Obesity — A Matter of Life and Death

More than one-third of adults (36 percent) classified as obese during 2011-2014, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For many, severe obesity is a matter of life and death. Many people who are seriously overweight have tried different diets, medications and professional weight-loss services for years without long-term success. Manatee Memorial Hospital offers weight-loss surgery that can help seriously overweight people get the long-term weight loss they need.

What is Weight-Loss Surgery?

Weight-loss surgery helps people lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing part of the patient's intestines. After surgery, patients eat less food to feel full and satisfied.

There is more to surgical weight-loss surgery than the procedure itself. To be successful, patients must make major changes in their lifestyle and eating habits. For example, following surgery, patients must:

  • Restrict the amount and types of food they eat
  • Avoid drinking liquids with meals
  • Stick with a regular exercise program
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements.

Types of weight-loss surgery >

Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right for Me?

Weight-loss surgery may be right for you if:

  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You are at least 80 pounds overweight, depending on other health conditions
  • Your Body Mass Index is greater than 30
  • You have tried other weight-loss methods without success
  • You are medically stable and physically able to withstand surgery
  • You pass a psychological screening test that helps ensure you are able to comply with post-surgical behavior modifications
  • You complete all required pre-operative testing.

Getting Ready for Surgery

Before surgery, your surgeon will send you for preoperative tests and lab work. If you're a smoker, you may have to stop smoking as early as a month in advance of your surgery.

Answers to frequently asked questions >

Your Hospital Stay

Shortly after your surgery, you'll be able to start on a liquid diet. As you progress, you'll move to a diet of pureed foods, then to a diet of regular foods, as instructed by your doctor. Your individual progress will determine the length of time of each diet phase.


You and your doctor will discuss a post-operative plan that will help ensure your long-term weight-loss, including referrals to nutritionists, exercise programs, psychotherapists and support groups.

After your weight-loss surgery, you will eat significantly less food to feel full. During the first several months of reduced food intake, some patients experience nausea, vomiting, food intolerance, changes in bowel movements, constipation, transient hair loss and loss of muscle mass. Most patients see a significant improvement in how they feel when dietary intake improves.

Success Story

With the help of Stelios Rekkas, MD, Carol Ricks was able to lose the weight through surgery and give her "a second chance at life."

Weight-loss Lectures and Support Groups

Get information about FREE bariatric surgery events held each month at Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

Please contact Valerie Brock, RN, Bariatric Coordinator/Reviewer, at 941-708-8055 for questions or information.