Bariatric Surgery: New Orleans
According to a 2018 report, the Gulf Coast has some of the highest obesity rates in the country. In fact, Louisiana is #5, Alabama is #2 and Mississippi is #1 nationwide.* Fortunately, Ochsner is home to one of the most experienced and comprehensive surgical weight loss programs in the region. The Bariatric Surgery Program at Ochsner Medical Center - Jefferson Highway was the first institution in the country to receive accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. Moreover, Bariatric Surgery is also offered at Ochsner locations in Baton Rouge and on the Northshore (Slidell).
Is Obesity a Disease?
Research shows that bariatric surgery can extend your life span for up 10 years – similar to smoking cessation. Ochsner’s team can give you the tools you need to lose weight, regain your health and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Say good-bye to diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and hello to a healthy new you.
Most of our patients tell us they’ve been considering bariatric surgery for years but have always hesitated. Many have been convinced their obesity was a sign of weakness, laziness or lack of self-control. They’ve been told losing weight was something they ought to do for themselves.
The truth is obesity is a disease. According to the American Medical Association, "The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes."
A Life-Saving, Life-Changing Program
With more than 300 procedures performed annually, Ochsner is one of the busiest bariatric surgery centers in the region. We believe that experience translates into successful outcomes.
Whether you have 30 pounds to lose or 300 pounds, our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians can help. Patients come from all across the region seeking our expertise. We routinely perform bariatric revisional surgeries and have experience treating high-risk patients, including those who have undergone organ transplants.
Ochsner patients have peace of mind knowing they’re being treated at the region’s top medical center, home to world-renown physicians representing every specialty and sub-specialty you can imagine.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment for a consultation or second opinion, call 504-842-2701 or schedule online through myochsner.org. Next-day appointments may be available.
Weight Loss Seminars
Ochsner offers free Weight Loss Seminars to anyone 18 years or older considering weight loss surgery. The sessions last from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and are followed by a half-hour question and answer period. Friends and family members are invited to lend their support by coming along. After the session, you can schedule a consultation if you wish, but no commitment is required. Before booking an appointment, we strongly encourage patients to attend a seminar to gain a clear understanding of the process.
COVID-19, meetings will not occur in-person and will take place via video
conferencing- An invite will be sent to established bariatric patients through
the Ochsner MyOchsner or call 504-842-2701 to get additional information.
*Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)
Meet Our Team
The Bariatric Surgery Program at Ochsner on Jefferson Highway is led by pioneering weight loss surgeon Dr. William S. Richardson, President of LA Chapter ASMBS American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Our other fellowship-trained Bariatric surgeons include James B. Wooldridge, Jr., MD and Jessica Gorham, MD.
Our weight loss program team also includes:
Nadia Fernandez, NP
Laura LaBorde, RD
Marian Vigo, RD
Along with specially trained psychologists and dietitians, our patients benefit from the expertise of a dedicated bariatrician, Amanda Fontenot, MD. Bariatric physicians specialize in the medical treatment of obesity and related disorders. Nurse coordinators Jeannine Runnels, RN, and Cynthia Hart, RN, help our patients navigate through the process. To be respectful of your time, they will try their best to schedule tests on the same day, when possible. All testing is done here on-site.
Our surgical experts offer laparoscopic, endoscopic and revision procedures, which includes:
Laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass: This weight-loss surgery is one of the most common bariatric surgeries performed in the U.S. Surgeons create a small pouch to restrict food intake and bypass a segment of the small intestine. This surgery is for patients with a BMI of 40 or 35 with co-morbidities.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: This procedure involves removing about 75% of the stomach, leaving a narrow gastric “tube” or “sleeve.” No intestines are removed or bypassed. This surgery is primarily for patients with a BMI of 40 or 35 with co-morbidities.
LAP-BAND® removal: When there are complications or a failure to lose weight, a LAP-BAND revision may be required. This may consist of a LAP-BAND removal and a revision to another bariatric surgery.
ORBERA™ endoscopic balloon: This incisionless option is ideal for people with short-term weight loss goals, no co-morbidities and a BMI between 30 and 40. With this procedure, a soft balloon is placed endoscopically in your stomach for six months which encourages portion control. This procedure is not covered by insurance and pricing is available upon request.
At Ochsner, we ensure that all of our patients are fully educated and able to make an informed decision before undergoing weight reduction surgery. And after your procedure, we offer support groups and yearly appointments for life.
Bariatric patients are eligible to receive a free 60-day membership to Ochsner Fitness Center. Physician referral required. Ask your doctor.
Risks of Obesity
In the United States, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death (after smoking). Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are more likely to experience one or more of the following:
- Acid Reflux
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Female infertility
- Gallbladder disease/gallstones
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Post-menopausal breast, endometrial and colon cancers
Download Our App
With the Baritastic app, you can:
- Track nutrition
- View a seminar to surgery checklist
- Track exercise
- Track weight loss
- Get vitamin & supplement reminders
- Learn about Bariatric Surgery
- Access diet guidelines
- View a bariatric food/water timer
Download the app and enter the code below in the "Connect to My Program" section: 22701
Insurance and Financing Options
Some insurance companies require you go to hospitals with certain qualifications for bariatric surgery. Blue Cross Blue Shield requires its policy holders to go to Ochsner, which has received the Blue Distinction designation for safe, effective care. We also treat patients with United Health Care, Cigna, Aetna and Regional Walmart.
Many insurance companies still consider bariatric surgery an elective procedure. Contact your carrier to find out if you’re covered. For out-of-pocket costs and other information, please contact our financial coordinator at 504-842-0173.
Learn about CareCredit.
The Bariatric Surgery Program at Ochsner Medical Center on Jefferson Highway includes BLIS surgeons – doctors who have met the highest standards when it comes to short-term outcomes and long-term patient success. As a result of our BLIS status, we are able to participate in innovative insurance coverage which allows us to make a commitment to our self-pay patients. Should a covered complication occur within certain time frames, our patients are not responsible for the costs.
This meeting will not occur in-person and will take place via Zoom. An invite will be sent to established Bariatric patients through the MyOchsner portal or mobile app. If you are not a patient, please call 504-842-2701 to speak to a team member to receive an invite.
Have a patient you think would benefit from Bariatric Surgery? Call 504-842-2701 or email: email@example.com