Millions of Americans struggle to maintain a healthy weight. There are a wide variety of options available today, from extreme exercise programs to trend diets, leaving you feeling discouraged and ultimately leading to weight regain. We are here to help you stop the cycle with bariatric surgical options for sustained weight loss.

At Grand Strand Health, our team of board-certified bariatric surgeons, nurses and registered dieticians take the time to work with you to understand what has gotten in the way of your weight loss success in the past and understand your life and long-term weight loss goals. We offer nonsurgical and surgical options for weight management, and our healthcare team will work with you hand-in-hand to decide the best treatment for you, considering your medical history, psychological screenings and a nutrition evaluation.

To start your weight loss journey with us, speak with one of our bariatric specialists by calling (843) 353-5360.

Candidates for weight loss surgery

Not everyone who wants to lose weight is a candidate for bariatric surgery. It depends on the person’s body mass index (BMI) calculation, which compares your weight with your height. If you have a high BMI and an obesity-related health condition, bariatric surgery may be a good option to help you kick start weight loss.

To better understand if you would qualify for weight loss surgery, review the following criteria:

  • You are 100 pounds or more over your ideal body weight
  • You have a BMI of 40 or more
  • You have a BMI of 35 or more and are experiencing negative health effects related to obesity, such as:
    • Arthritis
    • Heartburn
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Type 2 diabetes

You cannot achieve a healthy body weight and sustain it for a prolonged period of time – even through medically supervised dieting.

Which weight loss option is right for me?

Grand Strand Health offers surgical and non-surgical weight loss options and can help you choose a path that fits your lifestyle. If you aren't sure of the right path for you, schedule an appointment for a full evaluation and personalized approach to weight loss.

  • Medical evaluations with a provider specialized in weight loss
  • Individual appointments and group visits to help you develop healthy weight-related behaviors
  • Nutrition and behavior counseling
  • Metabolic testing
  • Body composition testing
  • Free community classes
  • Bariatric surgery center for both adults and adolescents

Types of weight loss surgery we offer

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery (sometimes called "Roux-en-Y gastric bypass") involves making the stomach smaller and bypassing part of the small intestine. This is a restrictive (restricting the amount of food you eat) and malabsorptive (decreasing the amount of calories you absorb) procedure. This is one of the most common bariatric surgeries, offering a typical weight loss of 75 percent. It also significantly improves or completely resolves Type 2 diabetes, gastric reflux, hypertension and sleep apnea. It works by reducing food intake and decreasing the nutrients and calories your body can absorb.

Sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy (sometimes called "vertical sleeve gastrectomy") involves removing 75 to 80 percent of the stomach. This restrictive procedure is the most common weight loss surgery. It works because the stomach is smaller, and the "hunger hormones" in your gastrointestinal tract are decreased. This means you can eat less, and your appetite is also reduced. Sleeve gastrectomy offers not only significant long-term weight loss of greater than 65 percent but also improves or resolves Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea.

Duodenal switch (DS) surgery

DS with biliary pancreatic diversion (sometimes called biliary pancreatic diversion with duodenal switch or BPD-DS) involves a sleeve gastrectomy and intestinal bypass. This helps you feel fuller faster and reduces the amount of food you can consume. It is one of the more complex procedures but also typically results in the highest (80 percent) and longest-lasting, long-term weight loss. It also significantly improves or even resolves Type 2 diabetes, gastric reflux, hypertension and sleep apnea.

Revisional bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgeries are excellent treatment options to help many patients successfully lose weight. However, as with any surgery, some patients may not experience the desired results. In these cases, you may need follow-up or additional bariatric surgery. Because these patients have already had bariatric surgery before, this type of surgery is called "revisional" bariatric surgery.

This type of surgery is very complex, and our teams know it has to be personalized to your needs and unique situation. We do everything we can to work with you in these cases. We discuss your goals and all your options with you to be sure you understand and feel comfortable with your treatment plan. Whether you had your initial surgery with us or at another facility, we can help you find a path forward in your weight loss journey.

