Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery
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East Peoria, Illinois 61611

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UnityPoint Health - Methodist

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Do you feel limited in life because of your weight? 

Are you beginning to develop health problems?  Are you unable to enjoy daily activities due to body aches and pains?  

Bariatric weight loss surgery is an excellent option for individuals who have previously tried conventional approaches to weight loss, such as diet and exercise, but cannot lose significant amounts of weight. Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery is a weight loss procedure designed to improve your health and jump start your journey into a healthy new YOU!

Weight Loss Surgery will require a lifetime commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle through improved eating habits, physical activity and a strong support system.

Dr. Jayaraj Salimath leads a multi-disciplinary team of bariatric certified nurses, dieticians and exercise specialists, whose goals are to help you lose weight and improve your overall health, well-being and self-esteem.

Is surgery for me?

Weight Loss Surgery is major surgery.  The decision to have weight loss surgery should be made after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon.  Although most weight loss surgery patients enjoy an improvement in mobility, self-image and self-esteem, these factors should not be the overriding motivation for having the procedure.  The goal of this surgery is to live better, healthier and longer.

Weight Loss Surgery is performed on people who are obese for the purpose of losing weight.  The National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric weight loss surgery for patients with a BMI of 40 or greater. Patients with a BMI of 35 or greater and who also have co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and/or sleep apnea, are also candidates for bariatric surgery.

BMI                Weight Status

18.5 - 24.9        Healthy

25.0 - 29.9        Overweight

30.0 - 34.9        Obese

35.0 - 39.9        Severely Obese    

40+                    Morbidly obese

Weight loss surgery is performed on the stomach and intestine causing a reduction of food intake.  The goal of surgery is to reduce the size of the stomach which will limit the amount of food you can eat and digest. Resulting in a significant amount of weight loss!

You may return to a normal life after surgery, however for long-term weight loss success, you will be required to change your lifestyle through consumption of healthier foods choices, being physically active and by having strong support systems.

Bariatric weight loss surgery does not remove fat.  The surgery is designed to decrease the amount of food you intake and digest.  As part of the program and to help with results, you will need to make healthy choices for eating & exercising! You must plan every meal, be committed to losing weight and make certain your body is getting all the necessary nutrients needed to survive.

Prior to surgery you will be expected to:

1. Attend a FREE MANDATORY INFORMATIONAL MEETING - to learn about bariatric weight loss candidates and surgical options, discuss insurance requirements & self-payment options and to meet the surgeon.  The informational meeting will include a Q&A session with a bariatric certified nurse and Dr. Salimath.  Handouts and step by step guides will be given to each attendee. Pre-registration is required. Please call 309-672-5975 to register.

2. Contact Your Insurance -  after attending an informational meeting, call your insurance carrier to verify that you have a bariatric weight loss surgery benefit. During this call, you will also ask what the insurance carrier's requirements are prior to being approved for surgery.

3. Consultation with Surgeon - Dr. Salimath will perform a thorough history & physical to include information regarding your previous weight loss attempts, current medical conditions, discussion of surgical options and to formulate an individualized plan.

4. Consultation with Registered Dietitian / Exercise Specialist -  You will be referred to a Registered Dietitian & Exercise Specialist at UnityPoint Health Outpatient for Bariatric Consulation. This consultation is required.  

5. Consultation with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist.  This required consultation is with an independent provider of your choice or one that is in your insurance provider network.  This fee is your responsibility and in most cases, insurance will cover this visit based on benefits provided in your specific insurance plan.  This consult is crucial for insurance approval and most importantly...your overall success!

6. Additional testing may be required to ensure your safety for surgery.  Appointments with a pulmonologist (i.e sleep study), cardiologist (i.e stress test) and/or endocrinologist (i.e diabetes or thyroid) may be required prior to surgery.

7. Surgery dates will be discussed when all medical, surgical, and insurance requirements have been met.  Please be aware that from the day of initial consultation to the date of surgery may be a wait of 3 - 6 months.

8. 30 days prior to surgery, you will need to see your Family Physician for preoperative clearance.

9. You will need to appoint a spouse, partner, or family member to be present the day of surgery. Please bring this appointed person to your 2-week Pre-Op appointment.

When & Where are the FREE Informational Meetings?

Our FREE informational meetings are an opportunity to learn about the options for bariatric weight loss, the risks and benefits of obesity and bariatric surgery, and most importantly, to meet the surgeon!  Informational meeting attendance is mandatory prior to office consultations for weight loss surgery.

Pre-registration for the meeting is required. Please call 309-672-5975.

Lifestyle changes prior to surgery:

  • Avoid empty calorie foods high in calories/sugar such as regular soda, sweet tea, coffee, juices/kool-aids, cookies, cake, candy, fried foods, fast foods, etc.

  • Take a daily multi-vitamin

  • Lose 1-2 pounds per week

  • Eat 4-6 small meals a day

  • Get physically active for at least 10 minutes per day doing what is convenient, affordable & FUN!

  • Quit smoking – for life!

  • Avoid consumption of alcohol

  • Stop consuming carbonated beverages (i.e. soda pop) - for life!

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RNYGB)

  • Restrictive & Mal-absorptive Procedure.

  • Small intestines are bypassed, limiting the absorption of calories and nutrients.

  • Food is delayed in mixing.

  • Results in an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.

  • Surgery is permanent and cannot be reversed.

  • Requires a life-long eating pattern, physical activity most days per week and nutritional supplementation (multi-vitamins).

  • Expected weight loss is approximately 60 pounds in the first 3 months and 70% of excess body weight in 12 months!

Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Restrictive procedure.

  • A portion of the stomach is removed permanently and cannot be reversed. A long slender pouch (about the size of a banana) is formed, reducing its capacity to hold food.

  • Results in an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.

  • There is no change in the small/large intestine anatomy.

  • The pyloric sphincter, a strong ring of smooth muscle at the end of the stomach canal that lets food pass from the stomach to the small intestine, is preserved.

  • This acts like a band allowing food to empty slowly into the small intestine for normal digestion.

  • Expected weight loss is approximately 40-50 pounds in first 2 months and estimated 50% of their excess body weight in 12 month period!


  • Restrictive Procedure.

  • The gastric band is an inflatable silicone-type device that is placed around the top portion of the stomach creating a small pouch.

  • The band can be adjusted to a person's needs after surgery during a visit to the surgeon's office or under an x-ray machine at the hospital.

  • The new, smaller pouch fills with food quickly and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is slowed, resulting in an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.

  • It is fully reversible and can be removed if needed.

  • Expected weight loss is approximately 60 pounds in 12 months and 50% of weight in 24 months!

Support Group

When: 4th Tuesday of every month from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. (Not held in December.)

Where: UnityPoint Clinic Surgery - Peoria, 900 Main Street, Suite 530, Peoria, IL

Research has shown that people with the most successful weight loss  results regularly attend support groups. We want to offer you a place for continued support, education, and friendship with people who have similar experiences with weight loss surgery.

Our support group is for people who have had weight loss surgery or are seriously considering weight loss surgery and have already attended the mandatory orientation. Friends and family members, including spouses and/or children, are asked to stay at home.

What happens in Support Group, stays in Support Group!

We encourage you to share personal struggles and successes as you feel comfortable. Your sharing may help you find answers and provide valuable information to others that may have a similar issue as you.

Questions?  Please call our office at 309-672-5975

We want to help you in your journey to a new you!