About the Bariatric Surgery Program

at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Nearly 36 percent of Americans are obese and struggle with weight loss, and obesity-related diseases continue to increase throughout the country. Although bariatric surgery has been around for decades as a weight-loss option, new research and supporting evidence show that bariatric surgery positively contributes to the healthy population. It has been proven to significantly reduce or cure major health risks like Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. Bariatric surgery is the clinical name for surgical weight-loss procedures. The goal of bariatric surgery is to reduce the size of the stomach leading to decreased calorie consumption and feeling fuller more quickly.

Bariatric Pre-operative booklet

At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), our comprehensive program not only includes surgical options, but we also provide metabolic medicine and address your weight loss goal with medical and nutritional therapy. For those who do not achieve weight loss through our medically supervised program, surgery may be the right choice. RWJUH understands that the decision to have weight loss surgery is personal and very important. We’ve developed a list of tools and guidelines to help you assess whether or not you are ready to make the commitment. Some of the criteria you must meet to be considered for weight-loss surgery are determined by your insurance company.

RWJUH is a Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery

The Bariatric Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) offers a comprehensive medical and surgical program for both adults and adolescents dedicated to making a lifestyle change.

Money Best Hospital Bariatric Surgery 2023

Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence 2019-2024 The Joint Commission National Quality Approval for Bariatric Care

ACS ASMBS Seal Accredited Center Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Aetna Institutes of Exellence - Bariatric

Cigna Center of Excellence - Bariatric Care Optum Center of Excellence - Bariatric Blue Distinction Center - Bariatric

RWJUH has received the Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award six years in a row. This reflects superior patient outcomes in the top 5% nationally. RWJUH is recognized by Healthgrades for Superior Performance in Bariatric Surgery and named among the top 5% of hospitals evaluated for Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric Surgery programs achieving this status must meet four criteria established by the Leapfrog Group, which includes meeting the Leapfrog Group’s standards for bariatric surgery weight loss, safe high-risk surgery, preventing health care-associated infections, and achieving an A or B Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade at the time of the Best Hospital List public announcement.

RWJUH also has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its Bariatric Surgery Program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes RWJUH’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

Aetna, Cigna, Optum, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield have also recognized our Bariatric Surgery Center for our excellent patient care.

From our pre-surgery informational seminars to our state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical procedures, all the way through to the post-procedure support groups, RWJUH is committed to a safe and comprehensive bariatric surgery program for the residents of New Jersey and beyond.

High Risk Bariatric Program in New Brunswick

Under the leadership of Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery, Ragui Sadek, MD, FACS, and Surgeon of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (SOEMBS), Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has developed a program for High Risk patients.

Patients who may qualify for our High Risk Program include:

  • LVAD and heart failure patients as bridge to transplant
  • Kidney/pancreas transplant patients and donor patients
  • Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) surgeries with two separate devices
  • Super morbidly obese adults and adolescents (BMl >60)
  • Adolescents (15-21 years of age)
  • Revisional bariatrics (laparoscopic and/or da Vinci)

A Comprehensive Program

RWJ’s Bariatric Surgery Center incorporates a number of different specialties all working together to develop a personalized care plan for you. This care plan includes extensive education and evaluation before surgery, and the lifetime follow-up care and support crucial to keeping the weight off and staying healthy.

  • Our pulmonologist will perform pulmonary function tests as well as sleep studies to diagnose any existing sleep apnea, an important condition to be aware of prior to your surgery
  • Referral to a gastroenterologist is important because we need to have a baseline status of your everyday digestive system. The doctor will also perform an endoscopy of your esophagus and stomach anatomy prior to surgery, and look for reflux disease, polyps, erosions and hernias.
  • We refer to a cardiologist prior to your surgery so we can determine your basic cardiac function, or what your heart is capable of handling. The cardiologist may also perform a cardiac stress test and/or echocardiogram.
  • An endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in metabolic disorders, will evaluate you to determine if diabetes is present.
  • A visit to a psychologist for counseling helps patients transition from a place of suffering with obesity to taking on the new lifestyle and dietary changes necessary for the best health outcomes.

Bariatric Surgery Program Outcomes

      Patient Stories

      • “My friends are surprised when they see me, too. I’ve gotten so many compliments!”

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      • My knees don’t hurt, I’m not winded after carrying a bunch of groceries up the stairs. It’s the little things that keep me motivated to maintain my lifestyle.

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      • “It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. The best is still to come. You haven’t seen anything yet.”

        J.B. Flemming
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      Patient Stories

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