Steps to weight loss surgery

If you choose bariatric surgery as a weight loss option, you can expect to follow these steps:

  1. In-person weight loss surgery information classes
  2. Complete patient information and medical history forms and wait for your bariatric team's next steps.
  3. If you have a weight loss surgery benefit available through your health insurance plan, contact your insurance provider. They will tell you any documentation and/or tests they may require before surgery. Use the guide from the Obesity Action Coalition to help you with this process.
  4. Collect all medical record documentation and evaluations as your insurance requires. You will need a nutrition evaluation, psychological evaluation and possibly a supervised diet. We can help you complete these visits.
    • Nutrition evaluation
      The nutrition evaluation aims to provide you with information about weight loss surgery and what to expect after surgery. Weight loss surgery is a tool, but you must commit to lifestyle changes to find long-term weight loss success.
      • How your diet will change after surgery
      • How to meet new protein and fluid requirements
      • Which vitamin and mineral supplements you will need to take
      • How to change your eating behaviors
      • What other behaviors will help you find long-term weight loss success
    • Our dietitian will help you set goals to make changes before surgery. They also work with your surgeon to help you after surgery with diet transitions, including moving from weight loss to weight maintenance.
    • Psychological evaluation
      The main goal of the psychological evaluation is to pinpoint the most difficult times for you and to help you identify strategies to cope with these situations when they occur in the future. Your psychologist will be evaluating the following:
      • Your understanding of the realities and risks of surgery to ensure you can make informed decisions about surgery
      • Behaviors that may keep you from losing weight or may lead to regaining weight
      • Personalized strategies that can help you overcome potential obstacles
    • What to expect during the psychological evaluation
      1. You can expect the evaluation to last approximately an hour. You can also expect to have a more conversational clinical interview. We understand people can be nervous during these interviews. We consider it our job to put you at ease and help you feel comfortable during your assessment
  5. You will consult with the surgeon and attend an informed consent and pre-surgery class. As you work with our office coordinator, you will be advised when to schedule these appointments.
  6. The surgeon's office will prepare and submit your application to your insurance company for written approval. You must provide copies of your insurance card and a photo ID to the surgeon's office. Authorization may take six to 12 weeks, depending on your insurance.

Benefits and risks of bariatric surgery

People living with obesity can sometimes find it difficult to do daily tasks. In addition to physical issues, it may also prevent you from participating in certain activities, including those that can improve your health. Weight loss surgery improves and helps decrease your chances of many major and minor health conditions, including sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. This treatment makes good health and a longer life much more likely.

All surgeries and medical procedures carry risk. It's important to talk to your doctor, other weight loss surgery patients and your loved ones to best understand the benefits and risks for your unique situation.

However, it is also important to consider the risk of remaining obese. For example, the risk of early death for an obese person is significantly higher than it is for a non-obese person. Severe obesity can also cause life-threatening health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Some of these conditions develop over time; others emerge quickly. In fact, you may have one or more of these conditions without even realizing it. We encourage you to speak with one of our bariatric specialists as soon as possible so we can help you find a healthier path forward.

Life after weight loss surgery

The first year after weight loss surgery is a year of significant change—it's a new beginning, a new you. It will change how you approach:

  • Coping with stress, boredom and anxiety
  • Eating, including whether you eat in or dine out
  • Participating in social outings or family events
  • Relationships

Weight loss surgery is a great tool to improve your health by improving diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and, but it is a great tool to help you start your weight loss journey.

Support after weight loss surgery - Having a support system around you is important to your long-term success. One of the ways we help with this is to have our experts available to meet with you individually. Our team can help you to successfully make healthier lifestyle habits after your surgery and answer any questions or concerns you might have.

We also encourage you to:

  • Attend your support groups
  • Connect with your doctor
  • Keep your follow-up appointments with your surgeon and other specialists
  • Meet with a dietitian who specializes in bariatrics so they can give you advice as you transition into each new phase of life and your diet

Free weight loss surgery seminars

We are currently offering free weight loss seminars. Our seminars are available to anyone interested in learning more about their options and required lifestyle changes when undergoing weight loss surgery. Topics we will cover include:

  • Benefits and risks associated with each type of procedure
  • Lifestyle changes required for weight loss success
  • Steps to take before the procedure
  • What to expect during the recovery process
  • Who is a candidate for weight loss surgery

Please visit our events page to find upcoming seminar dates: