When other weight-loss efforts have failed, consultation with a bariatric surgeon may be beneficial. Wyoming Medical Center offers multiple surgical and non-surgical options, and no one procedure is right for everyone. Your bariatric surgeon will discuss each option with you individually to find the best treatment.

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 problem AND
  • 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 offers comprehensive weight-loss surgery options including:

Surgical options


How it is 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 results in 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.


Surgical options

How it is 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.


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.

For more information

Bariatric surgeon Kevin Helling, M.D., offers additional information about various surgical options in the video below. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Helling, call (307) 577-4220. We also offer monthly support groups.

Kevin Helling, M.D.

Surgical options

Kevin Helling, M.D., grew up in Casper and graduated from Natrona County High School. He attended Hastings College in Nebraska where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. Dr. Helling then attended the University of Washington School of Medicine, graduating in 2007. Following medical school, he completed an Internship in General Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, followed by General Surgery residency at Stanford University. During residency at Stanford, Dr. Helling presented his research on advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques at local, regional, and national meetings. He also won several awards for laparoscopic surgical skills during his time as a resident. Following residency, Dr. Helling completed a fellowship at Harvard Medical School-Brigham and Women's Hospital in Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery. During his time in Boston, he served as a Clinical Instructor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

After completion of his training in 2015, Dr. Helling returned to his hometown and built the Bariatric Surgery program at Wyoming Medical Center. He is board certified in general surgery.

To learn more about surgical weight-loss options at WMC, call (307) 577-4220.