Bariatric Surgery

Is bariatric surgery right for you?

*Are you 18-years-old or older?

*Are you more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight?

*Do you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40? Or do you have a BMI greater than 35 combined with weight related diagnoses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea?

*Have you tried other medical and nutritional weight loss programs without long term success?

*Are you unable to maintain a healthy weight, even with medically supervised attempts at weight loss?

*If you have answered yes to any or all of the above questions, you may be a candidate for our surgical weight loss program. Please call our bariatric hotline for more information at 501.622.4567.

Bariatric Surgery Options

Currently, CHI St. Vincent-Hot Springs only offers vertical sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery. This procedure involves removing part of the stomach to reduce the amount of food a person can eat. Generally the post surgical patient can return to work after two weeks. To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery, please sign up for one of our free upcoming seminars by calling 501-622-4567 or you can email our program coordinator at [email protected]

Meet our team


Ron A. Kaler, MD
Ron A. Kaler, M.D.
Specialties: General Surgery Locations: Hot Springs Phone: (501) 609-2229
John W. Webb, MD
John W. Webb, M.D.
Specialties: Colorectal Surgery Locations: Hot Springs Phone: 501.609.2229

Bariatric Clinical Coordinator

Natalie Manatt, RN BSN

Natalie will be your initial contact and facilitate your progress through our program - from initial intake to coordinating care and procedures to follow-up.
Phone: 501.622.4567

Program Dietitian

Jennifer Felgate, MS RD LD
Jennifer has been working with the bariatric program since its inception. She will work closely with you before and after surgery to help safely modify your diet and incorporate exercise.
Phone: 501.622.1752.


Bariatric Surgery Program Overview Bariatric Surgery Program Overview (257 KB)

Steps in Gastric Sleeve Program Steps in Gastric Sleeve Program (234 KB)

Gastric Sleeve Nutrition Manual Gastric Sleeve Nutrition Manual (1085 KB)

Gastric Sleeve Patient Profile Gastric Sleeve Patient Profile (430 KB)

Acknowledgement of Gastric Sleeve Program Requirements Acknowledgement of Gastric Sleeve Program Requirements (24 KB)

Dietitian Visits Dietitian Visits (26 KB)


Hot Springs Facebook Bariatric Support Group (email Natalie Manatt for access)

Hot Springs Bariatric Support Group - 2017 Hot Springs Bariatric Support Group - 2017 (60 KB)

MyFitnessPal (nutrition, calorie counting, meal planning)

Bariatric Pal (weight loss surgery forums and support)

BMI Calculator

Contact Us

CHI St Vincent Hot Springs Bariatric Hotline



[email protected]



Will my insurance cover this surgery?

Not all insurance plans have a policy for gastric sleeve surgery. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company prior to initiating entry into the program to ensure policy coverage.

Is this surgery permanent?

It is important to note that the gastric sleeve procedure is not reversible. The procedure is done to create a stomach pouch that is smaller than in that seen in other types of weight loss surgery. The surgeon will remove up to 60-80% of the stomach, leaving just a slender tube, or “sleeve” for the new stomach pouch. As a result of this procedure, hunger can be controlled due to the smaller sized stomach. Also, the part of the stomach that is cut out is completely removed from the body, unlike in other procedures that leave it in place.

Will I have to change the way I eat?

Healthy weight loss following bariatric surgery depends on the patient’s willingness to adopt a new lifestyle, which includes changes in eating habits and getting regular exercise. It is essential for patients to avoid high-calorie, high-fat foods and drinks. Most bariatric surgeons advise their patients to eat several small meals throughout the day. In the immediate aftermath of gastric sleeve surgery, a patient will be required to stay on a liquid diet for up to two weeks, in order to let the body heal. For the first couple of years after weight loss surgery, a patient will drastically reduce calorie intake, which is limited to about 600-800 calories daily. When the weight target is reached, this may increase to 1,000-1,200 calories per day. Within about 8 weeks of the procedure, the diet can progress from liquids to solid foods.

How much weight will I lose?

Typically studies have shown that patients who have the stand-alone procedure typically lose from 60-80% of their excess weight in a two-year period. This is also highly dependent on compliance with the program guidelines regarding diet and exercise.

My insurance doesn’t cover this procedure. What will it cost me to pay out of pocket?

The hospital does offer a flat fee for this procedure when it isn’t covered by insurance. To discuss this further, please contact our bariatric coordinator, Natalie Manatt.

Does the hospital offer any financing options for surgery?

Currently the hospital does not offer any options for financing. The procedure must be paid for in full two weeks prior to surgery. You will be responsible for securing your own financing.