About Weight Loss Surgery

Are you a candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

Bariatric weight loss surgery is recommended for:

  • People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or approximately 100 pounds over their ideal body weight.
  • People who have a BMI between 35 and 40 and at least one significant obesity-related health condition, such as sleep apnea, diabetes or heart disease, may also be candidates for surgery.

Why Choose Northeast Georgia Medical Center for Your Bariatric Services?

  • NGMC is a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.
  • NGMC is the first hospital in Georgia to offer gastric bypass surgery using the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
  • NGMC has a dedicated bariatrics unit with rooms and equipment specially designed for bariatric patients.
  • Our surgeons have more than 50 years of combined bariatric surgery experience.

*In a recent bariatric support group, we found that our patients and their family members shared a total combined weight loss of nearly 1,500 pounds (through surgical and non-surgical methods).

MBSAQIP Accredited Center for Bariatric Surgery

Northeast Georgia Medical Center is nationally accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)

Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has also named Northeast Georgia Medical Center a Blue Distinction Center for bariatric surgery. The process used to select Blue Distinction Centers is based on clinical data from hospital registries. Each facility’s structure, proceses and care outcome are rigorously evaluated. These criteria include nationally endorsed quality measures, developed in collaboration with medical experts and professional organizations.

Bariatric Center of Excellence by the Clinical Sciences Institute of Optum

Each year, Optum sends a survey to the medical centers and programs being considered for our Centers of Excellence networks. Upon receipt of a completed evaluation, the Clinical Sciences Institute conducts a detailed analysis of the program’s responses to both clinical and administrative components and compares the responses to evaluation criteria. Criteria to become a Bariatric Center of Excellence by Optum Health, are: 

  • Volumes and outcomes of procedures
  • Demonstration of best-practice medicine
  • Quality of relationships with referring physicians and payers
  • The makeup and stability of the program team
  • Clinical research and results
  • Program depth and breadth
  • Treatment planning and coordination
  • Quality of patient/family-oriented services
  • Proof of a multidisciplinary approach to health care


Do I need a doctor’s referral to get started?

our health insurance may require a physician referral. Attend our Bariatrics 101 class and we’ll help you find the answer based on your coverage. To learn more or to register, click here.

What does bariatric surgery cost?

Our team at the Bariatric Weight Loss Center at NGMC can help you estimate how much surgery would cost for you. The cost of weight loss surgery varies depending on each patient’s unique situation. Factors that can affect cost include:

  • the type of surgery performed
  • which physician performs the surgery
  • which insurance companies are involved
  • any discounts that may be available for self-pay patients
  • many other factors

For questions or more information, call 770-219-0446.

Does insurance cover weight loss surgery?

It depends on the individual insurance carrier and whether or not weight loss surgery is offered in your policy.  If your policy covers weight loss surgery, your insurance provider can tell you what health requirements are necessary for coverage. 

Attend our Bariatrics 101 class and we’ll help you navigate the insurance process. To learn more about Bariatrics 101 or to register, click here.

Are there financing options?

The Bariatric Weight Loss Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center offers financing options to help you cover the cost of hospital services for all bariatric surgery options, even if you have high deductibles on your insurance plan or no insurance at all.

Financing is offered through Prosper Healthcare Lending – which is the premier financing company in the healthcare industry, with more than $5 billion funded and more than 300,000 loans inquiries serviced through its lenders.  Here are some of the benefits you will receive with a loan from Prosper Healthcare Lending:

  • Immediate decisions for loans under $35,000
  • Term options out to 84 months (affordable monthly payments)
  • No collateral required
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Fast & easy loan inquiry process
  • 100% confidential
What foods can I have after weight loss surgery?

The dietary requirements immediately after surgery will be discussed at great lengths by your surgeon and dietitian and can vary depending on the patient and procedure. 

However, you can expect to be on a liquid diet immediately following surgery.  Your surgeon will determine the next dietary level after this point, and their dietitian will be available for guidance on specific dietary requirements and necessary food items.
In general, you will want to stay away from foods that contain high sugar, high fat.

Is bariatric surgery safe?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks.  However, the risks are minimal when compared to untreated conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, which are all medical conditions that are associated with obesity. 
We encourage you to talk more with your physician and/or the bariatric surgeon you choose, as the risks can vary based on procedure and patient health.

Will I ever need to go on diet again?

The goal of bariatric surgery is for you to never “diet” again.  Following your surgeon’s instructions regarding dietary requirements and adopting a healthy eating pattern, along with a healthier lifestyle, will improve healing outcomes and your ability too maintain your weight loss.  Not following the guidelines for eating properly and exercising puts you at risk for weight regain.

Each bariatric patient at Northeast Georgia Health System is different, and each procedure has its own set of dietary guidelines. Your post-surgery diet will be very specific and unique to you. Our bariatric program dietitian will help guide you with your post-surgery diet in order to accommodate your individual lifestyle, taste preferences in order to ensure your success with weight loss and improved health.

How long after surgery until I can return to work or usual activities?

Recovery time varies based on procedure and patient health, as well as the level of activity required to return to your normal everyday activities.  Your surgeon will discuss this with you to determine the appropriate timeframe for recovery.

What kind of support is available or recommended after surgery?

The Bariatric Weight Loss Center offers support group meetings twice a month.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.  In fact, as part of your pre-surgery requirements, you will be required to attend these meetings. 
Statistics have shown patients who attend support groups on a regular basis remain successful in their weight loss journey.  Click here to learn more about our Bariatric Surgery Support Group meeting times.

What can I do if I start to regain weight?

If you had your weight loss surgery at least one year ago and have either started to regain weight or are afraid you might, the Bariatric Weight Loss Center at NGMC invites you to get the support you need from our Bariatric Surgery Support Group.

What is life like post-bariatric surgery?

Recovering from bariatric weight loss surgery requires a commitment to making changes to both your diet and your everyday lifestyle. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions to ensure a safe and healthy recovery. Your post bariatric surgery plan will be very specific to you, as each person’s recovery is different.

Do you offer revisional weight loss surgery?

Our surgeons accept patients with a history of weight loss surgery on a case-by-case basis, and only if they have relocated from outside Georgia or their primary surgeon is no longer practicing. Patients interested in this type of service should obtain their medical records and contact one of our bariatric surgery providers at:

Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Bariatric and Metabolic Institute:  770-219-9200

Longstreet Clinic Center for Weight Management: 770-534-0110

Interested in learning more about Bariatric Surgery?

If you are considering Bariatric Surgery we encourage you to attend Bariatrics 101, a free class offered the third Wednesday of every month. Some of the topics we will discuss at Bariatrics 101 include:

  • surgical procedures available
  • risks and benefits of procedures
  • insurance and payment options
  • life after bariatric surgery
  • much more

For additional information on Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery, visit the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Contact Us

To learn more about Bariatrics 101 or to register for our free class, click here.

To learn more about about Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery and Services, contact us today!