Weight Loss Surgery Program

About the Program

Our comprehensive program includes surgical options as well as nutritional and lifestyle support needed to maintain a healthy weight. Weight-loss surgery is safe, effective and long-lasting. Your journey to weight loss begins here.

Do I Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?

RWJ Rahway understands that the decision to have weight-loss surgery is personal and life-altering. We’ve developed a list of guidelines to help you decide whether you’re ready to make the commitment.

Weight-loss surgery is not a cosmetic procedure. For many, it’s considered medically necessary to improve overall health. Some of the criteria you must meet to be considered for weight-loss surgery are determined by your insurance company. Most insurers will require about three to six months of a medically supervised weight-loss program. This means you will be under the supervision of our physician, dietitian and other medical professionals. Importantly, bariatric surgery including the consultation is covered by your insurance company and there is no obligation should you decide not to continue. If you continue, you will learn what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Throughout the process, we will help you adopt healthy eating and exercise habits.

You may be a candidate for surgical weight loss if you are:
  • 100 lbs. over ideal body weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater with other obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol or severe sleep apnea

After the Surgery


Recovery time for bariatric surgery is minimal. Most patients will go home the next day. Gastric bypass patients will stay 2–3 days.

Life After Surgery

Commitment and dedication play an important part in the long-term success of the weight loss journey. Surgery gives patients a tool to assist with weight loss, but it’s the mental and emotional changes that need to be made after surgery that ensure success.

Most of the weight loss following bariatric surgery happens in the first six to nine months. This time is best optimized by committing to a healthy diet and exercise plan. You will be burning more calories during this initial phase, and it’s important to take advantage of this by exercising daily—and burning even more calories.

Equally important are your follow-up appointments, lab testing, healthy nutrition and proper vitamin regimens. This is not an occasional commitment, it is a lifetime commitment. Studies show that patients who commit to eating a healthy diet, taking the required supplements, having routine blood work and incorporating exercise into their lives achieve the best results over time.


Nutrition is an important factor in bariatric surgery both before and after the procedure. A balanced and safe nutrition program is key to the lifestyle change that comes with bariatric surgery. Working closely with our dietitian, you’ll learn how to achieve a totally balanced diet—a diet that makes sense for you.


You’re not in it alone, and perhaps one of the most important aspects of a comprehensive weight-loss surgery program is the after-surgery support group. Attending a support group allows you to share your own personal experiences in open discussion and enables you to participate with your peers who are going through a similar situation. The support group addresses topics like snacking, meal portions, and self-esteem, to name just a few.


Wellness begins with sensible exercise. Once you are cleared by your physician, we’ll help you incorporate a manageable exercise program into your daily routine. In fact, RWJ Rahway helped develop a supervised exercise program in partnership with RWJ Fitness & Wellness Centers. The bariatric exercise program is available at all RWJ Centers. For information, call 908-838-9771.

My Options

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure in which the stomach is reduced to nearly a quarter of its original size. Before surgery the stomach looks like a pouch. After the surgery, the stomach looks more like a sleeve. The smaller stomach means a quicker sense of fullness and decreased appetite. The smaller stomach also restricts food intake.

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding

This procedure uses an adjustable band placed at the top of the stomach to create a small pouch that limits food intake—the band may be adjusted to make the pouch smaller or larger.

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

Laparoscopic gastric bypass routes food past most of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine, creating a small stomach pouch. This small stomach pouch restricts food intake by allowing only a small amount of food to be eaten at one time. The bypass limits food and calorie absorption.

Dr. Anish Nihalani, Medical Director of the RWJ Surgical Weight-Loss Program at Rahway, is a graduate of the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey.
A skilled and experienced surgeon, he has performed more than 3,000 surgeries in the last 10 years, including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric sleeve and the gastric band, intragastric balloon and revisional procedures. Dr. Nihalani is a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).

Make an appointment today. Call 732.499.6300. Dr. Nihalani gives monthly talks on surgical options for weight loss. Check our Community Education calendar for dates and times.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway has been designated as a Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery by Surgical Review Corporation. Dr. Anish Nihalani has earned the COEMBS designation. Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery™, COEMBS ™ and the COEMBS seal are trademarks of Surgical Review Corporation. All rights reserved.

Patient Stories

  • “I was afraid I would miss food and want to eat more, but I just feel full with less food.”

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  • “I have no pain, and I’m so grateful to Dr. King. I can finally play with my grandchildren again.”

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  • “I love that I can wear my bathing suit without having to hide under a cover-up!”

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Patient Stories

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