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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Weight loss surgery alternative now available in St. Cloud

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

A diagram of theORBERA® intragastric balloon procedure.

A new option is now available for individuals looking to lose weight.

CentraCare Weight Management now offers the ORBERA® intragastric balloon procedure. This involves inserting a soft balloon into the stomach via the mouth which stays in place for six months. After it is removed, patients continue to receive guidance and coaching for an additional six months to maintain a healthy weight.

Very few hospitals in Minnesota offer this procedure. St. Cloud Hospital is the third, joining the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Mayo Clinic.

“This is an alternative to bariatric surgery and is ideal for individuals with a body mass index between 30 and 40,” said Daniel Leslie, M.D., medical director for bariatric surgery at CentraCare Health.

ORBERA® is a simple, non-surgical outpatient procedure. After the patient is given a mild sedative, Dr. Leslie will insert the deflated balloon through the patient’s mouth and into the stomach. It is then filled with a safe saline solution until it’s about the size of a grapefruit. The entire procedure usually only takes 20 or 30 minutes and most people go home the same day.

“The volume and shape of the balloon are meant to take up space in the stomach,” Dr. Leslie explained. “This encourages portion control and can give patients that edge they need to finally lose weight. It also doesn’t have the side effects that bariatric surgery can have.”

“One of CentraCare’s primary goals is to improve community health. About one-third of our region’s population is overweight or obese,” said George Morris, M.D., medical director for CentraCare Weight Management. “Our patients now have another alternative for weight loss without having to make the drive to the Twin Cities or Rochester.”

Learn more about CentraCare Weight Management and the ORBERA® intragastric balloon procedure.