Mayo Clinic's approach


Mayo Clinic in Arizona has performed bariatric surgery procedures since 2001. Medically supervised interventions include nutrition therapy, behavior modification, pharmacotherapy, and weight-loss surgery, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Minimally invasive surgery is the preferred approach. For out-of-state patients, we offer efficient, condensed scheduling. We will work with health care providers in your area to meet your needs.

Bariatric program informational seminars

Mayo Clinic conducts regular informational seminars for people interested in learning more about the medical and surgical options available through the Mayo Clinic Bariatric Surgery Program. The interactive seminars, conducted by doctors and other members of the bariatric surgery treatment team, include:

  • A description of Mayo Clinic's multidisciplinary program.
  • Answers to questions about care and pre-certification.
  • Details about the registration process.

Seminars are free of charge and open to anyone considering bariatric surgery. Feel free to bring family and friends.

The Bariatric Surgery Program informational seminars are held on select Tuesdays and Thursdays via Zoom. To register, or for questions, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free).

If you have questions about the Bariatric Surgery Program, call 480-342-1026 to speak with our bariatric surgery representative. Or send an email to

Treatment team

A team of specialists works together to develop bariatric surgery treatment plans tailored to your needs. Your team can include experts in endocrinology, general surgery, community internal medicine, psychiatry and psychology, dietetics, and other specialists, as needed.

Bariatric Surgery Support Group

Bariatric Surgery Support Group meetings are open forums for sharing information and support in a safe setting. Meetings are led by one of Mayo Clinic's clinical health psychologists and are held via Zoom on the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mountain time. A Zoom link is sent to interested parties ahead of time.

These meetings are free and open to people who have had bariatric surgery at Mayo Clinic. For more information about the support group, call 480-342-1026.


Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida has a dedicated Bariatric Center to help people with obesity gain control of their weight. The Mayo Clinic team has more than 75 years of experience caring for bariatric surgery patients.

Treatment team

A team of specialists works together to develop bariatric treatment plans tailored to each person's needs. Your team can include bariatric specialists from endocrinology, gastroenterology and hepatology, general surgery, psychiatry and psychology, community internal medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy and nutrition, and other specialties, as needed.

Evaluation and appointments

The evaluation process usually takes about 3 to 8 months. It may be longer than eight months before the surgery due to insurance processing and scheduling. The preliminary evaluation for bariatric surgery in Florida can be completed in one day.

Physician referrals are not required but are encouraged. However, patients should have a primary care physician that the bariatric team can communicate with to help ensure the best continuity of care possible for patients. To begin the appointment process, call the Central Appointment Office at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus: 904-953-0853.


Mayo Clinic surgeons in Minnesota perform over 400 bariatric procedures each year. Several surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have particular expertise in repairing previously unsuccessful bariatric surgeries, as well as treating people who are severely obese. Bariatric surgery is available for adults and adolescents who meet certain criteria.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, continues to be recognized as an American College of Surgeons Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center, the highest level of accreditation in bariatric surgery. Because of this accreditation, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has also met Medicare's facility standards for bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery accreditation promotes standard benchmarks and supports continuous quality improvement.

Treatment team

The Mayo Clinic bariatric surgery care team in Minnesota consists of experts from endocrinology, dietetics, psychiatry and psychology, gastroenterologic and general surgery, and other specialists, as needed.


To begin the bariatric surgery process at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, use one of the following contact options:

  • Weight management registered nurse: phone: 507-538-1565, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.
  • Endocrinology: 507-284-1600, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

The length of time from your initial appointment to the date of surgery is usually about 6 to 9 months. Your preliminary evaluation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester may last 2 to 3 days. If you are some distance from Mayo Clinic, you may be referred to a care provider in your local area to complete a portion of the evaluation. Near the end of the evaluation, you will meet with a surgeon to decide how to proceed.

Cost estimates

For questions about the cost of bariatric surgery, call Mayo Clinic Estimating Service at 507-284-4024.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Expertise and rankings


Between all three Mayo Clinic locations, surgeons perform more than 600 weight-loss surgeries each year.

Positive results

In a study of patients who had weight loss surgery at Mayo Clinic, 72% of people who were followed maintained long-term weight loss of 50% or more of excess body weight after three years. Only 10% of patients had complications following surgery.

Complex cases

Mayo Clinic specializes in repairing problems resulting from previous bariatric surgery, and performing bariatric surgery in patients with complicated medical histories who may not qualify for surgery at other institutions.

Minimally invasive approach

Mayo Clinic uses minimally invasive techniques for bariatric surgery whenever possible. This approach offers smaller incisions, less pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery than traditional open surgery.

Team approach

A team of medical experts, including endocrinologists, surgeons, dietitians and psychologists, helps identify candidates who could most benefit from surgery and works intensively with you before and after surgery to help achieve a long-lasting result. After the first year, follow-up care can be conducted by your hometown doctor, working closely with the Mayo team.

Pediatric and teen care

Childhood obesity has emerged as one of the most important public health problems in the United States. At Mayo Clinic, adolescent care includes evaluation for coexisting conditions as well as an assessment of the child's and family's understanding and readiness for a weight-loss procedure. Weight-loss surgery for adolescents is part of a multidisciplinary program with specific expertise in pediatric obesity, bariatric surgery, nutrition and psychology.

When is adolescent bariatric surgery necessary?

Abdalla Zarroug, M.D: Hello my name is Abdullah Zurich. I'm a pediatric surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and today we're going to be talking about adolescent bariatric surgery. We've had a program for adolescent weight loss for quite some time; It's actually a mature program. The pediatric surgical aspects of it along with the bariatric surgery have been in place for over five years but the weight loss program really goes back to when Dr. Seema Kumar started this even before that. Children undergo different behavior modification programs without surgery and that's their goal — the goal is to be able to lose weight without any intervention that is surgical or invasive.

When the adolescent fails behavioral modification, when it's medically indicated, then we can go on to talk about bariatric interventions or surgical interventions that we perform. Really we have a multidisciplinary program here. We have pediatric dietitians. We have pediatric surgeons. We have bariatric surgeons. The individual who heads the program is Dr. Seema Kumar. She's a pediatric endocrinologist and she's been doing this for some time. This is actually her research focus and her clinical focus and with her leading the program what we've done is had a team of specialized pediatric providers and we performed the full or we provide the full gamut of pediatric services so that the child or the adolescent, even if they need bariatric surgery or most of the time they actually need other interventions for medical comorbidities, we have the full gamut here at Mayo Clinic to provide those medical services.

Specifically for bariatric surgery, really the benefits are only for those or at least the procedure is only for those that meet criteria. Well, what are the criteria? Well, they need to be above the 95th or 99th percentile for weight and age. What does that mean? Roughly speaking, their BMI needs to be over 40. We don't use the adult criteria of over 35. You really use over 40 with a medical core morbidity that is related to their obesity. So things like diabetes or sleep apnea or liver cirrhosis oftentimes those medical comorbidities can be life-threatening or they can have a quality of life effect on the adolescent and with the procedure we can help change that. And it really is helping. It's not just the only thing that we're going to do.

So what's the process? The process is that they meet with the pediatric endocrinologist, they meet with the dietician, they meet with the multidisciplinary team including a behavioral specialist. It could be a psychologist. It could be a psychiatrist. It could be both depending on what the needs of the adolescent are. And they also meet with myself in pediatric surgery and an adult bariatric surgeon.

From the surgical aspect we've decided that we're going to see the patients — both the adult bariatric surgeon who performs these types of procedures every single day and a pediatric surgeon so that we can have an adolescent or a pediatric aspect to it. And so we see these patients in advance what in deciding whether they're going to be a fit or good candidate for the procedure.

We often see them at an integral time perhaps at three months or four months to make sure that things are going well. We check in with the pediatric endocrinologist. We check with the dietitian. We check in with the psychologists to make sure that the adolescent is still in an appropriate candidate and that we're going to go ahead with the procedure in about three months.

Most of the time it takes about a six months process of behavioral modification and at least not weight gain but hopefully weight loss and making sure that they're medically fit for the procedure that they'll still benefit. They do that most of the time they can do that here at Mayo. Every now and then we have people who don't live within this vicinity so they can get some of that elsewhere but for the most part we like to do that it at Mayo because again the program is mature. It's over five years that we've been doing this.

Adolescent bariatric surgery — Why Mayo Clinic?

My name is Abdullah Zarroug. I'm a pediatric surgeon here at the Mayo Clinic and today we're going to be talking about adolescent bariatric surgery. Adolescent bariatric surgery doesn't happen by itself. Really, we’re an established program of weight loss for adolescents that starts with the pediatric endocrinologist that initiated this process years ago, Dr. Seema Kumar.

Under her leadership we've been able to establish an adolescent bariatric surgery program and we're just one arm of many aspects of taking care of these children that happen to have excess weight. Generally speaking, it's weight of 95 or 99 percentile above the average so it's really children that do have weight related issues and specifically core morbidities, medical core morbidities, that are related to their weight loss. For example, diabetes, or sleep apnea, or liver cirrhosis, non-alcoholic static steatohepatitis, liver disease from their weight gain, or from their weight, so the program is designed not just to perform the procedure but it's really designed to initiate weight loss through behavior modification in the beginning to try to identify what are the factors that are causing or are a root cause of their weight gain or their inability to lose weight.

I think one of the reasons that I'm very excited about the adolescent bariatric surgery program is really the multidisciplinary nature of our program and the collaborative nature of the program that we have here. You meet with all of the specialists in a very or at least we're very fortunate and blessed that we have multiple pediatric specialties and specialists that can take care of almost every single aspect of a child here at the Mayo Clinic. So it's not just that they're coming here for the weight loss again they're coming here for a medical condition that needs to be treated and whether they need a pediatric ear, nose, and throat physician or whether they need a pediatric ophthalmologist or whether they need a pediatric neurosurgeon or really whatever it is that they need we're going to be able to provide that expertise so we can get them through their entire process from start to finish. And we've done this over the last five years formally as an adolescent bariatric program quite successfully.

You know, this has been controversial in the beginning, but we met with our Ethics Committee here at Mayo. We were tested quite a bit as far as what are our criteria — what are we planning to do, how are we going to follow the patients — and I'm really quite satisfied with the program that we've developed and again it's a mature program that's been here for several years. And one of the highlights is that we treat the entire patient. We treat the medical core morbidity, we meet the with the families and it's been one of the more satisfying aspects of the surgical care that I've provided.

You know initially, you don't think of yourself as going to staple someone's stomach and that'll be the procedure and that's it and what am I going to do for the patient. Really you get to know the families and get to know the kids and the remarkable changes that occur and really that changes in quality of life that they have that you see over the next six months, nine months, and year are remarkable. It's not that they've become a different person, but the very positive aspects of their life are brought forward and they really do have a positive change in quality of life. It's very satisfying.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions.

Oct. 18, 2023
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