Weight loss surgery in Riverside, California

At Riverside Community Hospital, we are here to help you begin your weight loss journey. For many people, sustained weight loss is hard to achieve. When this is the case, the Center for Surgical Weight Loss at our hospital is here to help you understand your options.

Weight loss surgery is not considered an easy fix. In fact, patients who undergo a bariatric procedure must be committed to certain lifestyle changes following surgery. We use surgery as a tool to kickstart weight loss. However, it's important to remember surgery requires a commitment to improved long-term eating and exercise practices.

If you are looking for a referral to a bariatric surgeon at Riverside Community Hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (951) 788-3463 for help finding a doctor.

How bariatric surgery helps with weight loss

Most people know bariatric surgery is a weight loss method, but not everyone understands how it works. There are several types of bariatric surgery, but they all aim to decrease overall food intake and facilitate weight loss. This is accomplished by reducing the size of the stomach and/or diverting food away from part of the small intestine to decrease the absorption of calories.

Benefits of surgical weight loss

Undergoing a bariatric procedure can benefit your life in more than one way. It not only acts as a form of rapid weight loss but also affects your overall health and emotional well-being. Some benefits include:

  • Decreased risk for heart disease
  • Improvement of obesity-related health problems
  • Increased fertility during childbearing years
  • Minimized joint pain
  • Relief from mental health problems, like depression, associated with improved body image

Requirements for weight loss surgery

To be considered a candidate for weight loss surgery, you must meet certain criteria. Bariatric surgery is geared toward individuals who are diagnosed with severe or morbid obesity. Obesity is measured using body mass index (BMI), which is a calculation that compares your height with your weight.

Bariatric surgery may be an option for patients that:

  • Have a BMI between 35 and 39.9—approximately 75 pounds or more of excess weight—and are experiencing obesity-related health concerns
  • Have a BMI of 40 or greater—approximately 100 pounds or more of excess weight

BMI Calculator

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.





Your BMI Score is:


Your BMI indicates your weight is in the underweight range. By gaining a few pounds, you may lower your chances of health problems.

Congratulations! Your BMI indicates that your weight is in the healthy range.

Your BMI indicates your weight is in the overweight range. To lower your chances of health problems, you may consider losing some weight.

Your BMI indicates your weight is in the obese range, which can have a significant impact on your health.

All information provided by this website is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a health care professional. No information provided in this site may be considered medical advice. The information may not be relevant for your individual situation and may be misinterpreted. HCA assumes no responsibility for how you use information obtained from this site. Before making any decisions regarding your health care, ask your personal physician.

Bariatric surgeries we perform

Our weight loss surgeons perform multiple types of bariatric surgeries, which allows us to individualize patient care by choosing the procedure that best meets your needs.

Find a bariatric surgeon

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a laparoscopic procedure that effectively reduces the overall size of the stomach. This is done by stapling the upper portion of the stomach, therefore separating it from the lower portion. Additionally, a part of the small intestine is rerouted. This allows the newly formed gastric pouch to bypass parts of the small intestine during digestion.

Calorie intake will significantly decrease through restricting the size of the stomach. The body will also absorb fewer calories by avoiding part of the small intestine.

Gastric bypass is a proven, highly effective weight loss procedure that has shown to have a significant impact on improving obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea. This surgery can lead to vitamin and mineral malabsorption, which is why patients need to take certain supplements following surgery.

In total, this procedure takes about three hours to perform and requires a one to two night hospital stay.

Sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is considered a restrictive procedure, which means the surgeon will remove a portion of the stomach, but the intestines remain in place. During surgery, the stomach is reformed into a sleeve shape that resembles a banana. This is accomplished by stapling and removing part of the stomach.

This is a laparoscopic procedure that is completed using a small incision. What remains after surgery is a narrow tube, or sleeve, with a 1 to 4 ounce capacity. Weight loss is facilitated by restricting the amount of calories taken in by reducing the stomach's ability to hold excess quantities of food.

Additionally, the majority of an appetite-inducing hormone, called Ghrelin, is removed during the procedure, which is produced primarily in the top of the stomach. This also facilitates weight loss through appetite reduction.

Sleeve gastrectomy reduces the stomach size by about 85 percent. For reference, a normal stomach can hold approximately three pints of food. After sleeve gastrectomy, it can only accommodate about 1 to 4 ounces. However, over time the stomach may begin to hold more food.

