Bariatric Treatment Options

Losing weight can be difficult, and it doesn’t help that there are so many options available.

Baptist Health is here to help you find the best weight loss option to meet your goals and lead a happier, healthier life. While we offer advanced bariatric surgery options, we understand bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone.

We also know obstacles can sometimes make bariatric surgery difficult. If you find yourself in this position, or if you need to lose weight before bariatric surgery, you may find success using medical weight loss. 

Learn more about the three primary types of bariatric surgery below.

bariatric surgery infographic

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

A sleeve gastrectomy is the procedure surgeons perform most commonly to treat obesity. It shrinks the size of the stomach by approximately 80%, significantly reducing the amount of food it can hold. The procedure is also effective because the part of the stomach the surgeon takes out includes the area where ghrelin, a hunger hormone, is made. 

Surgeons perform gastric sleeve surgeries laparoscopically (through a few small slits in the abdomen) or using robotic technology. Both methods produce less pain and scarring and enable patients to leave the hospital faster and recover quicker. 

Patients typically enjoy rapid weight loss following the procedure, with a low risk of complications. 

Gastric Bypass Surgery

In a gastric bypass procedure, the surgeon divides the patient’s stomach, creating a new pouch they attach to a lower part of the intestines. That change causes food to bypass the remainder of the stomach and the first part of the intestines, meaning less of it is absorbed into the body. 

Like gastric sleeve surgery, this procedure is very effective and performed laparoscopically. 

Laparoscopic Banding

So-called Lap-Band® surgery is the least invasive of the three since the surgeon doesn’t move or remove any part of the stomach. Instead, they place an adjustable band around the top part of the stomach, thereby reducing the size of the stomach pouch. 

Following the procedure, patients eat less because they become full faster. Over time, a doctor gradually tightens the band until the patient has reached their target weight. 

Laparoscopic banding is safe and effective, with few risks. And while the weight loss is slower than with other methods, many patients achieve successful outcomes with this procedure. 

Who Is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Your doctor may recommend bariatric surgery if:

  • You have trouble losing weight with diet and exercise.
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 35 or higher, and you have one or more weight-related conditions that require medication.
  • Your BMI is over 40, and you currently have no obesity-related health problems.

Learn More Bariatric Care and Weight Loss Services at Baptist Health

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is essential to good health and the enjoyment of life. If you’ve been unsuccessful at controlling your weight, Baptist Health can help.

Contact us to learn more about our bariatric care and weight loss services.  

Medical Weight Loss Frequently Asked Questions

If you feel like you have tried every diet and exercise plan but still haven’t seen success, medical weight loss may be the next step for you. Here are answers to five common questions about medical weight loss at Baptist Health clinics.

1. What is medical weight loss?

Medical weight loss involves working closely with a provider who understands your goals and the obstacles you face. At Baptist Health, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners will work with you to create a personalized weight-loss plan — one you can stick with to reach your goals.

2. Is medical weight loss right for me?

Medical weight loss can be an excellent nonsurgical weight-loss solution for people who need to lose weight before qualifying for bariatric surgery. It can also help those who don’t want to undergo a surgical procedure, or those whose health, insurance, weight or body mass index prevent them from undergoing weight-loss surgery.

Are you wondering if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery? Read more to find out weight loss surgery requirements.

3. What happens during a medical weight-loss visit?

Your first visit with us will involve a comprehensive exam to learn more about your current health. We will discuss your weight-loss goals and, together, create a personalized nutrition and exercise plan to help you lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

You’ll check in with us regularly to track your progress and celebrate your success. As you continue to reach your weight-loss goals, we’ll help you set new ones by providing recommendations to keep you on your weight-loss journey. We understand how much work it takes to lose weight, so we work closely with you in support.

4. Will I need medication?

Weight-loss medication is very commonly used as part of a person’s medical weight-loss plan. If you and your provider decide it would be helpful, medication may be prescribed to help suppress your appetite, as well as keep you on track with diet and exercise goals.

