Taking the First Steps

Patient Stories

Patient Stories - Bill Biggers
Bill Biggers, Chapel Hill, NC recounts how weight-loss surgery has given him a new lease on life.

Patient Stories - Phyllis Thomas
Phyllis Thomas, Pittsboro, NC, describes how she came to undergo gastric-bypass weight-loss surgery and the health benefits it's provided her.

Determining if Weight-Loss Surgery is the right choice.


  Video:  "Watch Now"   Weight Loss Surgery Video


Weight-loss Information Seminar:

Please join us for an information session to learn how weight-loss surgeries can help you or someone you care about.  In the sessions, members of UNC Health Care's team - one of the nation's leading Bariatric groups - provide details on the options for weight-loss surgery and on the benefits of UNC's personalized approach.

1. Attend Information Seminar

UNC Wellness Center:

  1. Seminars will be held on the following dates from 6-7pm.
    1. Tuesday, October 21
    2. Tuesday, November 25
    3. Tuesday, December 23
  2. Located at Meadowmont, 100 Sprunt St. Chapel Hill, NC 27517.
  3. Led by either Dr. Timothy Farrell "or" Dr. Wayne Overby. 
  4. Please call 919-966-8436 to register.

    Support Group:

    1. Support Groups are generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6-7pm. Exceptions will be noted below.
      1. The October support group will be held on October 15th.
    2. Located at Aesthetic Center, 151 Old University Station Road, Chapel Hill, NC   27514.
    3. For questions, please call Bariatric Coordinator, Lisa Prestia, RN, CBN, at 919-966-8436.

          2. Verify insurance information

          You will need to call your insurance company to determine if Bariatric surgery is a covered benefit. (Note: We do not accept Medicaid).  Most insurance requires 4 - 6 months of supervised diet and exercise programs with your Primary Care Provider, as well as a Letter of Support.  The codes for the operative procedures are:

          3. Complete the Application

          You will need a complete assessment to see if Bariatric surgery is right for you including:

          4. Attend a multi-disciplinary clinic visit

          This pre-surgical evaluation is an all-inclusive appointment:

              • You will meet with a dietitian, psychologist, and nurse practitioner at the Highgate Specialty Clinic. Appointment letter.
              • After this visit, the compiled information will be submitted to your insurance for final approval.
              • Once approved, an appointment with the Bariatric surgeon will be scheduled.

              5. Personalized Treatment

              Together, we will take steps to determine:

                  • If surgery is the right treatment for you.
                  • The type of procedure that is right for you.
                  • If you are mentally and emotionally prepared to make lifelong lifestyle changes.
                  • That you have, or will have, the necessary support system around you as you get back to life after your weight-loss surgery.

                  Making Appointments for Tara Zychowicz, FNP:

                    • 919-966-8436, Make "new" appointment.
                    • 919-484-1015, Make "Return" appointment, effective 8/30/13.
                    • All appointments are located at: UNC Highgate Specialty Clinic, 5316 Highgate Dr. Suite 125, Durham, NC 27713.
                    • UNC Highgate Speciality Clinic, directions.

                  Additional Information: