The Hope Bariatrics Program

Where to Begin

This website is a good place to start. It has been created to give you a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery.

Hope Bariatrics requires every patient to attend a seminar in person, or watch our on-line seminar. After that, make an appointment at out office location in Sewickley. Dr. Wilcox performs surgery at Heritage Valley Sewickley.

Office location and main number for our office:
Phone: 412-741-8862
Address: 111 Hazel Lane, Suite 100 Sewickley, PA 15143

Finding an experienced weight loss surgeon is very important for safe outcomes and careful follow-up care. Geoffrey H. Wilcox, MD, FACS of Hope Bariatrics is a board certified general surgeon who has performed over 1,700 weight loss surgeries.

Talking to others who have taken the path you are now considering may help you understand what you need to know to make a decision you can be comfortable with. Hope Bariatrics invites you and a guest to attend our Weight Loss Surgery support groups.

Talking to your primary care physician, physician specialist or family physician is a good next step.

Call your insurance company to find out if they cover weight loss surgery. All insurances have different requirements, FIND OUT ABOUT YOURS!

In the end, your best source of information is an experienced bariatric surgeon who knows how to handle your special needs before, during and after weight loss surgery. Dr. Wilcox and Felix are available at our monthly seminars to answer all your question to help you decide if weight loss surgery is right for you.

For more information about weight loss surgery visit these sites:

Preparation for Surgery

Weight loss surgery is like other major surgeries. The best preparation is to understand the risks and potential benefits and to closely follow your doctor's instructions.

To mentally prepare yourself:

  • Understand the surgical process and what to expect afterwards. If you have questions, you can call our office and ask to speak to our clinical team (Physician Assistant, Registered Nurses, Registered Dietitian, and support staff). Our team is available to guide you through the surgical weight loss journey. Call our main office at 412-741-8862.
  • Talk to people who have had weight loss surgery; you are welcome to come to a weight loss surgery (WLS) Support Group--we have them every month at two locations.
  • Write a letter to yourself and your surgeon explaining your reasons for having the surgery and outlining your plans to maintain your weight loss after surgery.
  • Start a journal about your experience. Record how you feel now, the obstacles you encounter, the things you hope to be able to do after surgery.
  • Talk to the clinical psychologist about your feelings and get his/her help in planning some "coping strategies" for after surgery.
  • Get a letter of support from your family. It helps to know you have people behind you, waiting to help.


To physically prepare yourself, strictly follow your doctor's guidelines. These usually include, but are not limited to:

  • Restricting yourself to a clear liquid diet 12-24 hours before surgery.
  • Stop smoking for at least a month before surgery.
  • Be certain to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding any medications you may be taking to control other health conditions.
  • Arrive on time, with supplies from home for a three- to four-day hospital stay.
  • If you use special equipment for sleep apnea, you should bring your machine to the hospital.

The Hospital Stay

For the laparoscopic procedure most patient’s length of stay for the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy is 2 days. Patient’s length of stay for an open procedure is approximately 5 days. You will be discharged when you are able to:

  1. Take enough liquids and nutrients by mouth to prevent dehydration
  2. Have no fever
  3. Have adequate pain control with medication

Depending on which procedure is performed, one or two small tubes may be placed around the stomach pouch and the bypassed stomach to drain body fluids after the surgery. These are usually removed in three to ten days. To help prevent blood clots, anti-embolism compression devices will be placed on your legs and your surgeon will require you to attempt to stand up and move around as soon as possible, usually within the first 24 hours.

Depending on your medical condition, there is the possibility of being placed in the intensive care unit to closely monitor your heart and lungs. Depending on the hospital, patients who use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) for sleep apnea may be asked to bring their machines with them for use immediately after the operation.

Paying for Your Weight Loss Surgery

Insurance Requirements

Hope Bariatrics and most insurance companies follow the guidelines from the National Institute of Health (NIH) which include and are not limited to:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • BMI of 35 to 40 with co-morbidities, (health conditions related to excess weight)
  • Be willing to undergo a psychological evaluation with a licensed clinical mental health professional
  • Document past attempts at non-surgical weight loss
  • Must be committed to lifestyle changes and long-term follow-up
  • Complete a 3 or 6 month consecutive dietary visit with your primary care physician
  • Additional pre surgery testing that will be outlined for you at your first visit with the doctor

Note: Insurance companies vary in their requirements, and we encourage you to speak with yours for specific pre-surgical requirements.

