Surgery for Morbid Obesity

Informational/Education Packet


Morbid obesity is defined as being 100 pounds or more above your ideal body weight. The appendix section at the back of this pamphlet lists tables for Ideal Body Weight. It is a chronic disease with complex causes, not just a problem of overeating. It is important to understand that surgery is not the cure for morbid obesity, but a way of controlling the disease. Obesity has increased dramatically over the last two decades. About 1/2 of adults in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. The rate of obesity is even higher in certain populations, especially in women of lower socioeconomic levels and members of some ethnic groups.

The most recent way of determining obesity is to calculate an individuals BMI (body mass index). This is a ratio of height and weight. Divide the weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared. BMI = wt. In kg/ht. In m2. You can find your BMI in the table in the appendix at the back of this pamphlet. Candidates for surgery are people whose BMI = 40 or higher, and those whose BMI = 35 or higher who have serious diseases related to obesity.


Being obese can seriously affect health and life span. It is associated with many medical conditions such as elevated cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure and diabetes mellitus to name a few. Many seek to improve their self image. Our society's attitude about overweight individuals leads some to attempt weight reduction.

Several approaches to weight loss and control can be tried. Dietary change is the most commonly used weight loss strategy, being tried by 75-80% of people trying to lose weight. Short term success for these methods is common, but long term effectiveness and safety is less successful. Certain drugs have been tried. New ones are coming out all the time. The safety and effectiveness of these drugs is yet unclear. Weight loss can be achieved with exercise. Exercise will improve ones overall health as well as weight loss.

A combination of dietary and exercise therapy, reinforced by behavior modification, will lead to the greatest success in maintaining and achieving short term weight loss and maintaining it in the long term. However, more than 1/3 of people drop out of weight loss programs and only 10% maintain weight loss after two years. Successful programs are those that can be adhered to long enough to reach the goal and maintain that goal. Morbid obesity is treated by surgery because of the proven ineffectiveness of the medical and dietary methods for people and a body mass index = 40 or more. The variations in weight that are caused by repeated attempts at conservative treatment (yo-yo dieting) can be damaging. It is important to remember that surgery for morbid obesity is not a "quick" fix. It will require behavior modification on your part. Surgery will get you started in that direction. Lack of patient compliance is one of the common reasons for failure of surgery.


We have two surgeons who perform these surgeries.

Dr. McBride


Dr. Cori McBride joined The Nebraska Medical Center in 2002. She comes from Richmond, Virginia where she performed obesity surgeries.


Dr. Oleynikov


Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov joined The Nebraska Medical Center in 2001. He currently performs Lap Band Bariatric Procedures. He can see patients at both the UNMC Physicians West location at 144th and Center as well as at the main UNMC Physicians surgery clinic on 45th and Emile.