Skip to main content

Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgery

If other weight loss methods have not been effective or your weight is affecting your health and daily life, bariatric surgery — also known as weight loss surgery — may be a safe and viable option. We will discuss this procedure openly and honestly with you and decide if it is the best choice for you. 

Request an appointment

Can I get weight loss surgery?

Losing weight can be a life-changing experience and help you live longer while overcoming obesity. Weight loss surgery is a common and safe option if you're severely overweight. However, not everyone is eligible for the surgery. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) must be 35 or higher, and you must have attempted to lose weight by improving your diet and exercising before considering the surgery.  

If you have a weight-related illness, your doctor may recommend weight loss surgery to help alleviate chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea.  

Sajani Shah, MD (Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Tufts Medical Center) performing bariatric surgery with help of a team.
Find a doctor near me


We have extensive experience performing minimally invasive weight loss surgery. Our highly trained surgeons use small incisions about as wide as your fingernail, leaving smaller scars and resulting in a faster and safer recovery. We'll review everything you need to know to prepare for surgery, including increasing exercise and limiting calories.

You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:

  • Have a BMI of 35 or higher
  • Are more than 100 pounds overweight
  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Are experiencing health problems linked to obesity (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or cholesterol)
  • Have tried other ways to lose weight without success


Bariatric surgery is a common weight loss surgery that reduces the size of your stomach, so it holds less food and absorbs fewer calories and nutrients. Your stomach will be smaller after surgery which will cause you to feel full faster and eat less. Plus, when you're once you've lost a significant amount of weight, we have a body sculpting program to remove and tighten loose skin. 

Types of weight loss surgery:

Gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is when your stomach is separated into two sections creating a small pouch on top of your new, working stomach. Your new stomach can hold 1-2 ounces of food instead of the 50 ounces it usually holds.

The surgery helps you lose weight by restricting and changing how your body digests food. These changes, in combination with an overall plan of diet and exercise, can help you lose a significant amount of weight in several ways:

  • Smaller stomach (meaning it takes a much smaller amount of food to make you feel full)
  • Food moves through your system slower (making you feel fuller for longer)
  • Hormone changes (can contribute to rapid weight loss)
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is performed using small incisions to reduce the size of your stomach to three or four ounces. A portion of your stomach is removed, leaving a narrow tube or "sleeve" section that empties into your small intestine.

After the surgery, the level of the "hunger" hormone called ghrelin drops, making you feel less hungry. Some of the advantages achieved with a sleeve gastrectomy include:

  • Smaller incisions result in a lower risk of complications and a shorter hospital stay
  • Lower risk of your body not being able to absorb nutrients
  • No need for adjustments (like a gastric band procedure)
Gastric band surgery

In a gastric band surgery, a saline-filled band divides your stomach into a small and more significant portion. The small part is a pouch on top of the band, and the larger section is below the band. Your surgeon can adjust the band to make eating large amounts of food more difficult.

Advantages of gastric banding include:

  • Reduced surgical trauma, pain and risk
  • Less invasive requiring a shorter hospital stay
  • It doesn't require by-passing portions of the stomach or intestines
  • Individualized to the patient's needs
  • The procedure can be reversed
  • The adjustable band allows you to alter your eating habits
Anasuya Gunturi MD, PhD talks with patient at Lowell General Hospital's Women's Wellness Center clinic appointment.
Our locations

From regular office visits to inpatient stays, find the healthcare you need and deserve close to home.

Family physician Sarwada Tuladhar Jha, MD talking to patient during exam at a clinic appointment and inputting health information at the computer.
Our doctors + care team

Meet the doctors and care team devoted to supporting you every step of the way along your path to better health.

Understand what you may pay for care at Tufts Medicine with our price estimate tool.

Jump back to top