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Bariatric weight-loss surgery

monica munoz

Meet Monica Muñoz, weight-loss warrior

Monica has lost more than 100 pounds after bariatric surgery and major lifestyle changes - including setting up a challenging fitness course in her backyard. In May, she even completed a grueling Spartan Race. Read about her inspiring experience in the latest issue of our Pulse magazine.


Have you tried to lose weight with diet or exercise and been unsuccessful? If you’re struggling with obesity, you may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery.

At Community Hospital, we provide safe bariatric weight-loss procedures performed by compassionate, experienced surgeons in Monterey County – most commonly laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. The program is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a distinction earned by programs that provide superior surgical care and achieve top levels of performance.

Is bariatric surgery right for you?

Bariatric surgery is designed to help people lose and keep off large amounts of weight to improve health and quality of life. Being severely overweight also increases the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea, cancer, and depression.

You may qualify for bariatric surgery at Community Hospital if you have:

  • Body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 40 and two severe, obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, joint disease requiring joint replacement, or heart disease
  • Body mass index higher than 40
  • Tried to lose weight without success

Prospective patients can learn more on our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

Find out your BMI using this calculator, provided by the U.S. department of Health & Human Services.

How can you learn more about bariatric surgery?

People interested in bariatric surgery are invited to attend a free informational seminar, held in two convenient locations – at the Ryan Ranch Outpatient Campus in Monterey, and Montage Wellness Center in Salinas.

  • Oct
    3
    Thursday
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    This informational meeting by surgeon Dr. Mark Vierra or Dr. Steven S. Chang is free and open to the public. Attendance is highly recommended before making an appointment for weight-loss surgery consultation.
  • Oct
    17
    Thursday
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    This informational meeting by surgeon Dr. Mark Vierra or Dr. Steven S. Chang is free and open to the public. Attendance is highly recommended before making an appointment for weight-loss surgery consultation.

Care and resources 

Group Meeting

After attending one of our informational seminars, prospective patients:

  • Are evaluated individually by a surgeon
  • Receive dietary and psychological counseling
  • Undergo medical testing to assess overall health and fitness for surgery

Prospective patients are also encouraged to attend a support group meeting before surgery to hear from people who have undergone bariatric surgery.

What types of bariatric surgeries are performed?

  • Laparoscopic gastric bypass - The most common bariatric procedure, gastric bypass involves creating a new, smaller stomach pouch to facilitate eating smaller meals, which results in consuming fewer calories.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy - This procedure involves removing 80 percent of the stomach, limiting the volume of food that can be consumed. 

We also perform revisional weight-loss surgery when necessary and we have a special interest and expertise in caring for seriously overweight people who need non-weight-loss surgery, as well.

Why choose Community Hospital's program?

Community Hospital’s bariatric program started in 2001 and since then more than 2,000 weight-loss surgeries have been done. In addition to surgical expertise, our comprehensive program includes consultation with dietitians, psychologists, physical therapists, and multiple support groups, enabling us to care for all of the needs related to undergoing weight-loss surgery.

The bariatric program is directed by Dr. Steven S. Chang, who completed a fellowship in minimally invasive/bariatric surgery at University of California San Francisco and Fresno and is board-certified in general surgery. Dr. Chang is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Mark Vierra, MD, has performed bariatric surgery since 1991, when he established the bariatric surgery program at Stanford University Medical Center. In 2001, he moved his practice to Monterey, and has performed more than 3,350 bariatric procedures.

Weight-loss surgery veterans share lessons learned

Pinkie WeesnerPinkie Weesner

Pinkie Weesner approached weight-loss surgery with a clear-eyed view of what it could — and couldn’t — do.

Read her story

John Fritz

John Fritz

John started gaining weight at age 7 or 8. As he got older, he'd lose 100 pounds and then gain 120.

Read his story

Gail Santillan

Gail Santillan

Gail had a daughter and then, three years later, triplet sons. She became overwhelmed and depressed and started eating more, which became a lifestyle.

Read her story

Elizabeth Rodriguez

Elizabeth Rodriguez

Elizabeth had been having fatty liver issues, partly due to a lot of yo-yo dieting over the years. She could lose weight but would gain it back.

Read her story

Contact us

Sign up for a free informational seminar.

Register today


If you think bariatric surgery might be right for you, call us for more information.

(831) 508-3836


View all of our support groups.

Learn more

Bariatric surgeons

Mark Vierra, MD photo

Dr. Mark Vierra
(831) 649-0808

Dr. Chang

Dr. Steven Sung Yul Chang
(831) 649-0808

Monterey County Surgical Associates

MBSAQIP

Aspire Health Plan

Montage Wellness Center

Central Coast Health Connect

Community Health Innovations