Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program
The Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital offers a full spectrum of safe and effective surgical procedures for obesity, weight disorders and metabolic disease.
Our Bariatric Surgeons
Surgeons in the Massachusetts General Hospital Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program are members of the Mass General Weight Center, a multidisciplinary team of obesity experts that provide individualized consultation and innovative obesity treatment, including state-of-the-art medical and surgical programs.
Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery ExpertsMass General surgeons perform a high volume of weight loss surgeries and achieve excellent outcomes. Each is a board-certified, Harvard Medical School-affiliated surgeon who specializes in treating patients with complex medical disorders related to obesity as well as weight disorders and metabolic disease. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 11% of our patients undergoing weight loss surgery had an illness before their surgery categorized as major or extreme, compared with a statewide figure of 2%. This specialization requires advanced training and a highly focused clinical practice.
Mass General is an accredited member of the American College of Bariatric Surgery Center Network. We offer the following surgical options for appropriate patients seeking weight loss:
- Adjustable gastric banding: A band is wrapped around the upper portion of the stomach
- Revisional surgery: This is an option for patients suffering from complications of previous weight loss surgery
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: Staples are used to divide the stomach into a small pouch and larger remnant. This procedure may be conducted laparoscopically (a minimally invasive approach that requires only small incisions) or as standard open surgery
- Vertical sleeve gastrectomy: An alternative to gastric banding, this leading-edge procedure involves removal of three quarters of the stomach
In addition, the Mass General Body Contouring Program performs body-contouring procedures to remove excess skin and reshape the body to its desired proportions following weight loss surgery.
Bariatric Surgical Outcomes
At Mass General, we believe it's important to provide safe and effective care. The Department of Surgery tracks many performance measures and compares them to national data. On the following pages, you can view some of these metrics.
Bariatric Surgery Case Volume
Patient Ratings of Bariatric Surgeons
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
Becoming a PatientTo become a candidate for surgery, you will need to be referred to the Weight Center by your primary care physician. Once referred, you will attend a Weight Center orientation and then receive a multidisciplinary consultation. If surgery is recommended, you will meet with one of our surgeons to discuss our surgical treatment programs in greater detail.
In addition to our surgeons, your multidisciplinary team may include:
- Obesity medicine specialists
- Registered dieticians
A Multidisciplinary Team Approach to CareBefore and after your surgery, we work with your entire treatment team to design an individualized treatment plan that promotes long-term weight loss. Experts are available for counseling on nutrition, exercise and behavior modification along with medical management of related diseases.
We also offer pediatric evaluation and treatments for obesity in conjunction with MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
What to Expect
Bariatric surgery gives time, new life to kidney transplant patient
Thomas Gagnon arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital expecting to receive a kidney transplant. Instead, he was referred to the Mass General Weight Center for life-changing obesity treatment. Read this story
Evaluation Your surgical evaluation begins with a Weight Center orientation. This is an one-hour lecture led by one of our obesity experts who will explain obesity, the weight center, and both medical and surgical treatments that are available. You will then receive a call to schedule an initial evaluation by a multidisciplinary team including a psychologist, dietician and in some cases, an internist specializing in obesity medicine.
Before Surgery Pre-surgery Nutrition Program
Your insurance company and/or your Weight Center team may require you to attend a three to six month pre-surgery program consisting of nutrition and, in some cases, psychology visits.
The Weight Center has developed a pre-surgery program that helps you prepare for surgery both physically and psychologically. Nutrition education is centered on achieving pre-surgery weight loss to reduce surgical risks, understanding a healthy lifestyle and teaching healthy eating habits. The psychological component of this program is focused on providing you the tools and techniques for achieving pre-weight loss surgery goals. This program fulfills the pre-operative requirements of several insurance companies and may be recommended by our team or required before enrolling in our surgical management program.
Pre-surgery “Shrink the Liver” Diet
Studies show that rapid weight loss before bariatric surgery results in significant decrease in the size of the liver. This size decrease makes the surgery technically less difficult and faster, reducing postoperative complications. All patients who are scheduled for weight loss surgery are encouraged to lose some weight prior to surgery, and our dietitians have developed a meal replacement diet specifically designed to induce weight loss. You will meet with a dietitian to individualize this weight loss plan.
The Surgical Management Program
Preparing for weight loss surgery is important, and our program is designed to provide you with the information you will need to succeed in losing weight and in avoiding postoperative complications. You will be required to meet again with your entire team before surgery, as well as attend two group nutrition education classes. During these classes, you will be provided with instructions on your postoperative diet, and how to prepare for surgery.
After Surgery The Surgical Management Program is designed to prepare you for gastric weight loss surgery and to monitor, guide and support you post-operatively. The six-month post-operative program is divided into two, three-month phases.
The first phase is Postoperative Adjustment. During this time, the Weight Center dietitian educates you about the early postoperative changes, including the diet transition from liquids to solid food. The program includes group classes for nutrition education, as well as individual psychology and nutrition visits. Your Weight Center psychologist provides support for necessary behavioral changes.
The second phase is Lifestyle Modification, which follows immediately after the Postoperative Adjustment phase. During Lifestyle Modification, the group nutrition sessions focus on the changes in nutrition and exercise that are necessary for long-term weight loss success. These sessions and individual appointments are designed to help you support your commitment to behavior change.
Cost To keep the cost of the Surgical Management Program to a minimum, all medical and surgical visits are billed to the patient’s insurance company. Some components of the program may not be covered by insurance. Learn more about these costs
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The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.
Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center surgeon Ozanan Meireles, MD, answers common questions about the effect of bariatric surgery on individuals with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Thomas Gagnon arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital expecting to receive a kidney transplant. Instead, he was referred to the Mass General Weight Center for life-changing obesity treatment.
New findings about the mechanisms involved – or not involved – in the effects of the most common form of bariatric surgery suggest that combining surgery with a specific type of medication could augment the benefits of the procedure.
Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery15 Parkman St.
Boston, MA 02114
Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center
50 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114
Hours: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday