PROGRAM NOTE:

Because patient and caregiver safety is our highest priority, WVU Medicine Bariatrics will suspend in-person bariatric information sessions until after Friday, May 15. Patients can gain credit for attending a bariatric information session by completing and mailing the Health History Questionnaire and Nutrition Questionnaire , along with watching the bariatric information video. The questionnaires can be mailed to:

WVU Medicine Department of Bariatrics
PO Box 9238
Morgantown, WV 26506
Attention: Christy Collins

After May 15, once services are up and running again, patients will be contacted and scheduled for a clinic visit.

In addition, WVU Medicine Bariatrics is suspending all in-person support groups and in-person group nutrition classes. Support groups will be available via Vidyo on Friday March 27, at noon and Friday April 24, at noon. Instructions can be found on the WVU Medicine Bariatric Facebook page. Patients scheduled for the nutrition classes will receive online / telephonic education. Our dietitians are reaching out to patients.

Thank you for your patience.


The WVU Medicine Medical and Surgical Weight-Loss Center offers a comprehensive, surgical program to help you obtain a healthy weight and improve your quality of life. Our nationally recognized bariatrics program has a strong focus on pre-surgery education and long-term weight loss after surgery. Weight-loss surgical procedures we offer include sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, gastric banding.

The Medical and Surgical Weight-Loss Center delivers a superior quality of care with state-of-the-art surgical technology and our network of highly trained specialists from a range of medical fields. We offer a team approach to treating morbid obesity with dietitians, clinical psychologists, physician assistants, and nurses who are dedicated to working with you before, during, and after surgery. We’re here to help you every step of the way with regular follow-up appointments, a monthly support group, and social media support through our WVU Bariatric Surgery Facebook group.

WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia for delivering improved bariatric patient safety and better health outcomes. We are also a level one accredited program through the American College of Surgeons’ Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.

Reserve your spot at the next free, no obligation weight-loss surgery information session by completing this online form or calling 304-293-1728.

Weight-Loss Surgery Resources

Appointments and Directions

855-WVU-CARE 855-988-2273
J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital
1 Medical Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506

Clinic Number

304-293-1728

Clinic Hours

Monday – Friday
8 am – 5 pm

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Weight-Loss Surgery Options

WVU Medicine Metabolic and Weight-Loss Surgery offers minimally invasive laparoscopic weight-loss surgery with a few small incisions, as well as an open surgery, if needed. Not all patients are candidates for minimally invasive surgery. Your surgeon will assess which approach suits you best during your first appointment.

Surgical options WVU Medicine offers include:

  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
    This procedure restricts and decreases food intake through surgical removal of approximately 2/3 of the stomach.
  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
    This surgery reduces the size of the stomach and produces more weight loss than operations that only decrease the intake of food.
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
    This is one of the least invasive approaches to weight-loss surgery because no permanent changes are made to the body’s physiology – the stomach stays intact, and the digestive process remains the same.

 

PROGRAM NOTE:

Because patient and caregiver safety is our highest priority, WVU Medicine Bariatrics will suspend in-person bariatric information sessions until after Friday, May 15. Patients can gain credit for attending a bariatric information session by completing and mailing the Health History Questionnaire and Nutrition Questionnaire , along with watching the bariatric information video. The questionnaires can be mailed to:

WVU Medicine Department of Bariatrics
PO Box 9238
Morgantown, WV 26506
Attention: Christy Collins

After May 15, once services are up and running again, patients will be contacted and scheduled for a clinic visit.

In addition, WVU Medicine Bariatrics is suspending all in-person support groups and in-person group nutrition classes. Support groups will be available via Vidyo on Friday March 27, at noon and Friday April 24, at noon. Instructions can be found on the WVU Medicine Bariatric Facebook page. Patients scheduled for the nutrition classes will receive online / telephonic education. Our dietitians are reaching out to patients.

Thank you for your patience.


Information Session

WVU Medicine provides a free, no obligation weight-loss surgery information session, so you can learn more about the different procedures we offer, including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric banding.

To receive weight-loss surgery, you are required to attend an information session before your first appointment – advanced registration is required. All weight-loss surgery information sessions are held from 6-7:30 pm at the following WVU Medicine locations:

You are welcome to bring one adult support member with you to the information session. Free parking is available on-site at all locations. Learn more about our program in this weight-loss surgery booklet.

Reserve your spot at the next weight-loss surgery information session by completing this online form or calling 304-293-1728.

 

Fill out my online form.

Weight-Loss Surgery FAQ

Who is a candidate for weight-loss surgery?
You may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery if:

  • You are 100 pounds above your ideal body weight
  • You have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40
  • You have a BMI between 35 to 39.9 with one or more other complications, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or obstructive sleep apnea
  • You’ve tried other medical weight-loss programs without success.

How safe is weight-loss surgery?
Though weight-loss surgery has a reputation for being risky, procedures have improved a lot over the years. It’s riskier to continue to live with the health consequences of morbid obesity, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Bariatric surgery procedures, like sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, shrink the size of your stomach and change your metabolism; they are proven to be safe and effective. As with all types of abdominal surgery, there is a chance of post-operative complications, which may include nausea, upset stomach, blood clots, gastric leak, or wound infection. Your surgeon will discuss possible complications and risks with you.

What’s the first step to receive weight-loss surgery?
Attend a free, no obligation information session to learn more about the weight-loss procedures that WVU Medicine offers. After the information session, we will review the health information you provided and schedule an appointment for you to meet with a surgeon.

What happens at my first appointment?
A weight-loss surgeon will review your medical history and have a detailed discussion with you about the different types of bariatric procedures and which approach may work best for you. Additional testing and/or evaluations with other medical specialists will be needed. Screening tests performed before surgery help us plan for your surgical care. You will also meet with a psychologist and dietitian before surgery.

From the time I am seen in the office, how long before I will have the surgery?
In general, after the initial consultation in the office, it can take anywhere from three to six months to have the surgery. Once we gather the information that we need, we send a letter to your insurance company for pre-approval for the procedure. Once obtained, you will then undergo an in-depth history and physical examination as well as some laboratory tests and x-rays. Once those are done, provided there are no additional or unexpected medical problems that would require treatment first, we schedule your operation.

Will my insurance cover weight-loss surgery?
Most, but not all, insurance companies cover bariatric surgery. Prior to attending the information session, all patients are asked to contact their insurance company to inquire about their specific benefits/policy. Many insurance companies require proof of your long-term attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise and/or behavioral techniques.

How long does the surgery take?
The average length of surgery for the bypass is about one hour. A lap band takes about 30 minutes to complete.

How long is the hospital stay for weight-loss surgery?
The average length of stay for a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy is two nights. If you have a lap band placed, you will typically be in the hospital for one night.

When can I return to work after surgery?
In general, you can return to work within four to six weeks of having the operation.

How quickly does a person lose weight after surgery?
Patients generally lose 60 to 85 percent of their excess weight within the first year after surgery. After that, weight loss continues until about 18 months post-surgery when the patient usually achieves his/her goal weight. If you exercise, attend support groups and eat healthy foods, your weight loss from bariatric surgery can be significantly greater.

Can I eat whatever I want after weight-loss surgery?
Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must adopt permanent lifestyle changes for the procedure to remain effective. You’ll work with a nutritionist who can help you make necessary adjustments. Food intake after surgery is limited to one or two ounces per scheduled meal, so that the stomach can heal properly. Later, the amount of food you can eat increases. About six months after surgery, you’ll be able to eat between four to eight ounces of food per meal.

Can I ever lose too much weight?
It is very unlikely for patients to lose too much weight. Occasionally, patients can develop a stricture (outlet obstruction) within the first few weeks after surgery. This is easily correctable. Blood work to screen for vitamin deficiencies is conducted on a regular basis to ensure that patients are well nourished and their needs are being met.

Is it possible to regain the weight after surgery?
Most patients who receive bariatric surgery lose and keep off substantial weight, often 100 pounds or more. Patients generally lose 60 to 85 percent of their excess weight within the first year after surgery. If you exercise, attend WVU Medicine bariatric support groups, and eat healthy foods, your weight loss from bariatric surgery may be significantly greater. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that about 50 percent of bariatric surgery patients may regain only a small amount of weight (approximately five percent) two years or more following their surgery. Most patients in the WVU Metabolic and Weight-Loss Surgery program have lasting results with significant improvement in health, activity, and well-being.

Can I become pregnant after having the surgery?
Women of childbearing age should avoid pregnancy for one year after surgery because rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies can harm a developing fetus. If you should become pregnant, you will need to carefully watch your dietary program to make sure you and your baby are well nourished.

Weight-Loss Support

Weight-Loss Surgery Support Group
Have you had bariatric surgery? Do you feel like you need extra guidance and understanding from your peers? Attend our free, monthly support group facilitated by a licensed healthcare professional. Pre-surgery and post-surgery patients discuss concerns, successes, and learn strategies to keep off the weight. All are welcome, and no appointment is necessary.

Bariatric Facebook Group
After weight-loss surgery, it can be challenging to stay focused on your weight-loss goals. We encourage patients to join our WVU Bariatric Facebook group, where you can find online support before and after your surgery.

WVU Medicine’s Bariatric Facebook support group meets online Friday from Noon – 1 pm on the following dates:

  • March 27
  • April 24

Medical Weight Management Clinic
The Medical Weight Management Clinic at WVU Medicine is a non-surgical approach to weight loss that is directed by a physician and addresses food, movement, and behavioral changes. The program is open to adults of all fitness levels and various states of health. Call us at 304-598-4890 to register for a free, no obligation orientation session.

Finding Wellness
Finding Wellness is a new, free program for people who are ready to make healthy lifestyle changes to improve their personal health. This eight-week program is open to anyone in the community and meets from 4 – 6 pm. on Tuesdays at WVU Medicine University Town Centre.

Diabetes Education Center
The WVU Medicine Diabetes Education Center offers services for people with diabetes or who are at risk for developing diabetes. Classes and other ongoing services include a diabetes support group, education classes, and medical nutrition therapy.

Salim Abunnaja, MD

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Assistant Professor
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Cassie Brode, PhD

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Counseling Psychologist and Assistant Professor, Bariatrics
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Courtney Brown, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP

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APP, Bariatric Surgery
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Stephanie Cox, PhD

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Assistant Professor, Bariatric Psychologist and Eating Disorders
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Kiley Iams, MS, PA-C

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, Advanced Practice Professionals; APP, Bariatric Surgery
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Nova Szoka, MD

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Assistant Professor
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Lawrence Tabone, MD

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Assistant Professor, Director of Bariatric Surgery
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