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Weight Loss Surgery & Services

At Valley Baptist, bariatric surgery means more than just having a procedure. It’s about information and options, so that every patient knows what he or she can expect every step of the way. It’s about helping you adjust to a new, healthier lifestyle.

It’s Valley Baptist Care.


Surgical Procedures

Weight loss surgery limits the amount of food the stomach can hold by closing off, or removing, parts of the stomach. The surgery will also slow down the stomach’s emptying process, so you’ll feel fuller longer. Valley Baptist offers two different weight loss surgical procedures. Each has specific benefits, and our staff and physicians will review each with you:

  •  Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: This surgery involves removing between 60 percent and 80 percent of the stomach, so that what’s left looks like a tube, or sleeve. The part of the stomach that is removed produces a hormone that makes you feel hungry.  Also, the stomach size is significantly smaller, but the digestion process does not change.  A smaller stomach means that you eat less, and that, along with a slower digestive process, leads to weight loss. This surgery is performed in Harlingen and Brownsville.
  • Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y): This surgery creates a small pouch at the top of your stomach, and in addition your small bowel is divided. The biliopancreatic limb is reattached to your small bowel on one end, and the other is connected to the pouch, creating what’s called a Roux limb. The pouch releases food slowly, so you feel full after eating very little food. This surgery is performed in Brownsville.

For more information on weight loss surgery procedures and latest news, visit our health library.

Meet Our Directors

To find out more about our weight loss surgery program in Harlingen, contact Program Director Dawn Rodriguez by email, or at (956) 389-6896.

Marcela Montemayo

To find out more about our weight loss surgery program in Brownsville, contact Program Director Marcela Montemayor by email, or at (956) 698-5220.

Informational Seminars

Every month, we hold a meeting for the community so that anyone interested in bariatric surgery can find out what’s involved, from the costs to the surgery itself and what happens afterward. Click here to get the dates for our upcoming seminars in Harlingen and Brownsville.

Support Groups

Weight loss surgery isn’t just about losing weight. Not everyone in your life will understand that. Valley Baptist provides support groups so that you’ll immediately have a caring community of friends to lean on for support. If you have had weight loss surgery, or are considering it, please join us. You’ll be able to share what life is like after surgery as well as learn more about what to expect from the procedure.

To make a reservation in Harlingen, please call Dawn Rodriguez at (956) 389-6896, or email her at

To make a reservation in Brownsville, please call Marcela Montemayor at (956) 698-5220, or email her at

  • “I know from my own experience that there are a lot of changes,” says Dawn Rodriguez, the Program Director of Valley Baptist’s Surgical Weight Loss Program in Harlingen, who had bariatric surgery at VBMC- Harlingen in 2006. “Some programs are just about the surgery. We are here to support your health and wellness before, during and after. We’re a hospital-based program, and our goal is to continue to help patients succeed, long after they’ve gone home after having their procedure.”

  • Valley Baptist takes pride in the success of their program. "We take pride in striving to send the patient home on the same day of surgery or the next day, and we continue to offer our support when the patient goes home. During the first week clear liquids are allowed, progressing to a pureed diet in another week, and gradually moving to the longer term eating plan. We continue to serve as a resource for you as you move through the various stages of recovery and continued weight loss."

Vitamins & Protein Supplements

Following surgery, your dietary needs will change. Your smaller stomach will hold only a certain amount of food, and not all of it will be digested and absorbed. To make up for the digestive changes, you’ll need to take vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as maintain a high protein intake, for the rest of your life. Valley Baptist is the only surgical weight loss program in the Rio Grande Valley that sells the needed vitamin and protein supplements to weight loss patients, available at the Surgical and Medical Weight Loss office.

Weight Loss Surgery Outpatient Clinic

Convenient, private and designed to work with you through this life-changing process.

Learn More