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Bariatrics and Weight Loss Surgery

For those struggling with excess weight and obesity, weight loss treatment offers renewed hope for long-term success. Alton Memorial Hospital and BJC Medical Group offer a comprehensive bariatrics program for permanent weight management that includes gastric sleeve surgery, nutrition counseling, physical activity training and other weight loss support services to promote your lifelong wellness.

We provide our bariatric services from the comfort and convenience of the Alton Memorial Hospital campus. Take the first step toward permanent weight loss by contacting our registered medical assistants to learn more about our comprehensive program.

Patient Experience Guide

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is the most commonly performed weight loss surgery today. This surgery permanently removes about 85% to 90% of your stomach, leaving a banana-size section that looks like a sleeve. The procedure helps limit the amount of food you can eat and resets your fat storage set point at a much lower level, but does not alter the absorption of nutrients in your digestive path.

BJC Medical Group’s expert bariatric surgeon performs the gastric sleeve procedure using laparoscopic surgery, a minimally-invasive technique. Using just a few small incisions rather than a large one, the procedure enables you to heal faster with lower risk of complications than open surgery.

 Learn more about laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery.

Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Compared to other types of bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve offers several advantages:

  • On average, patients lose 50% to 80% of their excess body weight.
  • After 10 years, patients have maintained weight loss of more than 50% of excess body weight.
  • Since the food you eat follows the normal digestive path, your body can still absorb nutrients from food. That means less reliance on nutritional supplements compared to other types of surgeries.
  • Many patients see a positive impact on several obesity-related health conditions, such as depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Am I a Candidate for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight. BMI is a major factor in your eligibility for weight-loss surgery, though there are other criteria, too. The criteria for bariatric surgery include:

  • BMI of 40 or higher
  • BMI of 35 to 39 with an obesity-related condition such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or sleep apnea
  • Previous attempts at a structured dietary weight-loss program for at least six months without success
  • No diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or cirrhosis of the liver
  • Age 18 to 70

Please use our BMI calculator to measure your body mass index. 

Comprehensive Weight Loss Services

At Alton Memorial Hospital, we take a comprehensive approach to weight loss. To ensure your ultimate success, we provide several important support services:

  • Nutritional Support: Our dietitians offer focused, one-on-one counseling for our weight-loss patients. Your first visit, usually about an hour long, is uninterrupted time for you to get to know each other and discuss your current diet, physical activity and other lifestyle issues. This will include evidence-based education and mindful eating techniques.
  • Behavioral Support: We know your weight loss journey can sometimes be an emotional one. As part of your ongoing treatment, we offer psychological and other lifestyle coaching to help support you for the duration of your treatment. This is an important part of the program, ensuring you achieve your health and wellness goals.
  • Physical Therapy: To reach your personal goals, the professionals of the Human Motion Institute enlist a comprehensive, leading-edge approach to evaluation and rehabilitation so you may improve function as quickly and safely as possible. Located on the Alton Memorial Hospital campus, our rehabilitation team offers acute and outpatient rehabilitation. Our team approach covers several areas of therapy, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and sports rehabilitation.
  • Plastic Surgery: Some patients will elect to have a plastic surgery consultation as part of the weight loss plan. Our plastic surgeons perform a wide array of body procedures to contour the abdomen, stomach, arms and legs. The specialists carefully evaluate the unique attributes of each patient in order to offer the body-contouring treatment plan that best suits each individual case.

What Can I Expect?

If you are interested in gastric sleeve surgery, you can expect multiple steps in the process:

  1. Phone Consultation: You can call and speak directly to one of our registered medical assistants who will give you additional information.
  2. Schedule Appointment: Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Musielak at 618-462-3191
  3. Form Completion: Once Dr. Musielak reviews the referral form, qualified patients will be contacted and asked to fill out some initial paperwork.
  4. Pre-Surgery Consultations: There will be a few appointments necessary prior to the surgery, including:
    1. Initial consultation
    2. Pre-bariatric testing required for insurance pre-approval:
      • Psychiatric evaluation
      • Nutrition evaluation
      • Diagnostics
    3. Secondary consultation
    4. Following insurance approval, a pre-operative consultation
  5. Surgery: The selected weight loss surgery is performed with Dr. Musielak at Alton Memorial Hospital. The surgery typically takes about two hours and patients usually remain at the hospital for two days.
  6. At Home: For the next eight weeks, eating is advanced in a strict process that builds from a liquid diet to solid food to allow for proper healing of the stomach. An easy to follow customized Nutrition Guide will be provided for patients.  Eating healthy and performing moderate exercise are very important to the success of the surgery.
  7. Follow Up Consultations: There will be follow up appointments during the next year with the nurse and Dr. Musielak at regular intervals to ensure that your weight loss is proceeding as planned and there are no complications.
  8. Additional Support: To ensure continued success of your weight loss, there will be annual follow-up appointments with Dr. Musielak and you may attend monthly support group meetings.

Contact Us for Weight Loss Treatment


For more information or to schedule an appointment: 618-463-7833.

To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery, please complete your information, below. A member of our team will contact you within the next two business days to answer any questions and set up a personal consultation.

Find a doctor or make an appointment: 618.463.7220 or 800.392.0936
General Information: 618.463.7311
Alton Memorial Hospital
One Memorial Drive
Alton, Illinois 62002

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