The Bariatric Center team works with you to determine the best course of care for your situation. Medical interventions include:

Nutrition therapy

The bariatric team counsels you to create a calorie-controlled meal plan. You will learn guidelines for healthy food selection and portion control.

Behavior modification

You will learn about behaviors contributing to your struggle with weight and strategies to change those behaviors. Problematic behaviors can include:

  • Skipping meals
  • Snacking between meals
  • Eating out daily
  • Frequently consuming indulgence foods
  • Eating in response to stress or negative emotion
  • Not participating in physical activity


Weight-loss medications can be a helpful addition to a healthy low-calorie diet and exercise plan. The bariatric team can advise you whether medications are an appropriate treatment option and provide you with a prescription and monitoring plan.

Liquid meal replacement

This physician-supervised program may be an option for those with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 35. It provides a nutritionally balanced full-meal replacement diet for rapid weight loss. The program also includes weekly lifestyle education classes led by a dietitian, clinical psychologist or exercise specialist.

A partial meal replacement program is available for people who want to incorporate one meal daily in addition to the liquid supplements replacing all other meals.

A program using the meal replacements to lose weight prior to surgery (such as knee, back, bariatric and gynecologic surgery, or hernia repair) also is available.

Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery

Weight-loss surgery is for people who are severely obese and have obesity-related health problems. The bariatric team helps people decide if this is a good option and which procedure is best.

The most common operations performed at Mayo Clinic are gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding. All surgeries are performed using minimally invasive surgery whenever possible.

Evaluations for surgery usually take three to eight months from initial appointment to surgery. Before you decide to proceed with the surgery, it's important to understand that successful surgery requires a lifelong commitment to changing diet and exercise habits. In large part, you determine the success of the surgery.

The Bariatric Center has special expertise in surgical procedures to repair previously unsuccessful weight-loss surgeries and in helping those with a BMI greater than 35.

Learn more about bariatric surgery at Mayo Clinic.