Experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery specialize in weight loss surgery and provide a multi-disciplinary approach to caring for our patients. The team prides itself on its superior long-term successes. Our surgeons have performed over 2,200 bariatric procedures and have one of the lowest complication rates in the United States.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery has been recognized as a member of the Bariatric Surgery Center Network by the American College of Surgeons. Earning this prestigious acknowledgement attests to the safety, efficiency and overall positive reputation of our bariatric surgery team. In addition, we have been recognized by the bariatric excellence programs at Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare. We are deeply committed to improving the health of our patients.
Our bariatric team recognizes that morbid obesity is a debilitating disease of mind, body and spirit. This is why we've chosen a multi-disciplinary team approach in caring for each and every one of our bariatric surgical patients.
Our team consists of dedicated and experienced bariatric surgeons, nurse practitioners, dietitians, psychiatrists and physical therapists. We offer ongoing support groups pre- and post-operatively to support our patients through this lifestyle change.
Our bariatric surgeons are board-certified surgeons with over 25 years of combined surgical experience. They are able to offer myriad surgical options. Meeting with your surgeon will allow you to determine the best surgical option for you.
Surgery is only a tool to assist in losing weight. It is extremely important that the patient completely understand that bariatric surgery is not a last resort, quick fix, or cure-all to being morbidly obese. You must be committed to changing your daily lifestyle habits related to nutrition and exercise. Surgery is only the beginning to the lifelong committment that you're making to yourself.
Director, Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery Center
Director, Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program
Surgery Clerkship and Curriculum Surgical Director
Chief, General Surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Director, Comprehensive Hernia Center
Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery
Director, Minimally-Invasive Surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Assistant Director of Surgical Clerkship - Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Our Nurse Practitioners
An advanced practitioner will assist in your pre- and post-operative care. You'll meet her during your initial surgical consultation and she'll obtain your past medical history. The mid-level practitioner also will explain the surgical procedure, as well as the risks, benefits and possible complications. She will help you with post-operative support and medical treatment.
Our Bariatric Nurse Coordinator
Rachel Dragunas, BSN, RN
Rachel Dragunas, BSN, RN, earned her nursing degree from The Ohio State University. She started her career as a staff nurse specializing in cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland. She also has valuable experience working in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit since 2004. Rachel has a strong interest in teaching health and wellness and is also certified as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise. She is developing a role as a Bariatric Nurse Coordinator by providing patient education and support to the bariatric patients as well as working with the multidisciplinary team to ensure optimum care to our patients.
Each patient is required to meet with a registered dietitian at least once prior to surgery, and then as needed post-operatively. The dietitian will discuss the pre- and post-operative dietary guidelines, behavioral changes, and the supplements you'll need following the surgery for the rest of your life.
Suzanne Carobrese, RD, LDN, CDE
Cynthia Finley, RD, LDN
Lorraine Giangrandi, MS, RD, LDN
Each patient is required to meet with a psychiatrist or psychologist prior to surgery. He or she will evaluate your understanding of the procedure, assess your motivation to comply with the post-operative surgery instructions and lifestyle changes, look for the presence of any mental health problems that might need to be addressed, and discuss the documentation of past self-disciplinary eating patterns and your understanding of the importance of physical activity, stress management and social support.
Our Pre-operative Evaluation Nurses
Each patient will meet with an advanced clinical nurse during his or her pre-operative evaluation screening appointment. The purpose of this visit is for anesthesia screening (note: all patients will also be seen by their anesthesiologist on the day of surgery, prior to going to the operating room). During this evaluation, the nurses will review all of the medical information received from the patient's primary care physician and other specialists before that documentation goes to the anesthesiologist for final review and clearance. At this time, the nurses will spend a lot of time doing pre- and post-operative teaching. Patients are encouraged to ask questions and will be given handouts and literature to reinforce education.
Physical Therapists/Occupational Therapists
The physical therapist and occupational therapist will be important people right after your surgery. They will see you in the hospital following the surgery, help you out of bed and assist you in walking and getting around. They also will teach you exercises that you can do upon your return home. Mobility right after surgery is very important to help prevent complications and speed up your recovery process, so it's crucial for you to get moving.
Our Research Program Coordinator
Ransom Wyse joined the staff at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery in August 2012 and currently is coordinating several clinical trials.
Our Surgical Office Staff
Our medical office coordinators at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery assist our potential surgical candidates through the approval process for bariatric surgery. They're available to answer questions regarding appointments, insurance criteria and program requirements.
The requirements of our program and the insurance approval process are explained in detail to each candidate in order to ensure that our patients understand the steps necessary to getting authorized for surgery. It is our goal to make this process as easy as possible for each and every one of our patients.
The staff also is responsible for obtaining authorization for surgeries, sending letters to primary care physicians and making sure that candidates have the necessary information to make this process go smoothly. In the event that the candidate is denied approval for surgery, our staff will prepare the paperwork for the appeal process.
Medical Office Coordinator for Dr. Schweitzer
Medical Office Coordinator for Dr. Nguyen / Monica Lovins, CRNP
Medical Office Coordinator for Dr. Steele
Medical Office Coordinator for Dr. Lidor
Medical Office Coordinator for Dr. Magnuson, Colleen Abell, CRNP, and Patricia Jordan, CRNP
Office coordinators are available to answer questions Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 410-550-0409 or fax 410-550-1822.