Bariatric Surgery

Count on the experienced bariatric surgeons at Essentia Health to help you reach a healthy weight and improve your quality of life with safe and effective weight-loss surgery. This service is available in Duluth, and Park Rapids, Minnesota.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery alters your digestive system to help you lose weight by:

  • Limiting the amount of food your stomach can hold so you can’t eat as much
  • Reducing food absorption by shortening or bypassing part of your small intestine

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Types of Surgery

Essentia Health offers several types of weight-loss surgery including:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – Creates a small stomach pouch and attaches it directly to the middle part of your small intestine; reduces food absorption because food bypasses the upper small intestine
  • Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy – Takes out 80 percent of your stomach and forms the remaining portion into a tubular pouch or “sleeve” that holds less food; decreases the hormones that cause you to feel hungry
  • Revisional bariatric surgery – Modifies or repairs previous bariatric surgery
  • LAP-BAND® adjustments

Do I Qualify for Surgery?

You may qualify for weight-loss surgery if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. You may also qualify if you have a BMI of 35 to 39, and at least one condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea, that may improve with treatment for obesity. Calculate your BMI by entering your weight and height into the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery’s BMI calculator.

Your Essentia weight management team also will consider your physical and mental health and whether you’ve had trouble losing weight with other weight-loss plans.

Benefits of Weight Loss

Long-term weight loss through surgery, lifestyle, and eating changes can increase your self-esteem, energy and ability to move. It can also prevent or improve weight-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea.

Patient Stories

Learn how bariatric surgery has changed the lives of some of our patients.

Multidisciplinary Care

Count on Essentia to help you achieve the best possible outcome from your surgery. Your weight-loss team includes:

  • Bariatric surgeons – Discuss your health conditions, review your progress, plan and perform your surgery
  • Nurses – Consult, coordinate, and support your care and progress
  • Registered dietitians – Offer nutritional counseling, education, and resources
  • Exercise specialists and physical therapists – Create an exercise plan for you and your physical needs
  • Behavioral and mental health providers – Help you identify and focus on your weight loss goals

Online Surgery Seminar

If you plan on having your surgery in Duluth, Minnesota, you can watch our bariatric surgery informational seminar online.

After viewing the seminar, complete our online weight-loss registration form. Once you submit this required form, we will call you to schedule an appointment.

Does Insurance Cover Surgery?

You will meet with an Essentia insurance specialist at your first appointment to see if your insurance benefits cover bariatric surgery. Your insurance company may require that you have your surgery at an approved Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) facility.

Follow-Up Care & Support

Our goal is to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss. Your care team will provide guidance on diet, activity, and healing after bariatric surgery.

Connect with other patients at an Essentia weight-loss surgery support group. Share experiences, exchange advice, and get encouragement.

Make an Appointment

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Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm