Starnes Surgical Associates
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Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Dr. Cody Starnes is a board-certified general surgeon with fellowship training in advanced Minimally Invasive and Bariatric surgery. 

History of Weight Loss Surgery:

Weight loss surgery was born in the 1950s-1960s. There have been several procedures that have come and gone with a few lasting the test of time. According to the CDC, 42% of adults in the US are obese. There are studies that report that only 2% of patients who attempt medically supervised weight loss have lasting results. Surgery is currently the most effective means to obtain significant and lasting weight loos. However, only 1% of patients who qualify for surgical weight loss ever see a bariatric surgeon.

Standard Insurance Requirements to Qualify for Surgery:

  1. BMI ≥ 35 with 1-2 medical problems related to obesity (e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high cholesterol, stress urinary incontinence)
  2. BMI ≥ 40 regardless of associated medical problems.
  3. Attempts at medically supervised weight loss without lasting effect.

There are many surgical and non-surgical weight loss options available to patients. As a fellowship trained bariatric surgeon, I am comfortable performing a plethora of weight loss surgeries. In addition, we also offer a medically supervised program.

Below are the surgical options offered by our practice.

Excess Skin Removal Following Massive Weight Loss

Dr. Starnes performs the following types of skin removal following massive weight loss. These procedures remove excess skin and subcutaneous fat following weight loss surgery.


A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess hanging skin and fat called a pannus or “apron” from the lower abdomen after a big weight loss. A panniculectomy isn’t a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), a procedure done for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons.


Abdominoplasty – also known as a tummy tuck – is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the abdomen. During an abdominoplasty, excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen. Connective tissue in the abdomen (fascia) usually is tightened with sutures as well.


Thighplasty is a procedure to tighten and improve the overall appearance of thighs. Candidates for this procedure have loss of skin elasticity in the thigh or have thighs with a saggy, dimpled or flabby appearance which improves dramatically if the loose skin is lifted.


Brachioplasty is an arm lift that reshapes the under portion of the upper arm from the underarm region to the elbow.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

This is a surgery that involves removing 70-80% of your stomach to create a narrow “banana-shaped” stomach. Your new stomach is less elastic and will only hold about 5-6 ounces of food.

  • Patient’s lose about 70% of their excess weight in the first year after surgery.
  • This procedure can worsen existing heartburn.
  • The most common vitamin deficiency is iron.
  • There are other potential complications that your surgeon will go over at your appointment.


Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass

This is a surgery that involves creating a small gastric pouch that makes you feel full quickly. In addition, we bypass about 5 feet of small intestine. This leads to malabsorption of nutrients.

  • It is imperative to take a daily multivitamin and have your vitamin levels checked routinely.
  • There are a number of potential complications that your bariatric surgeon will discuss with you at your appointment.

Duodenal Switch

This is a surgery that involves creating a sleeve gastrectomy followed by bypassing a significant portion of small intestine. There is only about 3 feet of intestine through which nutrients are being absorbed. This can result in severe chronic vitamin deficiencies. However, this is very effective in obtaining durable weight loss.

SIPS/SADI Procedure

This is an operation that has been around since 2005. However, the FDA still considers it investigational. This surgery is a modified duodenal switch. I can perform this procedure at our local hospitals under an IRB approved program.

Revisional Weight Loss Surgery

There are various reasons why your initial weight loss surgery might have failed. Be it from a complication, genetics, or non-compliance. Nevertheless, there are several options both surgically and medically for addressing weight loss surgery failures.