Weight loss surgery

Lose weight and keep it off
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Considering weight loss surgery? It may be for you if you haven’t found success with diet, exercise, and/or medication. Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, has proven to be a safe, effective option for our patients, who typically lose between 55 to 70 percent of their excess body weight. Our comprehensive evaluation and pre- and post-surgical support ensures you achieve the weight loss goals that are right for you. After surgery, you should expect major improvements in obesity-related conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and joint pain. We encourage you to start the process by filling out and submitting your health history. We’ll call you within 48 hours to schedule your initial consultation.

More from Duke Medicine

Recognized Center of Excellence, Center of Distinction

  • Excellent patient outcomes. Our quality of care, years of experience, comprehensive services, and positive patient outcomes are the reasons why our program is designated a Center of Excellence and Center of Distinction by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna. Only centers that meet their strict criteria are included among their distinguished centers.
  • Experience matters. Our six board-certified surgeons perform approximately 800 bariatric surgeries each year, a number that has grown steadily since the program started 10 years ago. Studies show that surgical experience is an important indicator of your successful outcome.
  • Our commitment to you. Our surgeons, physicians, psychologists, nutritionists, nursing, and anesthesia teams are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals. We work with you and your local doctor in the months leading up to surgery and in the years that follow, to ensure you maintain your initial successes.
  • Safer, minimally invasive surgery. Nearly 99 percent of our bariatric surgeries are completed laparascopically, meaning they only require small incisions. In some cases, we are able to use the robotic tools to minimize incisions for more complex procedures that would normally require larger incisions. Smaller incisions translate to less pain, fewer complications, smaller scars, shorter stays, and faster recovery time for our patients.
  • Post-surgery body contouring. If unwanted, loose skin and tissue hide the results of weight loss surgery, our skilled plastic surgeons can work with you to smooth and shape your body and ensure you feel and look your best.

Take the first steps

  • Calculate your body mass index (BMI)To qualify for insurance coverage, you must have a body mass index of 40 or more, or 35 with a major health complication such as type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, chronic arthritis pain, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Calculate your BMI before you consult with your physician or insurance company.
  • Submit your health history. We will call you within 48 hours to schedule your first consultation. This information, along with an extensive physical exam, will help us recommend the safest, most effective surgical approach for you.
    Complete our nutritional questionnaire. This information, along with your health history, will help guide us as we evaluate which treatment plan is right for you. Please print this form and bring it with you to your first appointment.
  • Questions to ask your insurance companyThe American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a disease, which may impact how insurers provide coverage for weight loss surgery. Learn more about questions to ask your insurance company.
  • Attend an information seminarWe offer regular information seminars at many locations around the Triangle. They provide you with the tools and information you need to have a successful surgery. This is also an opportunity to meet some of the team members and ask questions. Register online or call 866-637-0711. If you can’t attend in person, view it online or watch it during your first appointment. You must watch or attend the seminar before you can be scheduled to have surgery. Learn more about information seminars at Duke.
  • Your path to surgerySurgery is typically scheduled several months after your initial consultation, and depends on individual circumstances and insurance requirements. Each individual is carefully evaluated for all related medical conditions. This often requires special studies and occasionally consultations from medical specialists. We will schedule your surgery only after we feel confident that weight loss surgery is right for you and that you are fully aware of associated risks.