Bariatric Surgery and Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (2023)

Bariatric Surgery and Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (1)

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GBMC's Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP) understands that bariatric surgery requires a lifelong commitment and offers a variety of support services to help patients before, during and after their procedures. Recognized by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), COMP is noted for the comprehensive nature of its services and for its exceptional patient outcomes.

People with a body mass index (BMI) between 35-40 who suffer from comorbid conditions such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes may qualify for some form of bariatric surgery.

Bariatric Surgery and Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (2)

Our Team

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6535 N. Charles St, Ste 510 , Towson, MD, 21204-5832(443) 849-4800$Timothee J. Friesen, MD, earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency training at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. He completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at the North Shore University and Long Island Jewish Hospitals in Manhasset, New York. Board-certified in General Surgery, Dr. Friesen has a special interest in laparoscopic foregut and abdominal wall surgery, as well as minimally invasive approaches to treat gastrointestinal disorders and obesity.

(Video) Midday Maryland - Bariatric Surgery & Comprehensive Obesity Management Program at GBMC

, Towson, MD, 21204$Shauna M. Costinett, MD, is a board-certified general surgeon at Finney Trimble Surgical Associates and GBMC Health Partners Bariatrics. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her residency at in General Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois and her fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. Dr. Costinett has special interests in laparoscopic foregut surgery, hernia surgery, and bariatric surgery.

6565 N. Charles St. Pavilion East - Suite 501, Towson, MD, 21204443-849-4800$Emily J. Watters, MD, is a general surgeon for GBMC Health Partners Finney Trimble Surgical Associates and a bariatric surgeon for GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program. She completed a general surgery residency at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a minimally invasive surgery fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She studied medicine at the University of Texas School of Medicine and holds a master’s degree in Public Health. She is passionate about travel, hiking the national parks, lifting heavy weights, and being a native Texan - the San Antonio Spurs and good Mexican food.

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Our Team

Bariatric Surgery and Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (10)

Angela M. Walker

Practice Manager II

Angela joined the GBMC COMP Team in March 2019. She is a ‘military brat’ that traveled extensively growing up and still enjoys adventures with her family and friends. Angela is active with volunteer social, civic and leadership activities with children and teens. She is currently working on her Master’s in Health & Business Administration.

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Summer Esslinger, MSN, CRNP

Nurse Practitioner

Summer joined GBMC's Comprehensive Weight Management Program in August 2016 after graduating from the University of Delaware with a Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She previously worked as a registered nurse on a General/Bariatric Surgery unit, which inspired her to become a nurse practitioner in this specialty. Her favorite part of the job is listening to her patients proudly describe weight loss victories like lowering their Hemoglobin A1C out of diabetic range and being able to ride roller coasters again. Summer enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants in Baltimore, reading, watching documentaries and travel.

Bariatric Surgery and Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (12)

Melissa Bearekman, PA-C

Physicians Assistant

Melissa joined the C.O.M.P. Team in May of 2022. She has been a Physician Assistant since 2010 and attended PA School at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. Melissa joined the Bariatric Surgery Department to be able to form closer relationships with her patients and to help them achieve their health and weight loss goals. She enjoys providing education to patients and watching them succeed at things that they didn’t know were possible. On her days off, Melissa recharges by spending time with her husband, 2 children and golden retriever.

(Video) Your Journey Starts Now! Bariatric Surgery at GBMC's Comprehensive Obesity Management Program

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Jana Wolff, RD, LDN

Director of Nutrition

Jana became a member of the GBMC COMP team in July 2016. She was born in Long Island, New York. Jana received her Bachelor’s degree in both Nutrition Sciences and Communications and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins. Jana has always been interested in the unique role that food plays in everyone’s life. Jana also worked in worksite wellness for seven years before becoming a Registered Dietitian. In her spare time she loves cooking with her husband and spending time with friends and family.

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Madison Friel, RD

Registered Dietitian

Madison joined the C.O.M.P. Team in June 2022. She was born in San Diego, California and received her Bachelor’s degree in Physiological Science at University of California Los Angeles. After graduation she traveled to Hawaii and New Zealand to learn about farming practices, nutrition, and sustainability. Madison moved to Baltimore to complete her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, hiking with her dog, working out, and exploring new places with friends.

