Patient Guide

The Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center offers patients both medical and surgical options for weight loss, suitable to your specific needs. After a thorough evaluation and assessment, our specialists might prescribe enrollment in the center's Weight Management Program. Other patients may be referred for medical weight loss before becoming surgical candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions

The entire multidisciplinary team at the Weight Loss Center has extensive experience and prides itself on staying at the forefront of surgical and medical treatments for obesity. The surgeons at the Weight Loss Center are board certified by the American College of Surgeons and are members of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Our registered dietitians have more than 10 years of experience in assessing patients' readiness for surgery. Our mental health professional has been working in the area of eating disorders and obesity for more than 15 years. The Weight Loss Center performs more than 40 surgical procedures a month.

Obesity has physical, psychological and social consequences; it is not a simple cosmetic concern. The health consequences of obesity include heart disease, diabetes, several types of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, musculoskeletal diseases, etc. Many of these conditions are commonly improved or resolved within the first 6 months after bariatric surgery.

Physicians at the Weight Loss Center ensure that every patient undergoes a thorough screening process using multiple assessments to determine if you are an appropriate surgical candidate. Minimum criteria are: your Body Mass Index (BMI, which is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared) is above 40, or above 35 with at least 2 obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and traditional weight loss methods have failed. For those not eligible for weight loss surgery, the Weight Loss Center offers a Weight Management Program that can medically treat obesity to help you lose weight and reach your desired weight.

The bariatric surgeries offered by the surgeons at the Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (both LapBandĀ® and Realize) and sleeve gastrectomy. Click here to learn more about each of these weight loss surgeries.

Most patients recover from bariatric surgery procedure without complications. You can expect to stay in the hospital from 1-3 days, in general, and depending on which procedure you have. Most people return to work 2-3 weeks after surgery.

Every surgical procedure, from a skin biopsy to a knee replacement, involves risk. Therefore, the decision to have weight loss surgery needs to be evaluated against your overall risk. Generally, the risks of remaining morbidly obese greatly outweigh the risks of weight loss surgery. Also, surgeons with more experience tend to have fewer complications.

Weight loss after surgery varies, depending on your age, your weight before surgery, your level of physical activity, your change in diet and the type of weight loss surgery you have. Multiple studies show excess weight loss at 12 months after surgery for the gastric bypass averages between 51 and 76%, and between 31 and 54% for the adjustable gastric band.1 Weight management programs offered by the Weight Loss Center can help you further reduce your weight towards your ideal weight.

1Tice JA et al., "Gastric Banding or Bypass: A Systematic Review Comparing the Two Most Popular Bariatric Procedures,", Am J of Med, 2008 (121):885-893

EWL is an acronym which stands for Excess Weight Loss. Your excess weight is determined by the amount of weight over your "ideal weight."

Weight loss surgery is considered successful when a person loses 50 percent of his or her excess weight. Although few people lose all of their excess weight, most lose a substantial amount of their excess weight and they do gain numerous health benefits, which may be lifesaving. It's important to remember that there are no guarantees with any method of weight loss, even surgical procedures. Success hinges on your ability to become part of the plan to support the surgical tool you've chosen and make lifestyle changes with exercise and dietary adjustments.

While the majority of people successfully lose significant amounts of weight, and maintain much of this weight loss for many years after surgery, it is possible to re-gain some or all of the lost weight. If you are committed to making permanent dietary and lifestyle changes, your chance of weight re-gain is minimized. A thorough understanding of, and commitment to, the lifestyle changes necessary to achieve and sustain substantial weight loss, will help prevent significant weight gain.