Bariatric Seminars

How do I become a patient?

After deciding if bariatric surgery is the right choice, getting started with the process can be a bit confusing.

Our caring and dedicated team will provide you with all the resources needed to ease the process. We will help determine if you are a qualified candidate for surgery, help you decide which surgery option might be best for you, help with insurance approval and fully prepare you for a successful experience.

Begin your journey to a new you
  • Contact us at 803-376-5982 and speak with our patient care coordinator .
  • Complete one of the next three steps:
    • Attend a weight loss surgery seminar hosted by our experienced surgeons.
    • View our online webinar.
    • Speak with your primary care provider to be referred to our program.
  • Contact us to schedule a surgical consultation and attend pre-op dietician classes.
  • Obtain insurance approval and attend support group meetings.
  • Schedule your final preoperative evaluation and surgery date.
  • Arrange future long-term follow-up visits.

Patient care coordinator
Our experienced patient coordinator works with patients to assist them in facilitating the process. This includes verifying insurance coverage, helping patients meet certain requirements in order to be approved for surgery so that the wait time for bariatric surgery can be minimized.

New patient forms and other resources can be viewed or downloaded here.

Attend a seminar or webinar

The Weight Management Center offers free weight loss surgery seminars and webinars for individuals interested in bariatric surgery. Seminars are held on our hospital campuses in Columbia, South Carolina, to review the various types of weight loss surgery options available and what to expect during and after surgery.

In-person seminars

Our seminars are hosted monthly at our office at 1850 Laurel St., Suite 1A, Columbia, SC 29201. For additional information, call us at 803-376-5982.

2020 seminar dates

  • Tuesday, January 14, noon–1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 11, noon–1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 10, noon–1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 8, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 12, noon–1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 9, noon–1 p.m.

Register Today


As an alternative to attending a seminar, you may view our online webinar. After completing the webinar, you will be able to schedule an appointment with our staff to begin your weight loss journey.

Learn more and watch now »

Next steps

Surgical consultation
During the initial surgical consultation patients will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with one of our experienced surgeons. Your surgeon of choice will explain all of your surgical options, as well as the risks and benefits, and will help you decide which surgical option is best for you. Your surgeon also will determine what medical clearances might be appropriate for you. All patients are expected to undergo a routine preoperative dietician class and psychological screening visit. Patients may expect to have some blood work and tests performed during the initial consultation.

Obtaining insurance approval
Our dedicated team will help you obtain insurance approval. Our insurance specialist will help identify what these requirements are for you and will ensure that all insurance requirements are met.

Pre-op dietitian classes
Our experienced and dedicated bariatric dietitian will work closely with you and go far beyond diet counseling and help you learn to make lifestyle changes through nutritional choices and preparation, physical activity, stress management and more. Learn more about our classes »

Attend a support group
The Weight Management Center offers support groups designed to meet the needs of patients who had their weight loss surgery performed, whether by our surgeons or an outside facility. It is well recognized that patients who regularly attend support groups have fewer complications and better long-term weight loss. Groups meet at 1501 Laurel St. and on the Prisma Health Baptist Hospital campus. For more information, call 803-376-5982.

Final preoperative evaluation
Two weeks before surgery patients will have their final preoperative evaluation with either the surgeon or nurse practitioner. During this evaluation we will review your preparation and required documents for surgery. You will undergo a complete physical examination and have an opportunity to review and sign your operative permit. We also will provide you with information on our special preoperative diet plan to help “shrink your liver” in order to facilitate your procedure and lower your surgical risk.

We understand that the decision to pursue weight loss surgery is personal and can be difficult. Deciding which procedure is right for you is the next step. We are proud to offer all approved primary, revisional and corrective procedures.

Long-term follow-up visits
Rest assured our team is dedicated to providing you with long-term follow-up and support, especially during those critical first 12 months after surgery. Routine follow-up visits are performed at two weeks, six weeks, and three months, six months, nine months and then annually or bi-annually for life. Follow-up visits include, but are not limited to, vitamin and nutritional evaluation, medications review, discussing and reinforcing positive lifestyle changes and psychological support. Clinical evaluations are performed by our surgeons or nurse practitioner. Patients desiring skin reduction surgery can be referred to experienced plastic surgeons.