Bariatric Surgery Program

Led by Medical Director Dr. Arundathi Rao, the Sarasota Memorial Bariatric and Metabolic Health Center provides a comprehensive program to help patients lose weight safely and resolve many of the health conditions associated with obesity, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and lipid disorders like high cholesterol or triglycerides. 

Did you know that 80 percent of our patients have reported that bariatric surgery reversed their diabetes, compared to the national average* of 62 percent, and another 80 percent of our patients reported that their sleep apnea issues disappeared after weight-loss surgery, compared to the national average* of 65 percent.

In addition to offering the latest technologies in weight-loss surgery and the best surgical expertise in the region, our knowledgeable and experienced team guides program participants during every step of their journey toward better health. We offer pre-surgery counseling and provide long-term follow-up care and support to ensure the best outcome and lasting weight-loss results. For patients who do not undergo surgery, our Medical Weight Loss Program builds comprehensive weight loss plans unique to each patient’s needs and demands based on each patient’s individual health and lifestyle. 

Program Highlights

  • Personal approach: Sarasota Memorial’s bariatrics team tailors each patient’s treatment plan to fit the patient’s needs, goals, and lifestyle.
  • Nationally accredited: The SMH program is accredited as a higher level “Comprehensive Center” under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. The designation recognizes that the program meets the highest national standards for patient care and that its surgeons have the specialized skills, experience and successful outcomes to manage patients with complex disease.
  • Minimally invasive surgery: Procedures are accomplished using da Vinci-assisted robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery, which allow for less invasive procedures with shorter recovery times.
  • Board certified: All SMH bariatric surgeons are board certified in general surgery.
  • Popular procedures: We offer the most popular bariatric surgery procedures for treating obesity, including revisional surgery.
  1. Gastric Bypass: The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery reduces stomach size to that of a walnut and attaches it directly to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing a large part of the stomach by stapling it shut. This limits how much you can eat and what your body can absorb. Click here to learn more and hear from a patient who regained her health with a gastric bypass.
  2. Gastric Sleeve: Also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, this procedure surgically creates a smaller, banana-size stomach, and the unused part of the stomach is removed. With no rerouting, food and nutrients are fully absorbed. Click here to learn more and hear from a patient whose gastric sleeve procedure gave him a new lease on life.
  3. Revisional Bariatric Surgery & Continuation of Care: Patients often choose revisional surgery to reverse a previous gastric procedure or to repair a failing (or failed) gastric lap band. In some cases, this is done so that a different bariatric procedure can be performed when patients have not gotten the desired results from the initial surgery. Click here to learn more and hear from a patient whose revision made a world of difference for her health.
  • Results exceed national averages: Sarasota Memorial patients report dramatic improvements in their obesity-related health conditions (comorbidities), results that exceed national averages* in the major comorbidity categories: sleep apnea, gerd, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes.
  • Convenient location: The journey to reaching your health and weight goals often requires regular appointments before and after weight-loss surgery. SMH’s Bariatric and Metabolic Health Center is centrally located near I-75 in Sarasota, making it easier to keep appointments and to keep your weight-loss success on track.
  • Full range of services: Sarasota Memorial’s Bariatric and Metabolic Health Center delivers a comprehensive program with the region’s best surgical expertise, outstanding patient support and a variety of non-surgical options for those who do not qualify for weight-loss surgery.
  • Pre- and post-operative education and support: Sarasota Memorial hosts ongoing, free “Meet the Surgeon” seminars, where you can meet the bariatric team and find out more about your weight-loss surgery options. (For seminar information and to pre-register, call 941-917-4753.) We also offer regular support group meetings for those planning to have bariatric surgery and those who have already had a gastric procedure.

Who Qualifies for Bariatric Surgery?

Weight-loss surgery is not the perfect fit for everyone looking to lose weight. But if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater (or 35 to 39, if you have a diagnosed, obesity-related health problem), and have tried multiple times to lose the weight on your own with little success, then surgery can be a safe and effective tool to achieve sustained weight loss and reverse related health risks.

Find out if you qualify

To begin, please use this calculator provided by the CDC to determine your BMI. Return to this page and fill out the form below:

Physicians recommend bariatric surgery when:

  • All other attempts at weight loss have failed.
  • Health conditions have created a medical need for surgery.
  • Surgery seems to be the only option to achieve necessary weight loss.
  • The patient is physically and mentally stable enough for major surgery.


*These are the averages among bariatric surgery centers in the U.S. that supply data to the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), which sets national accreditation standards for the industry’s surgical centers.