Why Choose Us?


The American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery's tribute to Edward E. Mason, MD, PhD, inventor of the gastric bypass surgery and modern bariatric surgery, as well as a former UIHC surgeon and professor.

Edward E. Mason, MD, PhD, the "father of obesity surgery" began performing the gastric bypass surgery in 1966.

He was an alumni of the University of Iowa and was both a professor and surgeon for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He founded the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (later the ASMBS) in 1983 and acted as its first president.

Not only is the UI Hospitals and Clinics currently a center of excellence for bariatric surgery, but bariatric surgery itself began here.

Bariatric symbol of excellence

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is home to one of the nation's most renowned and successful obesity surgery programs. UI Hospitals and Clinics was an early pioneer in surgical treatments for obesity and is recognized as a Center of Excellence.

  • Designated BlueDistinction® Center+ in Bariatric Surgery Gastric Band Procedures in 2015
  • Designated BlueDistinction® Center in Bariatric Surgery Gastric Stapling Procedures in 2015
  • The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery--the world's largest specialty society of its type--has designated our bariatric program as a Center of Excellence®.
  • Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield designated UI Hospitals and Clinics as a Blue Distinction Center in bariatric (weight loss) surgery in 2008.
  • Optum Health Care Solutions designated our obesity surgery program as a "Center of Excellence" in 2008.
  • Aetna: The health care benefit company designates our bariatric surgery program as an "Institute of Excellence" based on an evaluation of clinical performance.
  • United Resource Networks (U.R.N.) Bariatric Resource Services named the program a Center of Excellence.
  • We were the first hospital in the United States to perform vertical banded gastroplasty for patients with morbid obesity.
  • Our doctors performed the world's first horizontal gastroplasty surgery for morbid obesity in 1971.