The 6 Key Factors for Choosing the Best Bariatric Surgery Center

In Sacramento, CA

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Choosing the best bariatric surgery program is key to your bariatric success. But, it can be extremely difficult picking the right one. So, we are going to help you figure out exactly how to make the best choice.

But, before we do, let’s understand where you are in the process…

  • Have you just begun researching bariatric surgery?
  • Have you done some research but still unsure what to look for?
  • Or, are you simply having a hard time understanding what the best choice would be?

If any of these are you, you have come to the right place! So, let’s not waste another second, here are the 6 key factors you must consider when choosing a bariatric program in Sacramento, CA.

1. The bariatric surgery center has a great reputation

Do some research online, look for all bariatric centers and bariatric surgeons in the Sacramento Area. Here are some of the top things to consider:

  • Google:  Google has one of the most credible review systems on the internet. We strongly suggest checking how the center is reviewed through Google Reviews.
  • Website:  This is an important one. Review the Bariatric Program Page on each bariatric program website you search for. Make sure they offer exactly what you are looking for.
  • Program Reputation:  A good reputation is a sign the center is well-respected and that patients are satisfied with their care. Have they been recognized by institutions or even received awards for their patient care?
  • Your Network:  Talk to friends or family who have had bariatric surgery, or know people who have.
  • Testimonials:  You cannot get more honest feedback than from prior patients who have gone through the journey themselves. Read testimonials from people have experienced the bariatric care from the bariatric surgery center you are thinking about going to.

*Bonus Tip:  Thoroughly review the Bariatric Program Page on each website. How detailed and integrated does the program look? Do they prioritize speaking about themselves and the surgery they will perfom, rather than focusing on exactly how they will guide you towards becoming a bariatric success? How well do they understand what you are going through? The bariatric program page can be a real reflection on the support and guidance you will receive. Simply put, you can tell how much a program truly cares for their patients by how much information they are willing to give for free on their website.

2. The bariatric surgery center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons

Being accredited by the American College of Surgeons is a mark of quality you can trust. This independent professional organization establishes rigorous standards for bariatric surgery centers, not only in Sacramento, CA but across the entire nation.

So, as a prospective bariatric patient, what should you look for? First, inquire whether the bariatric center has achieved a Level 5 Center of Excellence Certification. Why is this so important? Because this certification is a prestigious accolade granted only to centers that uphold the highest standards in safety and produce exceptional outcomes for patients. This is a critical step to ensure you choose an outstanding center to support you on your bariatric journey.

3. The bariatric surgery center has an experienced surgeon & staff

Ultimately, when undergoing any surgical operation, you want the most experienced and successful surgical expert in charge of your health. You want your health in the hands of the surgeon who has the most experience and the best outcomes, period.

Now, here are some quick questions to ask to gain valuable information on your surgeon’s experience level:

  • How long have you been practicing medicine?
  • How long have you been performing bariatric surgeries?
  • Do you have experience in other advanced operations beyond bariatrics?
  • What is your experience & expertise in treating people suffering from obesity?
  • What pre-operative evaluations & post-operative support programs do you offer to ensure optimal patient care & long-term success?

What else shows in-depth medical and patient experience? If you find a surgeon who also excels in other general surgical operations. This is a rare find. But why is this important? A proven track record of success in other advanced procedures and patient care often represents a much deeper understanding and experience in medicine and patient care. The surgeons and staffs multi-faceted experience often enhances the value and level of care they can offer their bariatric patients. So, do they only perform bariatric surgery or do they have a well-integrated program and specialize in many other surgeries. Think about it, what if you ever need a gallbladder surgery or hernia surgery. Wouldn’t you rather stick with a doctor you know and trust instead of going through the pain of now finding someone else who doesn’t truly understand your physiology.

So, you have found a surgeon versed in many areas. But, you might be wondering; how do I verify if a center has a high success rate and excellent safety outcomes? The bariatric practice should provide specific data during your consultation, but if they don’t, do not hesitate to ask.

You may be asking, ‘Are you sure it is okay for me to ask for this information upfront?’ Absolutely, in fact it should be encouraged! The advantage of American College of Surgeons-Certified Centers is that they are required to report their data.

What does this mean for you, the prospective patient? You have the power to inquire about the center’s outcomes and complication rates which enables full transparency into the practice you are considering. Here are a few specific data points we recommend you asking about:

  • Death Rate
  • Complication Rate
  • Average excess weight lost
  • Amount of weight loss maintained 5-years after surgery

*Bonus Tip: The best centers will not wait for you to ask; they will provide this level of transparency very early on in the process. They should be proud of what they have been able to do for their patients over the years they have been practicing.


4. The bariatric surgery center provides integrated and comprehensive care

Let us discover the truth about weight loss surgery Vs. bariatric care:

We are all aware of those who travel to Mexico for a "quick surgical fix." Let’s make one thing clear, that is not bariatric care. In that case the quest for an effective and safe operation becomes a gamble, usually with the goal of receiving the operation faster or even cheaper (although despite what they say online, usually the entire process does not end up being any cheaper).

Here is the secret, or perhaps a truth that many looking for the "quick fix" may not want to hear, surgery alone is just one of the many factors of what truly leads to a bariatric success. This is why the center who provides your care must have an in-depth fully integrated program that provides professional guidance & peer-to-peer support.

