery:

  • Adjustable gastric band: A silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch and narrow passage into the larger remaining portion of the stomach.
  • Roux-en Y divided gastric bypass surgery: On average, patients will lose about 100 lbs. or up to two thirds of their excess weight in one year with this procedure. Some people lose a little more, some a little less.
  • Vertical sleeve gastrectomy: This procedure generates weight loss by restricting the amount of food — and therefore calories — that can be eaten by removing 85 percent or more of the stomach without bypassing the intestines or causing any gastrointestinal malabsorption.

Our bariatric team regularly performs revision surgeries for patients who experience an unsuccessful surgery at another hospital and require a follow-up surgery to correct an issue.

A non-surgical option can help you lose three times more weight than diet and exercise alone.

If you have a BMI greater than 30 and are interested in a nonsurgical solution for weight loss, you may benefit from intragastric balloon therapy. This weight-loss method involves the temporary insertion of a saline-filled balloon into your stomach to help you feel fuller faster when you eat. Your doctor will then remove the balloon after six months while you continue on a medically supervised weight-loss plan.

Surgeons can use robots to provide the best care possible.

Robotic surgery allows surgeons to do things beyond their own capabilities with their eyes and hands. Robotic surgery has many benefits to patients compared to traditional open surgery. Patients can expect tiny incisions, minimal scarring, shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, a reduced risk of infection and quicker return to normal daily activities.

You have access to a world-class bariatric team.

Find a lasting solution to weight management with help from one of the top bariatric surgery teams in the country. Your bariatric physician is certified by the American Board of Surgery and meets the criteria of excellence established by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. This means you’ll get care from surgeons who are experienced in the field and spend more than half their time performing bariatric procedures.

Resources can help you make an informed decision.

You can take the first step toward a healthier life by attending a free weight-management seminar. The seminars introduce you to the health care team and your weight-loss options. The seminars are offered both online and in-person.

Visit or call 573-882-5673 to find out if a weight-loss surgery is right for you.