The Surgical Process

The Surgical Process

About Bariatric Surgery

Why Does Bariatric Surgery Work?

Choosing a Trusted Program

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Bariatric Program

Becoming a Patient


Click here to view a "60 Minutes" news story on Bypass Surgery:

"Gastric bypass surgery has long been an effective weapon in the battle against obesity, but could it also force type 2 diabetes into almost instant remission? If so, why aren't more people eligible for the operation? Lesley Stahl went looking for answers."

Bariatric surgery is a medically proven way to treat obesity and has helped many people live a more fulfilling, active and healthier life. But it is part of an entire process of change. The Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center is committed to high standards of quality for its surgical procedures as well as the complete lifestyle assistance that must accompany them. This section prepares you for weight loss surgery and explains the different surgical options available at our center.


Why Does Bariatric Sugery Work?

Many patients who are morbidly obese have tried to lose weight through diet change and exercise. But some patients are different, and even major lifestyle changes haven't worked. Bariatric surgery can be particularly effective because it decreases the amount of food a patient can intake or reduces the amount the body can absorb or metabolize. The result of these procedures and continued support is that, over time, patients can lose up to 50-60% of their excess body weight over 3-5 years from Lap-Band® gastric banding surgery and up to 60-80% over one year with gastric bypass surgery.


Choosing A Trusted Program

Bariatric surgery is safe and effective when performed by experienced weight loss surgeons. Dr. Gerald Cahill is the Medical Director of the Midwest Bariatric Institute and the Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center. He has performed more than 800 successful weight loss surgeries with no surgical mortality, a safety record that is critical with these high-risk procedures. Dr. Cahill has extensive experience and special interest in weight loss surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery.


The Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center has been certified a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS). The ASBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.


Our team has years of experience and specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques. But we offer more than surgical support alone. Together with a complete program including nutritional, exercise, and psychological support along with monthly groups and metabolic evaluation, the Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center uses a complete range of treatment for lasting weight loss success. The bariatric team includes surgeons, internists, pulmonologists, psychologists, nurses and dietitians who are trained and experienced in the care of surgical weight loss patients.


Questions To Consider When Choosing A Bariatric Program

Is your bariatric surgeon board-certified?

Yes. Dr Gerald Cahill is board-certified in general and colon-rectal surgery and has successfully performed more than 800 weight loss surgeries. The American College of Surgeons recommends that surgeons practicing bariatric surgery are certified within five years after completion of an accredited residency program in general surgery. This gives them an understanding of morbid obesity as a disease and an intimate knowledge of the various diseases and conditions that are worsened by obesity. It also helps develop their skills in patient education and selection and strengthens their commitment to long-term patient management and follow-up. Click here to learn more about Dr. Cahill.

Is your surgeon an expert in laparoscopic techniques?

Yes. We offer the Lap-Band® gastric banding system and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, both of which are done minimally invasively. Click here to learn more about the surgical procedures.


Does your bariatric program strictly adhere to rules for patient selection?

Yes. Before any surgery is considered, our experts evaluate each patient and make determinations for surgery based on their weight, health, diet, history of attempted weight loss, commitment and psychological factors as determined by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. All patients must go through this multidisciplinary approach.  Click to learn more about Who is a Candidate?


Is your facility and staff dedicated to bariatric care?

Yes. The Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center is a dedicated institute devoted to the treatment of obesity, staffed by experts who specialize in the procedures used to help you fight it. Click here to learn more about our team.


Will you work with me to gain insurance approval?

Yes. Insurance companies realize the health concerns and complications of obesity, and many provide coverage for weight-loss surgery. We'll work with you and your insurance company to determine your coverage, or if you're not covered, we'll help you find the financing you'll need. Click here to learn more.


What services do you offer to address psychological needs?

Our psychologists have special training for the specifics of weight related psychological issues and changes. We understand that weight loss can bring about many changes, and we help you prepare for those and create a healthy mindset for long-term success. Click here to learn more.


Does your program include registered dietitians?

Yes. As part of a comprehensive weight loss program, our dietitians will help you develop new eating habits for a healthier lifestyle. Your new diet will play a major part in your success, and our dietitians are there before and after your procedure to help answer questions and keep you on track. Click here to learn more.


Does your program offer support groups?

Yes. Support groups meet the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Little Company of Mary Hospital in the Lower Level Meeting Rooms in the Mary Potter Pavilion; 2850 West 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. Meeting Room A: Lap-Band; Meeting Room B: Gastric Bypass. All patients regardless of when you had your surgery and guests are invited to attend these meetings.


We feature guest speakers and a variety of topics at every meeting. Click here to learn more. 


At our annual Living Well Celebration event we honor all Little Company of Mary weight loss patients and their success stories.


How does your program help me maintain my weight loss?

At Little Company of Mary, we're here to help. We offer a fitness component to our medical weight loss program to institute a permanent healthy lifestyle change. This is done through combined resources of a physician, an approved commercial diet program, psychiatrist, and a personal trainer. Click here to learn more about our consulting staff.


Becoming A Patient


The first step is to attend one of our free seminars. Next, we encourage you to attend and participate in our free monthly support group meeting. You'll be able to talk with our weight loss specialists, as well as patients who are enjoying the benefits of our bariatric surgery program.


The next step is a personal, detailed consultation with our program surgeon to determine what kind of surgery is best for you. You will be informed about the surgical procedures available, the possible side effects and the ways in which your habits will have to change. A strong determination and commitment to changing your lifestyle partnered with education are the main tools any bariatric patient needs to be a truly successful candidate.

Click on the links at the bottom of the page to download the following pre-operative quiz and review the findings during your initial consultation with our program surgeon.


At that time, you'll also discuss.

  • Nutritional support
  • Exercise support  
  • Psychological support
  • Monthly support groups
  • Metabolic evaluation
  • Long-term follow-up support

Finally, our office will assist you to obtain a written insurance authorization and receive a comprehensive medical evaluation, which may include a pulmonary, cardiology and psychological clearance prior to surgery.



After surgery, your lifestyle will need to include a healthy diet, regular exercise and adherence to a comprehensive follow-up schedule. Within six to eight weeks, most patients return to a normal diet. You will need to chew your food well, eat slowly and refrain from drinking with your meals.  Although you should be able to eat most foods after surgery, some food intolerance may be experienced. Your hospital stay after gastric bypass surgery will range from two to three days or 24 hours for lap-band surgery, and you will need between one to six weeks off work following surgery depending on the amount of lifting and physical activity associated with your job and your surgeon's recommendation.


Click on the link below to download a brochure detailing our comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Program and the substantial weight loss you've been looking for.


Initial Consultation Packet

Bariatric Educational Manual

Informed Consent for Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

Informed Consent for Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Informed Consent for Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding Pre-operative Quiz

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y Pre-operative Quiz

Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Pre-operative Quiz 


Other Resources for Information

The Internet links below will direct you to sites dedicated to educating the public about weight-loss options and bariatric surgery.


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