Bariatric & Medical Weight Loss

Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital Bariatric & Medical Weight Loss provides a customized approach to surgical weight loss. We deliver the highest quality of care to patients with morbid obesity.

Having the right support throughout your weight loss is vital to success. We offer support groups before and after surgery to help you establish healthy behaviors. We also provide counseling and assistance for patients who want to overcome obesity and achieve a healthy weight. We also provide a medically supervised weight loss program for people who do not qualify for or may not want surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a tool to help you achieve your weight loss goals, but surgical weight loss is not for everyone. Our team’s mission is to provide information you need to make the choice that is right for you.

You can find out if you qualify for bariatric surgery by calculating your body mass index (BMI). Our program gives you access to a skilled bariatric surgeon and nursing staff, along with a registered dietitian to help you embrace a lifestyle that promotes health and wellness.

Our partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine gives our team access to leading research, nationally known scientists and the latest advancements in the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity.

Surgical Weight Loss

Weight-loss surgery falls into two categories: restrictive surgery and malabsorptive surgeryOperations that reduce the stomach size are known as restrictive surgery because they limit the amount of food the stomach can hold. IU Health Arnett Bariatrics offers adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. If you are interested in different surgical procedures, we will refer you to Indiana University Health North Hospital in Indianapolis for surgery.

To help prepare you for a successful long-term weight loss journey, you must take an active role in the following treatment plan:

  • Submit insurance information to determine bariatric surgery benefits eligibility
  • Attend an educational office consult or complete an online Emmi Program
  • Consult with surgeon, bariatric coordinator nurse and registered dietitian
  • Undergo psychological testing and evaluation
  • Complete three to six months of supervised weight loss (per insurance requirements)
  • Demonstrate an understanding that bariatric surgery will not solve weight problems, but prescribed lifestyle changes can lead to success
  • Verify insurance authorization for surgery
  • Complete testing to ensure physical readiness for surgery
  • Receive laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery or sleeve gastrectomy
  • Attend post-operative scheduled follow-up appointments for diet and weight loss management

Bariatric surgery is just one step along the path to losing and maintaining weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Studies show that laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery offers less pain, easier breathing and increased lung function, fewer wound complications and faster recovery.

To perform the surgery, doctors create a small pouch at the top of the stomach where food enters from the esophagus. Initially, the pouch holds about one ounce of food and later expands to hold more. The lower outlet of the pouch has a small opening to delay the emptying of food from the pouch, which causes a feeling of fullness. The time to complete the surgery is approximately 1 1/2 hours. You could stay in the hospital for two to four days.

Although laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding leads to weight loss in almost all patients, they are less successful than malabsorptive operations in achieving substantial, long-term weight loss. Some patients regain weight. Others are unable to adjust their eating habits and fail to achieve their goal. Successful results depend on your willingness to adopt a long-term plan of healthy eating and regular physical activity.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is a laparoscopic bariatric procedure which the bariatric surgeon removes approximately 75% of the stomach, shaping the remaining stomach into a long slender gastric tube or “sleeve.” The operation is typically completed in about one hour and most patients stay in the hospital one or two nights. Patients tend to tolerate this operation very well. The sleeve gastrectomy has a high safety profile since it is performed laparoscopically and because it does not include an anastomosis. The intestines are not manipulated in this operation, so it is an ideal option for those patients who have had extensive prior intestinal surgery or have dense adhesions.

Patients who are good candidates are those who have high medical risk for bypass procedures, have very high BMI or complex surgical history.

Patients report a dramatic reduction in appetite and diminished capacity for food. Additionally, nutritional consequences are far less concerning since there is no intestinal bypass; and, although it may be considered a restrictive operation similar to the adjustable band, there is no foreign body, nor is there a need for any postoperative adjustments.

Non-Surgical Medically Supervised Weight Loss

IU Health Arnett Medical Weight Loss provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to successful weight loss and control. Our medically supervised weight loss program targets people who have a moderate amount of weight to lose, do not qualify for bariatric surgery or people who decide not to have surgery.

Our program is designed for successful long-term weight control with a focus on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The program is intensive, personalized and structured. Following a physical exam, review of medical and nutritional history, lab results and electrocardiograms (EKG), you work with our weight loss team to receive a personalized plan based on your food preferences, schedule and nutritional needs.

The individualized plan includes:

  • Regular medical monitoring (weekly or bi-weekly visits, depending on program)
  • Various nutritional options
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Behavioral strategies to make sustainable lifestyle changes
  • Exercise routine
  • Office visits billable to insurance companies

You will receive nutritional education and learn new behavioral strategies such as self-monitoring, problem-solving, cognitive restructuring and stimulus control. Our program delivers innovative treatment to weight loss patients through a multi-disciplinary team that has the experience to understand their needs. Participants in this program also enjoy other benefits offered by IU Health Arnett Medical Weight Loss, such as discounted fitness programs.

You will have diet options, including low carbohydrate and high protein food, low calorie diets and healthy eating for patients who are working on maintenance.

Exercise is a required part of this program. You will receive an individualized activity prescription with exercise options that fit your lifestyle and medical conditions.

Additional Contact Information

For Patients
To learn about our bariatric program, please call 765.838.7185 or 800.899.8448. You can also email us at

For more information about our medically supervised weight loss program, call 765.838.7226, option 1.