Following a sleeve gastrectomy, some patients may opt to have a sleeve gastrectomy turned into a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for additional weight loss. The procedure takes about one hour to complete and requires an overnight hospital stay.

Bilio-pancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS)

A BPD-DS procedure involves a sleeve gastrectomy, which removes part of the stomach, and rerouting of the intestines. This procedure is more complex but is proven to be a reliable, long-lasting weight loss solution.

Because the intestines are rerouted when food is consumed after surgery, it will not pass through the upper part of the small intestine. The procedure leaves only a few feet of intestine for digestion, which changes the way food is broken down and limits calorie absorption.

Typically, surgeons limit this procedure to patients with very high BMIs or experiencing health concerns related to obesity-related medical conditions. BPD-DS provides greater weight loss than sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. However, it does increase risk for malabsorption of vitamins and minerals.

Our bariatric surgeons discuss all benefits and risks associated with this procedure to determine if BPD-DS is the best option for each patient. The procedure takes about four to five hours to complete and requires a three to four night hospital stay.

Revision bariatric surgery

Revision bariatric surgery is performed on patients who have previously undergone some form of weight loss surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or gastric banding. Revision surgery may be recommended if a patient has experienced complications from surgery or has been unable to achieve significant weight loss from their initial procedure.

The type of revision surgery needed will vary depending on the initial bariatric procedure performed. It can help improve or repair a past procedure or change the type of procedure that was performed. For example, some patients may initially receive a gastric sleeve and then undergo revision surgery to convert to a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Revision surgeries can often be complex, which is why our experienced surgeons have undergone additional training to perform all types of revision procedures.

Minimally invasive options for weight loss surgery

Our hospital is equipped with some of the latest technologies in robot-assisted surgery. Some of our bariatric procedures are now performed using an advanced robot-assisted surgical system. This means our surgeons have undergone training to perform certain weight loss procedures using a special console that maneuvers surgical instruments with increased precision compared to traditional handheld tools. The surgeon remains in complete control of the console at all times.

Bariatric surgery patient journey

We want our patients to have a positive weight loss experience that allows them to live a healthier life for years to come. The Center for Surgical Weight Loss is supported by a team of knowledgeable healthcare providers who understand the importance of individualized support and encouragement throughout the weight loss journey.

We are here to help patients navigate their personalized weight loss plans with help from our:

  • Bariatric coordinator
  • Bariatric surgeons
  • Dieticians
  • Specialized nursing staff

Patients scheduled for weight loss surgery at the Center for Surgical Weight Loss must undergo an educational process prior to surgery. This ensures our patients fully understand the journey they are about to take and the changes they will have to make to their lifestyle.

Weight loss surgery: frequently asked questions

Choosing to have bariatric surgery is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. There are many preoperative and postoperative factors to consider. Below, we have outlined questions we commonly hear from our patients.

If I have a pre-existing health condition, like Type 2 diabetes, does it make surgery more risky?

Certain conditions can increase your surgical risk. However, most patients find that the potential benefits of weight loss surgery outweigh any risks. If you are scheduled for surgery, it is important to follow all instructions provided by your surgeon about managing your condition prior to surgery.

One of the benefits of weight loss surgery includes the potential to improve the effects of health conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

When can I resume exercising after surgery?

Exercise will start right away. You will begin by walking in the hospital while you recover from surgery. The key to post-surgical exercise is to start slow. We recommend low-impact activities for the first month and encourage you to build strength and endurance slowly over several weeks.

Do not swim until your surgical wounds have healed.

When can I return to work after surgery?

Most patients will return to work two to four weeks following surgery. Some people are able to work from home as soon as one week after surgery. You may experience low energy levels for one to two weeks due to the reduction in calorie intake. For most people, we see that energy is regained once they begin eating soft food.

How much post-surgical pain should I expect?

Most patients will experience some pain after surgery and will take oral pain medication for several days. The majority of our patients do not consider pain to be a major concern during their recovery.

Will I need to take vitamins and/or minerals after surgery?

After weight loss surgery, you will need to take a multivitamin for life. In addition, you may require higher doses of certain vitamins or minerals, such as iron, calcium or vitamin D. This will be dependent upon the type of procedure you receive and personal health factors. It is important to have blood drawn each year to identify any nutritional deficiencies.