Weight-loss Surgery History at Vidant Medical Center

The bariatric surgery program at Vidant Medical Center and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University began in 1978, with the pioneering work of Dr. Walter Pories. Together with Dr. Adrianus Van Rij, Pories standardized the dimensions of a new surgery - the gastric bypass - to produce the Greenville Gastric Bypass. Today the gastric bypass surgery known as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is considered the gold standard of bariatric surgical procedures.

Over the past 30 years, the team at ECU has contributed to many significant research findings. Dr. Pories and others at ECU first described the resolution of diabetes in the majority of patients having gastric bypass surgery. ECU is one of six National Institutes of Health research sites for the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery. Today, the East Carolina University Metabolic Institute houses research including nursing care, sports medicine, endocrinology, sleep disorders, obesity and other metabolic diseases.

The success of the operation launched the bariatric surgery program to a new level of surgical excellence. The program has since grown quickly, attracting patients not only from North Carolina, but also from Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina. The team of bariatric surgeons at Vidant Medical Center has treated patients from many other states, as well as from Spain, France and Japan.

Our surgeons are all board certified and specialize in minimally invasive procedures. We have a strong history of successful surgeries, having performed more than 2,000 operations.

In 2007, the Surgical Review Corporation and the American Society for Bariatric Surgery named our program as a bariatric surgery center of excellence. Vidant Medical Center, the Brody School of Medicine and Southern Surgical Associates all meet this distinction. Certification requires a strong commitment to quality, which involves high standards for physician training and experience and proper operating procedures. Being a center of excellence provides us with the opportunity to improve patient safety and further improve our procedures to continue our commitment to provide you with the best care possible.