A $200 program fee is assessed to all patients in our program.

Heritage Valley

Heritage Valley Heritage Valley Sewickley is a 191-bed hospital located in Sewickley, PA. and a part of Heritage Valley Health System, a progressive community-based healthcare system serving southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle.

Sewickley Valley Hospital offers a dedicated in-patient unit for bariatric patients with experienced nursing and dietary staff. The operating room at SVH has developed a dedicated team for bariatric surgery; the same nurses and anesthesia personnel are present for each case. Research demonstrates that consistent care contributes to better surgical outcomes.

Heritage Valley Sewickley

Seminars are held monthly in the 4th floor Conference Center. For more information, visit the hospital website at

720 Blackburn Road
Sewickley, PA 15143

Our Sewickley Office is located 5 minutes north of Sewickley Hospital off Route 65 (the Ohio River Boulevard) at 111 Hazel Lane, Suite 100, Sewickley, PA 15143. The main number is 412.741.8862.The flow of patients includes both bariatric and general surgery patients. Patients are seen by our surgeons, Physician’s Assistant, Registered Dietitian and Registered Nurse for post-surgery care and patient education.

Our administrative office staff includes experienced, professional and patient-centered people. Our practice takes pride in offering you an excellent overall surgical experience. We have a new building under construction that will be located on Route 65 just south of our present location.

Directions to Sewickley Hospital

From the north: Take I-79 south to Emsworth-Sewickley, exit 66 (old exit 19). Turn right onto Route 65 and travel north to Sewickley. Turn right at Broad Street (Sewickley Bridge is on the left.). Go through two traffic lights and one stop sign to the top of the hill. Turn left into the visitors’ parking garage.

From Pittsburgh and east: Take the Parkway West to the Washington-Erie/I-79 exit. Go north on I-79 to Route 65 and take Sewickley exit 66 (formerly exit 19). Follow Route 65 north to Sewickley. Turn right onto Broad Street at the light. (Sewickley Bridge is on the left.) Go through two traffic lights and one stop sign to the top of the hill. Turn left into the visitors’ parking garage.

From the south: Take I-79 north to Emsworth-Sewickley, exit 66 (formerly exit 19). Follow Route 65 north to Sewickley. Turn right onto Broad Street at the light. (Sewickley Bridge is on the left.) Go through two traffic lights and one stop sign to the top of the hill. Turn left into the visitors’ parking garage.

From Beaver County & points west: Take Route 65 south to Sewickley. Turn left onto Broad Street at the light. (Sewickley Bridge is on the right.) Go through two traffic lights and one stop sign to the top of the hill. Turn left into the visitors’ parking garage.

From the Pittsburgh International Airport: Exit the Pittsburgh International Airport on Route 60 north (Moon/Beaver exit). Follow Route 60 north to exit 8 – Business Route 60 (Flaugherty-Moon Run Road). Take this exit to the stop sign at the top of the hill. Go straight after the stop sign for a short distance. Turn right onto Business Route 60 south. Turn left at the fourth light. Follow this road (Beers School Road) until you reach the Sewickley Bridge. Turn left at the bridge and go across the Ohio River. Go straight through the traffic light into Sewickley. This is Broad Street. Go through two more traffic lights and one stop sign to the top of the hill. Turn left into the visitors’ parking garage.

Online Seminar

Be sure your volume on your computer is on to hear the narration. At the end of each slide, click "Next" to advance to the next slide or "Replay" to view the previous one." When you're finished, you can repeat sections or jump back to previous sections in the seminar once you’ve reached the end of it. When you've completed the seminar, you’ll be asked to take a post-seminar quiz to ensure you’ve grasped the important information contained within.

Launch the Online Seminar

Online Seminar Quiz

If you’ve already taken the seminar, please take the quiz and then we will be in touch with you.

Take the Bariatric Seminar Quiz!

Program Fee

We have a $200 Program Fee.

The first non-refundable $100.00 payment is due at your first appointment in the office with the Doctor.

The second $100.00 payment is due at your 2nd Doctors appointment and must be paid prior to having surgery.

This fee covers educational materials, including our newsletter, support group expenses and lifetime follow-up visits with a dietitian.

Online Seminar

After you have viewed the seminar, complete the quiz. Be sure to submit it and include your contact information. Once we receive your results someone from our office will call you. We will review the next step and answer all of your questions.

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Bariatric Surgery may be an option.

If you focus on results, you will never change.
If you focus on change, you will get results.