5. Where Can I Learn More about weight loss?

Baptist Health offers weight loss services in:

You can schedule a consultation at any of these locations. One of our providers will help you decide on the weight-loss options that may work best for you. You can also attend online or in-person seminars to learn more about bariatric surgery at Baptist Health.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Ready to take the next step toward healthy living? Schedule your consultation by calling 855.220.8689 or learn more about Baptist Health bariatric seminars.

Our Bariatric Seminars

The Impact of Obesity on Your Heart and Joints

Is your body weight interfering with your cardiovascular and orthopedic health?

Nearly 100 million adults in the U.S. have obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Obesity can increase your risk for a number of medical issues, including problems related to your heart and joints.

Obesity and Your Heart

The relationship between obesity and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S., is two-fold. Obesity increases your risk for several conditions that contribute to heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Additionally, the excess stress obesity places on the body makes obesity a major risk factor for heart disease on its own.

Fortunately, even a modest amount of weight loss can help reduce your risk of developing obesity-related heart and vascular complications. According to Paige Quintero, MD, bariatric surgeon with Baptist Health Medical Group Bariatric Surgery, losing as little as 5% to 10% of your weight can improve both your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. Weight-loss surgery can have an even more drastic effect — decreasing the risk of death within the next five years by as much as 83%.

Concerned about your heart? Take Baptist Health’s Heart Risk Assessment today.

Obesity and Your Joints

Did you know that every pound of body weight you carry translates to about four to six pounds of pressure on each knee? Obesity places a significant amount of stress on your bones and joints and is a major risk factor for several orthopedic issues, including:

  • Bone and joint injuries from physical activity
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic foot and ankle overuse disorders, such as Achilles tendinitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon), flat feet, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue that connects your toes to the heel bone), and general foot and ankle pain
  • Osteoarthritis (a condition that breaks down the cartilage in the joints, resulting in stiffness, swelling and/or pain)
  • The need for a knee replacement

Losing weight helps lighten the load on your joints, which can lead to improved mobility and a reduction or elimination of chronic pain. It also can affect the outcome of orthopedic procedures, such as joint replacement.

“Approaching a healthy BMI can help you increase the success of your orthopedic surgery and decrease postoperative complications,” Dr. Quintero says. “Patients who are at a healthy weight have a much easier time mobilizing and participating in physical therapy after surgery, which increases the likelihood that they will experience a quicker recovery and more positive results.”

For more information, take our Knee and Joint Pain Assessment to learn more.

Baptist Health: Your Partner in Weight Loss

Reach your wellness goals with the support of Baptist Health.

Your weight does not have to be something you struggle with on your own. Baptist Health Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss — located in Lexington, Louisville, Paducah and Richmond in Kentucky, as well as in New Albany, Indiana — can support you in your weight-loss efforts at every stage in your wellness journey.

“Our programs and services are designed to help you stay focused on your goals,” says Jenny Martin, MS, RD, LD, bariatric coordinator at Baptist Health Lexington’s Surgical Weight Loss Center. “Weight loss can have a huge impact on your health and longevity, and having some accountability can help ensure that you maintain these healthful habits long term.”

Baptist Health Weight Loss Programs and Services

Baptist Health Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss provides you with access to the following offerings:

  • Diabetes Prevention. This year-long program is designed to support individuals at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It promotes weight loss, healthy eating, exercise and an overall healthier lifestyle. Learn more about our Diabetes Prevention Program.
  • Medical Weight Loss.* If you are not a candidate for bariatric surgery or prefer nonsurgical weight-loss treatments, you may benefit from the Medical Weight Loss program. Following a comprehensive initial evaluation, Baptist Health’s clinical team will work with you to develop a personalized nutrition and exercise plan, prescribe medications as needed and regularly follow up with you to ensure that you are staying on track. Learn more about Medical Weight Loss.
  • Nutrition Counseling.* This program provides an opportunity to work with a registered dietitian either one-on-one in private sessions or in a group class. Call 855.220.8689 for more information.
  • Weight Loss Surgery. Baptist Health’s skilled bariatric surgeons offer gastric sleeve surgery, as well as revisions of previous weight-loss surgeries. Many insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover weight loss surgery as long as you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more and/or a BMI of 35 or more in conjunction with other comorbidities, such as high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
  • Weight Loss Surgery Support Groups. If you choose to undergo weight-loss surgery, Baptist Health’s monthly weight-loss surgery support groups can help you stay motivated and connected with others who are experiencing similar weight loss related challenges and successes.

*These services are only available at Baptist Health Lexington.

Free Weight Loss Surgery Seminars

Register for a free Weight Loss Surgery Seminar online or call 888.497.8894 to schedule a consultation with a Baptist Health bariatric surgeon.

About Our Seminars

5 Ways Obesity Affects Your Health

Obesity impacts your body from head to toe, but partnering with your primary care provider can help you take control of your weight and improve your overall health.

Obesity can slow you down in more ways than one. Below are some of the more serious health risks associated with obesit­­y.

1. Heart Trouble

People with overweight or obesity are more likely to have high blood pressure, high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol, low levels of high density lipoproteins­­­ (HDL) or good cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. Obesity can also increase your risk of stroke and heart attack.

2. Fatty Liver Disease

This condition occurs when fat builds up in the liver, leading to serious complications. Fatty liver disease can cause cirrhosis, liver damage or even liver failure. While the cause of fatty liver disease is still unknown, it’s most often diagnosed in patients who are middle-aged, overweight or obese. It is similar to alcoholic liver disease, but it is not caused by alcohol.

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not respond to the hormone insulin. Insulin helps the cells in your body convert the food you eat into energy. Without insulin, the glucose (sugar) from food stays in your bloodstream rather than reaching your cells. Being overweight or obese can make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

4. Emotional Health Concerns

Obesity does not just affect your physical health. People who struggle with their weight are also at a higher risk for depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

5. Certain Forms of Cancer

While the connection between obesity and cancer is still being studied, research has found a connection between obesity and breast, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney and liver cancers, among others. Obesity can cause low-level inflammation and decrease insulin sensitivity, both of which the National Cancer Institute states may lead to cancer.

Take Control of Your Health

Changing your health habits can help heal a fatty liver, manage or prevent Type 2 diabetes, improve your emotional health and keep your heart healthy for years to come.

If you are concerned about your weight, discuss your weight-loss options with your primary care provider.

Need a Primary Care Provider?

Ready to take control of your health? Schedule an appointment at the location closest to you.

Request an Appointment

Suicide Prevention Services in Richmond, KY

Baptist Health Richmond: Suicide Prevention Services

It’s extremely important to be aware of the warning signs of suicide. Learn more about Baptist Health’s suicide prevention services.

Suicide Prevention Services in Richmond, KY HealthTalks Transcript

Nate Sandiford, Richmond, Kentucky:
My mother committed suicide back in 2017. She had a history of depression and anxiety. She believed there was a stigma when it came to her mental health issues. She never really shared her sadness with anyone.

Katelyn Arvin, LPCC, NCC, Behavioral Health:
Suicide is a very prevalent issue. It’s estimated to be the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. We can only assume that’s directly related to stigma around mental health and wellness. In order to reduce that stigma, we have to have genuine, open and raw conversations about mental health and start to value and normalize mental health and wellness.

Awareness to me is something that’s very important when it comes to mental health issues. It’s one of those things we need to talk about more as a society and as a community.

At Baptist Health Richmond, we acknowledge and value accessible behavioral healthcare. That’s a huge protective factor in suicide prevention. We have four licensed crisis therapists who are on staff 24/7 in our Emergency Department. Anybody can come in and sign up for a crisis consultation. A therapist will provide active listening and move through your crisis with you and hold space for you. We’ll decide together with the patient and their loved ones what the next move is and access appropriate care for the patient.


Here When You Need Us the Most

It’s important to know the warning signs of suicide and how to help others.

Know the Signs of Suicide

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Help others find the same great care.

Oncology Nurse Navigator in Richmond, KY

Baptist Health Richmond: Oncology Nurse Navigator

Oncology nurse navigators offer support, guidance and care from a cancer diagnosis through recovery. Learn more about our oncology nurse navigators today.

Oncology Nurse Navigator in Richmond, KY HealthTalks Transcript

Karen Jacobs, RN, Oncology Navigator:
The oncology nurse navigator helps guide patients through what can be a very complex healthcare system. After the initial shock of a cancer diagnosis, there’s still a lot of information to process. I’m there to be an advocate, resource, and an additional layer of support for the patient and their family. After identifying any needs or barriers to treatment, I provide education and then connect patients with the appropriate resources, which could be transportation issues. There may be issues with obtaining medications they need as well. I work closely with physicians in case there are any needs that the patients have, so they have the best outcomes.

Being a caregiver, and even a family member, can be a very hard and scary time when you have a family member who’s been diagnosed. I’m also there to support the family members and caregivers as well, because it can be a very stressful time for them. Any type of resources they may need, we have some educational information we provide. Currently, we are offering monthly virtual support groups as well.

I love being there to help patients and their families and encourage them along the way. It’s usually more that I learn from the patient, because they’re so courageous and they’re so strong throughout their journey. If I can offer some type of comfort and calm along the way, that’s what I like to do.

Here When You Need Us the Most

Baptist Health’s nurse navigators help guide patients and families through their cancer plans and treatments.

Our Nurse Navigators

Robotic-Assisted Surgery in Paducah, KY

Baptist Health Paducah Robotic-Assisted Surgery

There are many benefits of robot-assisted surgery, including shorter recovery and less pain. Learn more about robotic surgery today.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery in Paducah, KY HealthTalks Transcript

Kristen Williams, MD, General Surgery, Surgical Group of Paducah:
The benefits for robotic surgery are very similar to those of laparoscopic surgery. It’s all minimally invasive surgery, but robotic [surgery] actually allows me to get a better dissection in certain cases. It’s very helpful for groin hernias in some patients, especially patients who have had a previous hernia repair or have bilateral hernias. It allows a much better dissection. I think the mesh gets placed in a better spot. It allows for a better view for the surgeon, which equals out to a better operation.

Ryan Martin, patient, Paducah, Kentucky:
I had a lump in my groin, which ended up being an inguinal hernia. My primary care doctor recommended Dr. Williams, so I came to Baptist Health. I was nervous about having robotic surgery, but I was nervous about surgery in general. She explained to me that I would have three small incisions in my stomach, versus a big incision in my groin.

Dr. Williams:
Also, when you have a bilateral hernia, the pain rates go down when you have it done minimally invasively. Robotically, you take fewer narcotics, you return to work faster, you return to the heavy lifting faster. It’s an easier recovery, as compared to an open hernia repair.

I didn’t have any pain. I didn’t have to take any hard medications. I’d recommend it to anybody, just less pain and less recovery time. I would recommend it to anybody.

Here When You Need Us the Most

Learn about Baptist Health Paducah

Breast Cancer Navigator in Paducah, KY

Baptist Health Paducah: Breast Cancer Navigator

Our breast health navigators are here to answer your questions before a breast biopsy and offer support throughout your care. Learn more about breast cancer navigation.

Breast Cancer Navigator in Paducah, KY HealthTalks Transcript

Mindy Cartwright, RT, Breast Navigator:
My role at Baptist Health Paducah is that I actually begin with a patient whenever they come in for their diagnostic imaging. When a patient is told that they need a breast biopsy, I will introduce myself. I’ll explain the procedure to them. There can be a lot of anxiety that goes along with that, when they’re told that they do need a breast biopsy.

