Weight Loss Management

Nearly 70% of adult Americans are obese or overweight, but we can help you. At Tallahassee Memorial, we offer the most robust services and treatment options in the Big Bend region to help people successfully lose weight and lead healthier lives.
Obesity is a chronic disease and it is closely linked to other health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. As with other diseases, a medical approach is often best to see long term, healthy results.
Bariatric Center
The Bariatric Center is committed to treating obesity through a team approach that is customized to the patient. Read More >
Premier Health & Fitness
Premier Health & Fitness Center is committed to providing unmatched service, innovative fitness programs and wellness treatments Read More >
What is BMI?
BMI stands for “body mass index.” It is calculated from your height and weight. Read More >

Treatments & Services

Meal Replacement

The Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center is one of the only providers of OPTIFAST, a medically supervised full meal replacement plan, in Tallahassee. This physician-supervised program transitions to self-prepared everyday meals through lifestyle education and the help of our dietitians. Most participants see 50 to 70 pounds of weight loss during the program.

What is Optifast?

Nutrition Therapy

Led by our registered dietitian, the Bariatric Center offers customized meal planning to help each patient learn about what he or she eats and how to make healthier decisions. Patients are also encouraged to keep a food journal as a way to keep track of their diets.

Behavioral Therapy

Often behavior is closely linked to food intake. At the Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center, we have a behavioral therapist specially trained to help with the emotional and behavioral components of weight loss.

Exercise Therapy

Through a partnership with Premier Health & Fitness Center (link to the main Premier landing page), the Bariatric Center offers an opportunity for patients to learn about being active and apply this knowledge at one of the Tallahassee’s top fitness centers.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

How Gastric Bypass Surgery Works

Gastric bypass is a restrictive surgery technique that also alters the digestive process. The surgery restricts food intake by creating a smaller stomach pouch. It alters the body's normal digestive process by decreasing the amount of calories and nutrients the body is able to absorb. After surgery, food bypasses a large part of the stomach and most of the small intestine.

The Gastric Bypass Procedure

Gastric bypass surgery can be performed as an open procedure or a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) procedure. Laparoscopic surgery is performed using small incisions. This usually means a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures. Most surgeons prefer the laparoscopic approach.

First the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch. Then a section of the small intestine is attached directly to the pouch. This causes food to bypass a portion of the small intestine, where calories and nutrients are absorbed. Having a smaller stomach pouch causes you to feel full sooner and eat less food. Gastric bypass patients report an early sense of fullness and satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.

One study found, following laparoscopic gastric bypass, patients were able to leave the hospital after 3 days and return to work after 21 days.

Gastric Sleeve Procedure

How a Gastric Sleeve Works to Help You Lose Weight

During this procedure a thin, vertical sleeve of stomach is created and the rest of the stomach is removed. The sleeve is about the size of a banana. This procedure limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full sooner. It allows for normal digestion and absorption. Food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order allowing it to be fully absorbed in the body.

The majority of gastric sleeve procedures performed today use a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) technique. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.

The length of time of the surgery varies. One study found that the average operative time was 1.5 to 3.5 hours and the average hospital stay was 2 to 5 days. Patients usually return to normal activities in 2 weeks and are fully recovered in 3 weeks.

One-Step and Two-Step Gastric Sleeve Procedure

Gastric sleeve procedure can be the first step before gastric bypass or it can be a single procedure for weight loss. If it is used as part of a two-step procedure, the first step is for the surgeon to create the small stomach "sleeve." After a period of time determined by the surgeon, another procedure would be done in which the surgeon attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the stomach pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. This causes your body to absorb fewer calories and consume less food.

The two-step procedure may be done because patients may not be able to tolerate both procedures during a single operation. Studies show the two-step procedure has been used successfully in patients with a body mass index greater than 50 or in high-risk patients.

Adjustable Laparoscopic Banding Surgery

How Adjustable Laparoscopic Banding Surgery Works

During the adjustable laparoscopic banding (gastric band) procedure, a band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach, dividing it into two parts: a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. The upper pouch can hold about 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of food. This causes you to eat less food at one time, feel full sooner, and feel satisfied longer. The goal of this surgery is to help you lose weight gradually, at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

No part of your stomach is stapled or removed during surgery, and your intestines are not rerouted, so you can continue to absorb nutrients from food.

The REALIZE Band

Our gastric band surgeons Dr. Crooms and Dr. Sieloff most often use the REALIZE Band for procedures. This band is made entirely of biocompatible materials, so it can be placed inside your body without causing harm. The side of the REALIZE Band that fits against your stomach is lined with a soft balloon. After the gastric banding surgery, saline (a safe fluid) is delivered into the balloon to control the band tightness.

The band is adjustable and the degree of band tightness affects how much food you can eat during a meal and the length of time it takes for food to empty from the upper pouch. After the surgery your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat supply for energy.

Placing the Adjustable Laparoscopic Band

The band is implanted using laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery while you're under anesthesia. Laparoscopic surgery is performed using small incisions. This usually means a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.

A small incision (less than 1/2 inch) is made near the belly button. Carbon dioxide (a gas that occurs naturally in the body) is introduced into the abdomen to create a space for the surgeon to work. Then a small laparoscopic camera is placed through the incision into the abdomen.

The camera sends a picture of the stomach and abdominal cavity to a video monitor. This gives the surgeon a good view of the key structures in the abdominal cavity. A few additional, small incisions are made in the abdomen. The surgeon watches the video monitor and works through these small incisions using instruments with long handles to complete the procedure. The surgeon creates a small, circular tunnel around the stomach, inserts the gastric band through the tunnel, and locks the band around the stomach.

Band Adjustments Help You Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

Your bariatric surgeon will personalize your band fit over time. After an adjustment, you'll be satisfied with less food, so you can keep losing weight gradually (1 to 2 pounds per week).

As you lose weight, the lap band fit will change. Periodic band adjustments ensure the amount of saline in your band (often called a "fill level") is comfortable for you and keeps you on track to meet your weight loss goals.