University Medical Center building

Center for Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery

If you have struggled to lose excess weight, bariatric surgery may be the first step in a journey toward a new chapter of your life. Bariatric surgery, also called weight loss 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.

Total support for your weight loss goals

UMC's Center for Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery is supported by a multi-disciplinary team that includes bariatric surgeons, dietitians, behavioral therapists and nurse practitioners dedicated to helping our patients achieve their weight loss goals.

Bariatric surgery is a tool designed to help you achieve your weight loss goals, but it cannot and will not happen without your cooperation.

For best results, patients need to actively participate in a multi-disciplinary weight loss program that includes nutritional, emotional, and exercise counseling. Patients are encouraged to utilize our peer support groups and brief psychoeducational therapies in order to both prepare for and adjust to life after bariatric surgery. Our highly trained team is committed to providing the highest level of patient care every step of the way.

Congratulations on taking the first step to a better, healthier you. We look forward to welcoming you to our Bariatric Services at UMC.

Interested in learning more? Check back for additional dates for our free educational seminars. For additional information, please call 504.962.6262.

Weight loss and your health

More than 1/3 of U.S. adults suffer from obesity. Obesity is a medical condition involving excess body fat that increases the risk of health problems. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Obesity can reduce life expectancy by up to 20 years if not treated, which is why bariatric services can be crucial to your health and survival. This weight loss solution is a way to improve your abilities to participate in everyday life and improve, if not reverse, the adverse effects of health conditions.

Weight loss can help improve conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression

Do I qualify for bariatric services?

Bariatric Services are designed for those people who suffer from obesity. Obesity is measured by using Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations. To calculate your BMI, enter your height and weight into the table below.

If you have a BMI of 30 or more, you are considered obese and may qualify for our Bariatric Services. If your BMI is over 40, you are considered morbidly obese, which is a more severe form of obesity that poses extreme risks to your health and life.

To learn whether you are a candidate for Bariatric Surgery, please contact us at 504.962.6262.

Our services

Our commitment is to provide you with clear, thorough information about weight loss options designed to help you make the best decision for your immediate and long-term health. Helping you successfully prepare for weight loss surgery is our top priority at UMC.

Surgical options include:

  • Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) – You can expect to lose 60-70% of your excess weight with this procedure. Your new stomach will be about the size of a large thumb and the opening leaving the stomach will be about as wide as an index finger. The new pouch will be about the size of 30mL.

    The small pouch and small outlet created by the operation and the hormonal changes will help control the feeling of excessive hunger. Changes in eating and exercise behavior will be required for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.
  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – You can expect to lose 50-60% of your excess weight with this procedure. During this surgery about 80% of the stomach is removed to create a small sleeve stomach similar in shape and size to a banana. The new pouch will be between 60-120 ml. It is larger than the stomach pouch created during the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

The small pouch and hormonal changes will help control the feeling of excessive hunger. Changes in eating and exercise behavior will be required for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.

Note: The gastric bypass does a slightly better job than the sleeve gastrectomy at resolving medical problems.

Meet our team

Chris DuCoin, MD, MPH, FACS (Medical Director)Dr. Christopher DuCoin

Dr. Christopher DuCoin is a board-certified general surgeon who completed his Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at the University of California, San Diego, California. He earned his medical degree at St. George’s School of Medicine, and his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Tulane University, before completing residency in Orlando. DuCoin is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity (IFSO). He has multiple publications on the topic of weight-loss surgery and has lectured on the topic at both the national and international level. He is specially trained in robotic and bariatric surgery.

Michael Cook, MD, FACSDr. Michael Cook

Dr. Michael Cook is a fellowship-trained bariatric and general surgeon. He earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee - College of Medicine in Memphis, TN and completed his residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. He also completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Emory in Atlanta, GA. He is board-certified in General Surgery and has a special interest in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery.

Lindsey Poe, PsyDDr. Lindsey Poe

Dr. Lindsey Poe is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned her doctorate at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center with a focus on the connection between physical health conditions and mental wellness. Dr. Poe is a member of the American Psychological Association and specializes in psychological assessment and group therapy. As part of the bariatric surgery team, Dr. Poe will conduct psychosocial evaluations and group therapy as individuals prepare for the next step in achieving their weight loss goal.

Stephanie Ryan, DNP, APRN-BCEmily Alker

Dr. Stephanie Ryan is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who completed her doctoral degree at Louisiana State Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She is board-certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner with the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has over twenty years of experience in treating complex medical problems. Her passion is management of chronic illnesses and helping people live life to their fullest potential.

Emily Alker, RD, LDNDr. Stephanie Ryan

Emily Alker is a licensed dietitian/nutritionist and an integrated health member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Emily has been a bariatric dietitian since 2015, and a weight management dietetic practice group member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Emily graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor in Nutritional Sciences. She is passionate about partnering with her patients about their nutritional choices to help them improve their lifestyles and overall well-being.

Start your journey with us

Why “weight?” Take the next step to a better, healthier you by scheduling a Bariatric Services consultation with one of our representatives at UMC.

To make an appointment, please call 504.962.6262.