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Bariatric surgery and weight-loss support

How we'll handle your care

Started in 2016, Geisinger’s Destination Medicine Bariatrics Program offers weight loss surgery (also called bariatric surgery) to qualifying patients. Bariatric surgery limits how much food your stomach can hold, helping you to feel full after eating smaller portions. Some procedures will limit the calories that will be absorbed into your body.

If you’re looking for a weight-loss solution, bariatric surgery may be an option for you. To qualify for bariatric surgery, most candidates must have a BMI over 40.0 or a BMI over 35.0 plus a related health issue, such as diabetes or sleep apnea, and you must show no evidence of substance abuse, psychosis, eating disorders or uncontrolled depression. If you’re having trouble losing weight because of a medical condition, our team of skilled surgeons is here to help. 

In this program, patients are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses and a 25 percent copay for services. Be sure to discuss your benefit structure with your employer and health insurance provider to understand your costs.

Get started with planning your care at Geisinger

Meet our specialists

Bariatric surgery team

Jon Gabrielsen, MD
David Parker, MD
Anthony Petrick, MD

What conditions do we treat?

When you’ve made the decision to undergo weight loss surgery, it’s important to know that you have options. Our team will work closely with you to determine which surgery is best for you, and you’ll receive a comprehensive guide to prepare you for every step of your journey.

You’ll meet with our team twice when you decide to undergo weight loss surgery. The first trip will be an evaluation that includes getting baseline blood work, a behavioral health evaluation, a consultation with a surgeon, a consultation with a nutritionist and a sleep questionnaire. You’ll also need to have nutritional counseling follow-ups and medical appointments before your surgery, but these visits can be done remotely.

The second trip will be for your surgery. This will also include a check-in day before your procedure and post-operation care that includes nutrition visits before you leave for home.

In our bariatric surgery program, Geisinger surgeons perform the following weight loss surgeries: 

  • Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass)  In a gastric bypass, a surgeon creates a stomach pouch that causes the food to go straight from the pouch to the small intestine.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy – Also known as a gastric sleeve, this involves the removal of most of the stomach, leaving only a narrow portion of the upper section of the stomach.
  • BPD-DS (Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch): This procedure reduces the size of the stomach and also allows food to bypass part of the small intestine so fewer calories are absorbed.

Our surgeons perform minimally invasive bariatric surgeries, so you can recover quicker with less scarring and fewer complications. Getting back to your daily life is extremely important — our ProvenRecovery® program is designed to help you recover quicker so you can return home as soon as possible.

Why choose Geisinger for your weight-loss journey?

When you choose to have weight loss surgery at Geisinger, we don’t consider you a patient for just a few days – we consider you our patient for life. Even though many patients may not live here, our team helps manage their care for years after their bariatric surgery.

We have been specifically chosen to provide care to employees of Fortune 100 companies from across the U.S. As a member of the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN), we’ve been recognized as a national leader in the services we provide. Geisinger Medical Center is also nationally accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This distinction recognizes comprehensive bariatric surgery programs that meet the highest standards for patient safety and quality. We’re also the only designated ECEN hospital that is designated in four specialty areas for select joint replacement, heart, spine and bariatric surgeries.

Geisinger’s team of experienced bariatric surgeons will not only provide you with the best care, but also educate you on the recommended procedures and what steps you can take to ensure a successful weight-loss journey. You’ll have opportunities to ask our team questions and they will be readily available to answer them.

Our nurse navigators are available, so that you can get the care you need without having to worry about the finer details. Your nurse navigator will help coordinate your appointments and testing here at Geisinger, ensuring you meet the program requirements along the way. We’ll schedule regular phone calls with you to follow your success and will always be available when you need us.

It’s important to note, our bariatric surgery program will require two trips: the first for your evaluation; the second for your surgery.

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