A surgery program at London Health Sciences Centre could help in preventing more serious health problems for patients who are obese.

LHSC has been named a Bariatric Centre of Excellence, and is now part of the Ontario Bariatric Network.

It’s described as a full-service program that starts with assessment and provides comprehensive care before, during and after surgery.

It means patients can receive care from start to finish without having to travel to Toronto or medical centres outside of the local area.

According to the Ontario Bariatric Network, bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is an option for some people who have not been able to lose weight through traditional means such as diet and exercise.

It involves reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or removal of a portion of the stomach.

The procedure is performed as a way to prevent more serious weight-related health problems like heart disease or Type 2 Diabetes.

Those who qualify must have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher but with a condition such as coronary heart disease or hypertension.