Robin King, patient, Paducah, Kentucky:
I received a call from Mindy, the cancer navigator, and she was just like an angel to me. She just took over. She told me not to worry about things, to let her take care of things, and she did.

I’m able to be there the day of their biopsy to help assist in the biopsy, and then I can follow that patient through after their pathology results. If it were to come back positive, then I’m able to be there throughout their entire journey. There are many different ways I can help a woman once she goes through her breast cancer journey. My main thing is just to be an educator. I can provide resources for the patient, if there was something to arise that was going to delay her from getting any care. My main thing is just being able to be an encourager and a cheerleader and to be there whenever they need emotional support.

I want women to know how important it is to do their yearly mammograms. Don’t miss that; that’s the chance to find this early. I want them to know there’s a Mindy here. There is a navigator who’s going to step you through this when you have all that fear. There’s going to be somebody to lean on.

Have Questions?

Our Cancer Navigators work with patients and members of their medical team to answer questions.

Our Breast Cancer Nurse Navigators

Importance of Lung Cancer Screening in Louisville, KY

Baptist Health Louisville: Importance of Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer screening can diagnose patients in the early stages and improve overall survival rate. Learn more about CT lung cancer screening and its criteria.

Importance of Lung Cancer Screening in Louisville, KY HealthTalks Transcript

Angela Mahan, MD, Thoracic Surgery:
Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the state of Kentucky. In the U.S., it’s the second most commonly diagnosed cancer. Lung cancer does affect smokers. Eighty-five percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer have in some form in their lifetime used either cigarettes or vaping. Early stage lung cancers are asymptomatic.

Lung CT screening really became a thing when the National Lung Screening Trial started in 2002. The reason screening makes such a huge difference is that if we’re able to find a lung cancer when it’s stage 1 or stage 2, we can improve the overall survival of that patient and lessen the amount of treatment they would actually need to have.

The criteria for lung cancer screening is if the patient is asymptomatic, between the ages of 55 and 74, has a greater than 30-pack-per-year history of smoking, or is a current smoker or quit smoking within 15 years. Lung cancer is 100% treatable. With all of the new treatments we’re developing and all of the targeted therapies, the five-year survival for lung cancer is so much better than it was 10 years ago. All of this is very encouraging.

Here When You Need Us the Most

Lung CT screenings are used to check for lung cancer. Find out if you qualify for a screening.

About Lung Cancer Screenings

High-Level Cancer Care in Lexington, KY

Baptist Health Lexington: High-Level Cancer Care

High-level cancer care at Baptist Health Lexington helps patients navigate their diagnosis and develop a plan. Learn more about our cancer care specialists.

High-Level Cancer Care in Lexington, KY HealthTalks Transcript

Amy Schell, MD, Hematology & Oncology:
Here at Baptist Health Lexington, we want to try to create the highest level of patient experience that we can. When a patient is first diagnosed with cancer, there are so many things they worry about and need to know. We try to address all of those issues during the first several days of their visit to the cancer center. At a patient’s first visit, they will meet with their oncologist. They’ll talk about the diagnosis, what that means, and what they can expect going forward. They will start to develop a treatment plan and they’ll have an opportunity to ask a lot of questions.

Once a patient starts their treatment, we try to continue the same level of attention and support as they go through it. We have social workers who can help with family or transportation needs that come up. We have dietitians who will talk to patients about the best nutrition during their treatment and afterward. There are financial counselors who can help to figure out the often overwhelming financial aspects of cancer care. We have an urgent care clinic that is oncology specific. If patients have immediate needs during treatment, they can be seen the same day to be evaluated and get the care that they need.

I think Baptist Health Lexington is a great hospital to get your cancer treatment. We treat patients like we would treat our family members and really want to provide the best experience that we can.

Cancer Care in Lexington

Baptist Health takes a team approach to cancer care and cancer treatment.

About Our Team Approach