Samantha Broadwick

MBS Coordinator and MBSCR

Samantha joined GBMC COMP in November 2020. She is a graduate of the Villa Julie College, now Stevenson University, nursing program. Samantha has over 10 years of nursing experience in a variety of different fields including emergency medicine, telemetry, urology and outpatient surgery. She is CPR, ACLS and PALS certified. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting local wineries, cooking and reading.

Daysia Deshazo

Medical Assistant

Nina Johnson

Medical Assistant
(Video) Greater Living Live – GBMC Comprehensive Obesity Management Program

Shanay Davis

Surgical Coordinator

Shawna Artis

Insurance Verification Specialist

Taylah Davis

Patient Services Assistant

Our Services

Through our program, individuals will have access to:

  • Private Facebook support group
  • Regular appointments with a registered dietitian to prepare for surgery and adjust to post-surgery lifestyle and nutrition
  • Exercise and diet programs
  • Two types of bariatric surgery (gastric sleeve and gastric bypass) performed by top bariatric surgeons, often using laparoscopic techniques
  • Bariatric support groups before and after surgery
  • Medical Weight Loss Program for post-surgery patients still struggling with losing weight

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"My Weightloss Journey" - 5 Episode Series

Follow Ms. Wilson's journey from pre-weight loss surgery through her experience with the GBMC COMP program and to the present.

Watch Erin's Story

(Video) Weight Loss Options at the Comprehensive Obesity Management Program at GBMC

Surgical Options

Bariatric surgery is usually minimally invasive, also known as laparoscopic. Laparoscopic surgery results in fewer post-operative complications and pain and allows for an earlier return of bowel function. GBMC's COMP surgeons are additionally trained in single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), an approach resulting in minimal scarring.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Most of the stomach is sealed off using a band or surgical staples, except for a small pouch, which is then connected to the middle of the small intestine. The new connection bypasses the bottom portion of the stomach and top portion of the small intestine. This method works by restricting the intake of food well as preventing the body from absorbing all of the food eaten (malabsorption). It is the most common and offers the best weight loss of all of the surgery options.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Most of the stomach is removed and the remaining portion is a long tube or "sleeve." The basic anatomy of the digestive system does not change. This procedure reduces complications, decreases the risk of vitamin deficiencies and produces comparable weight loss to that of other types of bariatric surgery.

(Video) GBMC Bariatrics - Comprehensive Obesity Management Program: Patient Experience


What BMI do you need to be for bariatric surgery? ›

To be eligible for weight-loss surgery, you must meet the following requirements: Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or have a BMI between 35 and 40 and an obesity-related condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.

Is bariatric surgery the most successful weight loss strategy? ›

Currently, bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity and its metabolic complications; however, 15–35% of the patients that undergo bariatric surgery do not reach their goal for weight loss.

Do I qualify for bariatric surgery Canada? ›

Surgery is usually only recommended for morbidly obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40. It might also be recommended for obese individuals with a BMI over 35 if those individuals suffer from at least one other medical problem related to obesity (heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems).

What are the three types of bariatric surgeries? ›

Types of bariatric surgery
  • Roux-en-Y (roo-en-wy) gastric bypass. This procedure is the most common method of gastric bypass. ...
  • Sleeve gastrectomy. With sleeve gastrectomy, about 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a long, tube-like pouch. ...
  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.

What can disqualify you from bariatric surgery? ›

Exclusions for weight loss surgery
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction.
  • Age under 16 or over 75.
  • History of heart disease or severe lung problems. ...
  • Chronic pancreatitis (or have a history of this).
  • Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erthyematosus.

Is bariatric surgery painful? ›

You may feel pain at the incision site or as a result of how your body was positioned during surgery. Some patients also experience neck and shoulder pain, which occurs when the body reabsorbs the gas used during surgery. Notify your care team if your pain prevents you from moving.

How much weight do you lose in 3 months after gastric sleeve? ›

Weight Loss Percentage Rate After Gastric Sleeve

As a result, you can expect a quick surge in your weight loss in the first 3 months following surgery. You could lose an average of 25-35%* excess weight – between 30 and 40 pounds.

