Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - UMC to open Center for Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery

NEW ORLEANS, LA –  Obesity affects more than 30 percent of Louisiana’s adult population, with obesity rates for African Americans in the state reaching nearly 40 percent.  For many people struggling with obesity, weight loss surgery provides an opportunity to lose weight when other methods may have failed.

In July, that option will be available to more people in the area, including Medicaid recipients, with the launch of the UMC Center for Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery.

“Adding weight loss surgery to our services at UMC means that we can advance our mission of providing exceptional care to every patient we have the privilege to serve,” said Bill Masterton, President and CEO of UMC. “We are dedicated to improving the health status of the community, and we are excited to offer this option to help patients who are living with obesity.”

The new Center is led by Medical Director, Christopher DuCoin, MD, MPH, FACS, a board-certified, minimally invasive surgeon trained in robotic and bariatric surgery. To meet the individual needs of patients, UMC’s Center is supported by a multi-disciplinary team that includes bariatric surgeons, dieticians, behavioral therapists and nurse practitioners.

“The UMC Center for Weight Loss & Bariatric Surgery is a unique program in Louisiana with a goal of providing our services to all patients, including the underserved and Medicaid populations.” Dr. DuCoin said.  “Our multidisciplinary care team of surgeons, dietitians, and an array of doctors aims to better the health of the entire state one patient at a time.”

Bariatric surgery alters the size of the stomach, small intestine or both to assist with weight loss. Numerous scientific studies have shown that bariatric surgery, combined with lifestyle modification, leads to significantly better and longer lasting weight loss when compared to lifestyle modifications alone.

UMC’s bariatric surgery program will include gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

Gastric Bypass surgery reduces the size of the upper stomach to a small pouch about the size of a large thumb. The pouch and small outlet created by the operation and the hormonal changes help control the feeling of excessive hunger. Patients who undergo this procedure can expect to lose about 50% to 60% of their excess weight.

In Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, about 80% of the stomach is removed to create a small sleeve stomach about the shape and size of a banana. Patients who undergo this procedure can expect to lose about 50% to 60% of their excess weight.

With both procedures, changes in eating and exercise behavior will be required for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.

 “Surgery is a TOOL for weight loss, it is not an easy fix,” said Dr. Michael Cook, MD, FACS, a fellowship-trained bariatric and general surgeon. “To be successful losing weight and keeping it off, patients must be committed to making a change in their eating and exercise habits. It’s important to begin adopting these important habits as soon as possible.”

In June, UMC will host a series of free seminars for prospective patients. The seminars are open to anyone interested in learning more about whether weight loss surgery is right for them and the procedures offered at UMC.

Dates and times are as follows:

Wednesday, June 13, 5:30 p.m.
UMC Conference Center

Wednesday, June 20, 5:30 p.m.
UMC Conference Center

Wednesday, June 27, 5:30 p.m.
UMC Conference Center


To register for the free seminar, click here.

For more information about weight loss surgery at UMC, visit


About University Medical Center New Orleans

Opened in August 2015, University Medical Center New Orleans is the academic medical center of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit health system. UMC New Orleans serves as a key partner of LSU Health Science Center New Orleans, Tulane University School of Medicine and other academic institutions. UMC is home to the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Academic Research Hospital, named in honor of the respected Civil Rights and community leader who served in the Louisiana Legislature for more than 20 years.

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