Bariatric surgeons Dr. Mark Colquitt and Dr. Jonathan Ray

Bariatric surgeons Dr. Mark Colquitt and Dr. Jonathan Ray

Obesity has become a significant national health issue. Our society is overweight. The foods we eat are often poor choices and can lead to obesity.

Morbid obesity, defined as having a BMI over 35 and being at risk for obesity- related health issues, is closely correlated with serious medical conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery and is the answer to the prayers of many who battle obesity and its accompanying issues.

Bariatric surgeons Dr. Mark Colquitt and Dr. Jonathan Ray of Foothills Weight Loss Specialists have helped more than 2,200 patients lose close to 200,000 pounds through a combination of surgical, spiritual and emotional support.

The atmosphere at the Center for Bariatric Surgery is one of support and encouragement. Many of our staff members have undergone bariatric surgery and use their experience to help others be successful on their journey.

The surgeons offer two main options for their patients: laparoscopic gastric bypass (usually done as a robotic procedure), in which a smaller stomach pouch is created and a portion of the small intestine is rerouted to the pouch; and sleeve gastrectomy, which removes a portion of the stomach and creates a narrower digestive tube.

“The safety of bariatric surgery has improved greatly,” Dr. Colquitt says. “Today, the surgical risk of the procedure is comparable to having a gallbladder removed.”

He says in most instances, the patient goes home within 24 hours after surgery.

“But in order for bariatric surgery to succeed, people have to commit to making the lifestyle changes to support the choice,” Dr. Colquitt says.

Dr. Ray adds, “Our team will be there for the patient before and after the procedure. We can get them to the door, but they have to walk through it.”

“Our goal is to promote health and wellness and support an obesity-free lifestyle,” they say, “and to help our patients become more  productive – and fully engaged in life.”

To learn if bariatric surgery may be the right choice for you, call (865) 984-3413 or visit to register for an free informational seminar!