Bariatric Surgery

A passion for living

Obesity affects more than one-third of adults in the United States. The resulting medical complications affect all areas of the body, including lung disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. Along with higher health care costs, obese patients miss more days of work due to illness and have a shorter life expectancy.

Mercyhealth offers many programs for weight management, and bariatric surgery is now recognized as the most effective method for treating severe obesity over time. The risk of staying obese is often higher than the risk of surgery.

Bariatric surgery close to home

The Mercyhealth Bariatric Center offers patients a quality-centered approach to address obesity. With all services provided in Rockford, patients do not need to travel long-distances for pre-op, surgery or post-op care.

Weight loss help

The Mercyhealth Bariatric Center offers a number of choices for weight loss. Services available include:

  • Medically supervised weight loss,
  • Nutrition counseling,
  • Full range of bariatric surgeries are offered including laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, and laparoscopic Duodenal switch.
  • Body contouring surgery for patients who have achieved their weight loss goals.

Which procedure to use is decided by the surgeon and patient together, and is based on preference, as well as presence of the other health issues.

Specialized team approach

We provide a multidisciplinary, team-approach for our personalized program involving dietary, emotional and behavioral treatment combined with bariatric surgery. Our medical director leads the team to provide the best possible patient experience. The rest of the team includes:

  • A bariatric surgery coordinator who works with the patient throughout the process to help educate the patient, facilitate the patient’s schedule, and provide a smooth experience,
  • Dietitians who help the patient learn new eating habits that increase the likelihood of long-term success,
  • A nurse practitioner who manages the medical/pharmacological aspect of medical supervised weight loss,
  • A clinical psychologist who works with the patient to address emotional issues associated with obesity,
  • A financial advisor who helps the patient with insurance and payment issues, and
  • Plastic surgeons.

Cardiologists and endocrinologists also work closely with the bariatric surgery team to address issues that may impact surgical outcomes, such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Bariatric surgery at Mercyhealth

All pre-op, surgery and post-op care is provided on our Mercyhealth Rockton Campus, 2400 N. Rockton Ave. in Rockford, IL. By using advanced laparoscopic surgical equipment, the patient has a shorter recovery time than surgeries done through a larger incision. The hospital features dedicated bariatric surgery operating, as well as private rooms designed specifically for obese patients.

Candidates for the program are obese adult patients who have:

  • Excess body weight over 100 pounds above ideal weight,
  • A body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or
  • A BMI greater than 35 with other health problems such as:
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Chronic back pain
    • Infertility
    • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (Fatty liver)
    • Leg vein damage
    • Severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or
    • Severe social/quality of life issues (depression, inability to carry out daily activities).

After bariatric surgery, a patient may expect an improvement or resolution of these issues:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • GERD (acid reflux) and heartburn
  • Bladder control problems
  • Leg vein damage
  • Depression
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Gout
  • Migraines

Free information events

Is weight loss surgery right for you? Consideration for bariatric surgery at Mercyhealth begins with attendance at one of our free information events. During the session, bariatric surgeon Igal Breitman, MD, will discuss the following information specifically related to bariatric surgery:

  • Criteria used to determine if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery
  • Goals and benefits of the surgery
  • Required lifestyle changes
  • Potential risks and complications

For questions or more information, please call (815) 971-BARI (2274).

Click to view upcoming Bariatric Information Events.

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Services and Treatments


Mercyhealth Bariatric Center—Rockton

2300 N. Rockton Ave.
Rockford, IL 61103

Phone: (815) 971-2274


VIDEO: Mercyhealth Bariatric Program Info Session with Igal Breitman, MD

VIDEO: Igal Breitman, MD – Bariatric Surgery

VIDEO: What is bariatric surgery?

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