Weight-Loss Surgery

419 S. Washington, Suite 200
Casper, WY 82601

phone (307) 577-4220
fax (307) 235-0931
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Obesity is a disease affecting more than 72 million Americans. In Wyoming, 37 percent of adults are classified as overweight and 28 percent of adults are obese. Obesity is caused by a variety of environmental, genetic and metabolic factors.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Arthritis
  • Acid reflux or other gastrointestinal disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Depression and low self-esteem

Surgical Treatment Available

When non-surgical weight-loss efforts have failed, consultation with a bariatric surgeon may be beneficial. Multiple surgical options exist and no one single operation is perfect for everyone.

Weight-Loss Surgery
'Our presence as a regional referral center for bariatric surgery and other specialty services continues to grow,' said Kevin Helling, M.D., medical director of bariatric surgery said.

Your bariatric surgeon will discuss each option with you individually to find the best treatment.

WMC has been accredited as a Comprehensive Bariatric Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Body Mass Index

To qualify for weight-loss surgery, you must have:

  • BMI of 40 or greater, or more than 100 pounds overweight,OR
  • BMI of 35 or greater and at least one obesity related health problemAND
  • Inability to achieve sustained healthy weight loss despite prior weight-loss efforts.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control provide the following table regarding the standard BMI categories for adults. Determine your BMI using the CDC’s Body Mass Index Calculator.

  • Below 18.5 = Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9 = Normal
  • 25.0 – 29.9 = Overweight
  • 30.0 and Above = Obese

Surgical Options

Wyoming Medical Center now offers these types of weight-loss surgeries.

Weight-Loss Surgery
Kevin Helling, M.D., a bariatric surgeon, was born in Laramie and raised in Casper.


How it’s done: Surgeons create an egg-sized stomach pouch while bypassing a portion of the small intestine. It also drastically diminishes hormones causing hunger and high blood sugar in diabetics.

Advantages: Gastric bypass causes the greatest weight loss and the most rapid and significant resolution of weight-related illness. Most patients typically lose 70 to 80 percent of excess body weight.

Drawbacks: Patients are committed to taking daily vitamins for the rest of their lives and having periodic blood tests to check vitamin levels. Because the intestine is “re-routed,” complications can occur including leakage at the connection sites, bowel obstruction and ulcer development.


Weight-Loss Surgery
Kevin Helling, M.D., a bariatric surgeon, was born in Laramie and raised in Casper.

How it’s done: Surgeons remove 80 to 90 percent of the stomach, leaving behind a small sleeve resembling the sleeve of a shirt. The small, thin stomach limits food intake while removing the portion of the stomach with most of the hunger hormone cells.

Advantages: Like gastric bypass, patients have a decreased appetite and diabetic remission occurs rapidly. Since there is no re-routing of the GI tract, risk of post-operative complications decrease. Patients typically lose about 60 to 70 percent of excess body weight.

Drawbacks: Rare complications can occur including narrowing of the sleeve, leakage or acid reflux.


Certain less common weight-loss operations may be appropriate for some patients and can be discussed individually with your weight loss surgeon. Revisionary surgery for patients who have already undergone weight loss operations can also be discussed with your weight loss surgeon on an individual basis.


If you do have surgery, you have Wyoming’s most comprehensive medical system at your service. You will be moved after surgery to our Jerry Behrens MD Orthopedic, Spine and General Surgery Center on the fourth floor of the McMurry West Tower. The center features 25 private patient rooms, three bariatric patient rooms, an orthopedic rehabilitation gym and therapeutic tub training area. This comprehensive surgical floor is designed to centralize treatments and shorten recovery times. Learn more about our surgical services here.

Free Weight-Loss Seminar

Dr. Kevin Helling offers free weight-loss seminars to talk about the different weight-loss options at Wyoming Medical Center. Register for one of our free seminars in Casper online, or call (307) 577-4220. We also offer monthly support groups for patients who have had surgery or need weight-loss support. Learn more here.

In this video, Dr. Kevin Helling, bariatric surgeon, explains the surgical options for weight loss available at Wyoming Medical Center.

For New Patients

Once your appointment is scheduled, we will mail or email the patient forms (at right) to you. Please complete these forms carefully. Make sure to list all of your current prescription and over-the-counter medications, specifying the dosage and how often you take them. This information is written on the prescription label. If you need help completing the forms, please arrive 20 minutes early so our staff can assist you. Please bring these completed forms, a photo ID, insurance cards and current medication list to your appointment.

Payment Information

Payment is expected prior to service. We accept cash, personal checks, VISA, Mastercard and Discover. We are happy to submit medical claims to your insurance provider. Payment arrangement options should be discussed prior to your appointment. For billing and payment questions, please call (307) 237-5026. (Please note that appointments with Dr. Helling are billed through Wyoming Surgical Associates. Call (307) 577-4220 with questions.)

Insurances Accepted

The Wyoming Endocrine and Diabetes Clinic is in network with the following insurance agencies. We will attempt to work with other agencies.

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • United Healthcare
  • Cigna (formerly Great West)
  • First Choice of the Midwest
  • First Choice Health (Formerly Health InfoNet)
  • Imagine Health (WISE Network)
  • Wyoming Worker’s Compensation
  • Federal Worker’s Compensation

Financial obligation

Commercial insurance

Commercial insurance is insurance you get through your employer or on the exchange, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield. For elective surgeries, such as bariatric surgery, your deductible and out-of-pocket limit must be met BEFORE the procedure.

Once you decide to get the surgery, you will be assigned a patient financial counselor at Wyoming Medical Center. Your counselor will call your insurance company to determine your deductible and out-of-pocket obligations and give you an estimate on how much you will likely have to pay.

Once the surgery is scheduled, the counselor will call your insurance company again to determine how much you will have to pay BEFORE your surgery.


Medicare and Medicaid have different criteria for covering bariatric surgery. A representative from Dr. Helling’s office will go over this with you.


Contact Perry Propp, patient financial counselor at Wyoming Medical Center.

  • Phone: (307) 577-4308
  • Email: ppropp@wyomingmedicalcenter.org

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