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 are held:
    1. April, no seminar scheduled.
    2. May 6th, from 6-7pm.
    3. June 17th, from 6-7pm.
    4. July - December:  4th Tuesday of each month from 6-7pm.
  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 held 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6-7pm.
    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.
      • January 15, 2014, Patient Led Group, Sarah Turner Schroder, speaker; nutritionist at NC State and teaches the Eat Smart Move more weigh less program.
      • February 19, 2014, Patient Led Group.
      • March 19, 2014, Patient Led Group.
      • April 16, 2014, Patient Led Group, Christine Peat, guest speaker; a Licensed Psychologist.

          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: