Sharon Regional Health System - Dedicated to caring for our community

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery Information Session
December 17, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Diagnostic & Imaging Center, Hermitage.
Register at 724-981-4561.

Sheetal Nijhawan, M.D.

Program Information email:
[email protected]

  • Dr. Nijhawan completed a general surgery residency at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, and a fellowship in Bariatric and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery at the University of California, San Diego.

  • She specializes in bariatric surgery and also performs all types of minimally-invasive and general surgical procedures such as repair of hiatal and paraesophageal hernias, inguinal and abdominal wall hernias, anti-reflux procedures, all complex operations of the stomach, small intestine and colon, laparoscopic colon resections; operations of the thyroid and adrenal gland, cancer operations, CAPD placement, colonoscopy, and gastroscopy.

    To schedule an appointment, call 724-981-0630.
  • Dr. Nijhawan is a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), and the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS).
  • She is associated with surgeons Ravi Sachdeva, M.D., Gene Marcelli, M.D., and Mark Roth, M.D., in General Surgical Specialists, 2425 Garden Way, Suite 101, Hermitage.


Our Bariatric Surgery team is here to
help every step of the way

The Sharon Regional Bariatric Surgery Program, under the direction of bariatric and minimally invasive surgeon Sheetal Nijhawan, M.D., features a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss surgery. The bariatric team includes professionals in the areas of nutrition, exercise therapy, cardiology, pulmonology, sleep medicine, and behavioral health. Together this team is dedicated to helping you reach your goals both pre-operatively and post-operatively. We pride ourselves on the close follow-up of our patients to ensure their success.

“Bariatric surgical procedures have evolved significantly over the past ten years,” according to Dr. Nijhawan. “In the past, these operations required large incisions which took a long time to heal. We can now do these complex surgeries using small incisions which are less painful, heal faster, and are also cosmetically appealing.”

Why consider weight loss surgery?

There are many reasons women and men want to lose weight. Losing weight increases your energy level, makes it easier for you to move about, and may boost your self confidence. However, of all the reasons to lose weight, improved health remains the most important. The Bariatric Surgery Program at Sharon Regional can assist you in your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

We offer three types of weight loss surgery that are covered by most insurance plans.

Restrictive Procedures

Adjustable Gastric Band:
This surgery uses an adjustable band to divide the stomach into two sections, a small upper pouch and a larger lower section. The two sections are still connected, however the channel between them is very small which slows down the emptying of the upper pouch. The small upper pouch holds much less food resulting in decreased intake and a longer lasting sense of fullness.

Restrictive and Metabolic Procedures:
a. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
In vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a large portion of the stomach is removed during surgery. The remaining narrow part of the stomach—the sleeve—is still attached to the intestines. The volume of the stomach—and food/calorie intake—is reduced, but nutrient absorption is preserved.

b. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
Gastric bypass is the most common type of weight loss surgery. During the operation, the stomach is divided into two parts. A small stomach pouch is created and is surgically attached to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing the remaining part of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. The small stomach pouch decreases food intake, while bypassing some of the intestine reduces calorie absorption.

What is morbid obesity?

People are considered morbidly obese when their Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 35. Morbid obesity is often accompanied by medical problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, GERD, high cholesterol, degenerative joint disease, and mood disorders such as depression. These are also known as co-morbidities. Morbid obesity is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide.

Is Bariatric Surgery right for you?

There are several factors that will determine if you are eligible for weight loss surgery. To have a weight loss operation covered through your insurance provider, there may be additional criteria.

Criteria for Weight Loss Surgery

  • Must have tried non-surgical weight loss treatments such as diet, exercise and behavioral changes.
  • Age between 18 and 70.
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35 with co-morbidities or greater than 40 without co-morbidities
  • Absence of a medical or hormonal reason for the obesity. These conditions are rare, but require treatment of the underlying medical problem
  • Have knowledge about bariatric surgery procedures and realistic expectations of weight loss along with the risks and possible complications of weight loss surgery
  • Demonstration of a willingness to make dramatic lifelong changes in lifestyle, dietary habits, exercise, and commit to a regular follow up program

Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI)

What are the next steps?

If you are interested in learning more about Sharon Regional’s Bariatric Surgery Program, please plan on attending one of our free informational meetings held at Sharon Regional’s Diagnostic and Imaging Center, Garden Way, Hermitage, and at other area locations.

Wednesday, December 17
6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Diagnostic & Imaging Center, Hermitage

You may obtain more information and register for a meeting by calling 724-981-4561. Information is also provided in Sharon Regional newsletters and local newspapers.

For more information email us at: [email protected]