Weight loss surgery vs the gold standard in bariatric care. These two are worlds apart, two separate things. The best bariatric care programs in the nation provide a comprehensive and integrated experience that guides patients every step of the way. You may be wondering, does it really matter which path you choose, weight loss surgery or bariatric care?

Well, consider this: while some surgery-first practices boast a mere 50% success rate, the top bariatric programs in the nation proudly achieve a staggering 90%+ success rate. Remember, often times the surgery first centers who perform weight loss surgery have increased risk as well.

Okay, so you realize your center you should provide exceptional bariatric care, but what key elements should their program include?

Great question, thought you would never ask!

Their program should include the following:

  • Pre-Surgery Support:Monthly doctor appointments, guidance, & support
  • Post-Surgery Support:Lifelong care through your doctor & consistent follow up
  • Peer-to-Peer Support:Support groups, and connection with people going through the same thing you are
  • Doctor-Patient Relationship:Personable, supportive, honest, and accountable
  • Nutritional Support:The doctor should prioritize your nutrition; you should also have access to a nutritionist directly or through your new bariatric community.
  • Behavioral Support:It takes many behavioral and habit changes to achieve your weight loss goals in a way you can maintain for life, make sure this is a key part of the program.

5. The bariatric surgery center provides a personal and supportive one-on-one doctor-patient relationship

As we stated above the Doctor-Patient relationship is key to your success. Unfortunately, in a world teeming with centers claiming excellence, many choose to delegate certain aspects of your precious bariatric journey to physician assistants or even nutritionists. Mind you, nurse practitioners, PA’s, nutritionists, are undoubtedly a critical part of any great program, but nothing should replace the relationship you have with your doctor.

Imagine: Your bariatric doctor serving as a leader in your bariatric voyage, your trusted guide through the twists and turns of this life-transforming path. Picture them as your "bariatric general care doctor," tirelessly working alongside you to ensure your lifelong bariatric success and happiness.

This should provide a vision into the relationship you should look to acquire with your bariatric surgeon. Then you can focus on the important relationship you will have with your new bariatric support team…

6. The bariatric surgery center provides ongoing peer-to-peer support

The only thing just as important as the doctor-patient relationship is ongoing peer-to-peer support. The support of people who not only understand what you are going through but have been through it themselves. This is invaluable. Access to high quality and consistent support groups is one of the most important aspects of great bariatric care. Many people even develop lifelong relationships with some of their peers during this process.

Let us stress an important point, you do not need to go through this journey alone, in fact you shouldn’t. Far too many programs will promise a lot upfront, but ultimately fail to provide the essential support around you, you truly need as you move through their program. You deserve a family of peers surrounding you, congratulating you after a win, and picking you up when you hit a road block.

Imagine this for one moment: You are going into surgery in 2 weeks, you are undoubtedly excited but you also have some fear. You decide to sign into a bariatric support group you have access to as part of the program. You end up speaking with a wonderful mother of 3 who had the surgery 2 years ago. She gives you some much needed heart felt support, and practical guidance you desperately needed. This relieves a huge load of stress off your shoulders. You can breathe. Hours after the support group, she reaches out to you individually to check up on you. You are now in a completely different mindset going into your surgery, you are excited, you are ready, ready to change your life…

Do you get it now? In the best programs this is happening constantly. You need a program that includes this level of community as a cornerstone of what they do.

As we say at our bariatric center, create a bariatric family so strong around you, you virtually guarantee success!


Once you've considered all of these factors we mentioned above, you'll be able to choose the best bariatric surgery center for your needs in Sacramento, CA.

We also gathered a few more resources that may help support you in your decision or give you more information on the journey ahead. You will find the resources down below.

Have you already done research online, but simply want to speak with the most experienced Bariatric Surgeon in Sacramento? We have some more information below about the best no pressure and informal way to do just that.

Thank you for reading. More importantly, thank you for allowing us to be one small part of your journey towards a new life!

About the Author:


Dr. Steve Patching

  • Bariatric Medical Director | Advanced Robotic & Bariatric Surgeon
  • 1st Bariatric Center in the US Certified by ASMBS
  • Former Chief of Surgery
  • Bariatric Center of Excellence
  • Founder, The Bariatric Wellness Program

Should You Seek Bariatric Care:

Are you still having a hard time understanding if bariatric care is right for you? The first thing to remember is you do not need to make the decision on the surgery now. Do not let any center make you feel pressured. This is not a sprint, and it should go at the pace you are comfortable with not theirs. Right now, it’s your job to simply gather more information from the experts in your area. Go from researching online to speaking with a bariatric program in person. This is exactly why we created the Bariatric Informational Seminar.

Learn more about the most comprehensive, successful Bariatric Wellness Program in Sacramento and Bay Area. This program is designed specifically for people who are ready to transform their lives through lasting improved health & weight loss. Led by the most experienced bariatric surgeon in Sacramento, Dr. Steve Patching.


Bariatric Informational Seminar:

Learn more today! Attend our Informational Bariatric Seminar. The best no pressure way to learn more about bariatric care. Maybe bariatrics is right for you, or maybe it isn’t, either way you won’t find that out online. So, if you are considering bariatric care at all, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a Bariatric Informational Seminar.

This is an informal, no pressure meeting where we will go over the benefits, myths, and most important factors of great bariatric care. Dr. Steve Patching will be there to answer any questions you have and help you decide if bariatric surgery is right for you. You will be joined by your peers also wanting to learn more about the process. Let us figure this it out together! Give us a call or request an appointment below.

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