What percent of patients actually gain their weight back after bariatric surgery? ›

Typical early weight loss following bariatric surgery ranges from 47–80% of excess weight. However, typical weight regain is 15–25% of that lost weight. This can be very disheartening for patients and it is very important to manage expectations of weight following surgery.

How often does bariatric surgery fail? ›

Failure after bariatric surgery is defined as achieving or maintaining less than 50% of excess weight loss (EWL) over 18 to 24 months or a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 35. The failure rate of LRYGB has been reported to be ∼15% with a long-term failure rate of 20–35% and a revision rate of 4.5%.

How quickly can I get bariatric surgery? ›

How long do I have to wait before having bariatric surgery? From the time of the initial consultation, the average wait time is 6-8 weeks. During this time, you will undergo preoperative testing to evaluate whether surgery is a suitable option.

How much weight do you lose in a month with gastric sleeve? ›


Most patients lose between 2-4 lbs PER week for about 6-12 months, resulting in a monthly weight loss of about 8 to 16 pounds. More weight is lost in the first month than in any other month, mostly due to the way eating is structured in that month.

Can you claim weight-loss surgery on taxes? ›

Most people do not realize this, but bariatric surgery, regardless of whether it is lap band, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, qualifies as a medical expense to claim on your taxes. The weight loss surgery, supplements and medications you purchase throughout the year can be turned into a financial benefit for you.

What is the easiest weight loss surgery? ›

Lap band surgery is the least invasive procedure for weight loss surgery, yielding the fastest recovery time.

What is the most common complication of bariatric surgery? ›

An anastomotic leak is the most dreaded complication of any bariatric procedure because it increases overall morbidity to 61% and mortality to 15%.

Why do you have to pee before bariatric surgery? ›

Testing can also help to ensure that a person is not using any drugs which may impair their lung function and put them at higher risk for complications while under anesthesia. It can also help to determine if a person is likely to abuse medications or painkillers that they are prescribed during recovery.

What is the safest bariatric surgery? ›

The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is the most widely used, and safest, in the bariatric world. As with any major surgery, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries pose potential health risks, both in the short term and long term.

Can you get gastric bypass at 200 lbs? ›

To be eligible for bariatric surgery, you must be between 16 and 70 years of age (with some exceptions) and morbidly obese (weighing at least 100 pounds over your ideal body weight and having a BMI of 40).

How do you poop after bariatric surgery? ›

Relief for constipation after bariatric surgery

Also, try these tips to avoid constipation after bariatric surgery: Stay hydrated: Drink adequate fluids to help soften your stool. You should drink at least 48 ounces per day. Exercise: Take frequent short walks throughout the day, as tolerated.

Why is divorce rate so high after bariatric surgery? ›

Increased incidence of divorce and separation after bariatric surgery might be associated with increased tension in already vulnerable relationships or to improvements that empower patients to leave unhealthy relationships.

How do you sleep after bariatric surgery? ›

Sleep on Your Back or Side

The best way to sleep after gastric sleeve surgery is on your back or side. This will help keep the stomach and lungs clear of pressure, which can cause discomfort. If you are a side sleeper, it is best to use a pillow between your legs to keep your spine aligned.

What's the lowest BMI for gastric sleeve? ›

Learn your body mass index

You typically qualify for bariatric surgery if you have a BMI of 35 or greater, with specific significant health problems like Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

Can I get bariatric surgery with BMI of 30? ›

If your BMI is between 25-30, it means that you are overweight and are a possible candidate for the gastric sleeve. The surgery is performed using laparoscopy meaning that there will only be a few small incisions through which the doctor performs the procedure.

Can you get gastric bypass at 200 lbs? ›

To be eligible for bariatric surgery, you must be between 16 and 70 years of age (with some exceptions) and morbidly obese (weighing at least 100 pounds over your ideal body weight and having a BMI of 40).

Can I get gastric sleeve with BMI of 30? ›

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in patients with a BMI between 30 and 35 kg/m2 plus comorbidities has shown to be safe and effective.


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