Bariatric Surgery

Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, TX is a top surgical hospital, that has been designated as a Comprehensive Accredited Center in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, since 2007. This means you can expect the highest quality of care when undergoing weight loss surgery at our facility.

Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

Bariatric surgeons at Rio Grande Regional Hospital will help you choose the best option, whether it’s a removable band or a permanent procedure. Our full-time Bariatric Coordinator can give you more information on any of the weight-loss surgeries we perform, including:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. By rerouting a portion of the intestine, the surgeon is able to create a small stomach pouch that empties directly into the lower portion of the intestine, preventing calories from being absorbed. Roux-en-Y is considered the gold standard of weight-loss surgery. After surgery, many weight-related conditions (type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, high cholesterol) show rapid improvement.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy surgery. The surgeon creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach that is slightly larger than the pouch created during gastric bypass. This surgery is completed with a small incision and permanently reduces the size of the stomach by about 85 percent.
  • Lap band surgery. An adjustable gastric band creates a smaller stomach pouch, which slows digestion and allows the patient to feel full sooner and longer. The surgery is performed through a small incision. The band’s restriction can be adjusted by inflating or deflating, depending on the patient. Lap bands are removable.

Both Roux-en-Y and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries may be performed using the da Vinci©Si Robotic Surgical System. The da Vinci robot allows smaller incisions and greater precision for the surgeon, which may improve healing times.

Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Patients must meet certain guidelines to qualify for bariatric surgery. The main guidelines involve the body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight and height. You can use this BMI calculator to find out your BMI.
Eligible patients meet these criteria:

  • BMI greater than 40 


  • BMI between 35 and 39 with at least one medical condition related to obesity, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.
  • Failed to lose weight with diet and exercise 
  • Ability to understand the risks of surgery and changes that will need to be made afterward
  • No alcohol abuse or drug use

Bariatric Surgery Support

Obesity is a medically diagnosed health condition that can seriously diminish your quality of life. The Bariatric Surgery Program at Rio Grande Regional Hospital not only provides exceptional surgical care, but also offers pre and post-surgery support and educational programs. Learn about our Bariatric Support Groups.

To find out if weight-loss surgery is right for you, sign up to attend one of our Weight Loss Surgery Seminars or call 956-661-3560 for more information on our bariatric services.

Steps for Bariatric Surgery

Preparing for bariatric surgery is a lengthy process. Here is a general calendar of steps before surgery:

  • Attend our Weight Loss Surgery Seminar (to register to attend Support Group)
  • Consult with bariatric surgeon, who will refer you and set up appointments for a dietician and psychologist
  • If weight loss documentation is required, you would meet with a dietician or physician for 3 to 6 months and follow a diet and exercise program provided to you (4 months of supervised diet for Medicare patients; 6 months for Medicaid patients; varies for private insurance)
  • Dietary evaluation (one-time visit explaining your diet after surgery)
  • Psychological clearance
  • Medical clearance (The bariatric surgeon will give you orders to give to your family doctor)
  • Depending on you medical history, you may need clearance from a cardiologist and/or pulmonologist
  • Rule out any infection in your stomach by using a camera or with a breath test
  • When clearances are completed, your paperwork will be submitted for approval
  • Surgery can be scheduled after approval

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