woman looking at herself in the mirror and smiling

Telehealth Appointments Available

We know that your weight loss journey can't wait for the end of a global pandemic. Information Sessions are available online and our office is open for telephone and telehealth consultations. Please call the office to schedule your virtual visit.

A Lasting Solution for a Lifetime of Weight Struggles

If your weight is impacting your health and your quality of life, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery.

Millions of people struggle with excess weight every day. Diets, exercise, more diets and still they can't lose the weight. Under the direction of board-certified bariatric specialist Dr. Marc S. Rickford, UM Capital Region Health's Bariatric Program is designed to help people who have exhausted all other avenues achieve lasting weight loss and a healthier life.

It's not about what you see in the mirror... it's about your health!

Being severely overweight or obese can have a significant impact on your health. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breathing problems, sleep apnea – these are just some of the health conditions that can be improved by losing weight. Unfortunately for many overweight people, losing weight just isn't that easy. And once you are obese, losing weight gets even harder since your body's hormones work overtime to keep you feeling hungry and lower your metabolism. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Our program starts with an extensive evaluation to determine whether weight loss surgery is a viable option for you. If surgery is indicated, Dr. Rickford and his dedicated team of weight loss specialists work with you to develop a personalized care plan to prepare you for the surgery and for the lifestyle changes that are key to losing the weight and keeping it off for a lifetime.

Dr. Rickford performs Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Adjustable Gastric Band surgeries and uses the latest laparoscopic techniques in order to minimize complications and improve outcomes for his patients.

Want to learn more? Join us for an information session! Please call 301-809-2013 for more information or go to the Events Calendar at umcapitalregion.org to see upcoming sessions.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric or weight loss surgery helps even the most obese individuals lose weight by surgically restricting the size of the stomach, limiting how much food you can consume. Surgically removing part of the stomach also changes the hormones your body produces that make you hungry and slow your metabolism.

At UM Capital, we offer three (3) surgical procedures for weight loss: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Adjustable Gastric Band. We perform all these procedures laparoscopically, using small incisions to pump in a harmless gas and insert specialized instruments. The gas lifts muscle, fat and tissue away from the stomach to create a clear field of vision for the surgeon to operate in. Laparoscopic procedures result in faster healing with reduced scarring and also minimize potential for post-operative complications. In rare occasions, your surgeon may decide to convert to an open method.

We offer three types of bariatric surgery:

  • Vertical Gastric Sleeve, also called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, removes part (generally up to 85%) of your stomach, leaving a much smaller 'sleeve' that restricts how much you can eat.
  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass literally bypasses the stomach, creating a small pouch from your current stomach which is then connected directly your intestines.
  • Adjustable Gastric Band puts an inflatable band around your stomach that limits how much you can eat. The band can be adjusted over time to decrease or increase the amount of food you can consume.

All three procedures result in limiting how much food your stomach can hold, thereby restricting your calorie intake. The Bypass surgery also limits the amount of time your food stays in your stomach being digested, further limiting the number of calories absorbed from the food you do eat. As importantly, the surgical removal of portions of the stomach changes the way your body produces the hormones that make you hungry or feel full and slow your metabolism. By altering this hormone production, bariatric surgery gives you a fighting chance to lose weight by reducing hunger signals and burn more calories.

During your evaluation with the doctor, you will have the opportunity to discuss all procedures and determine which is most appropriate for you based on your overall health and weight loss goals.


Bariatric information sessions and consultations are offered at the UM Capital Region Health Medical Group offices in Bowie and  National Harbor. Most procedures are performed at the UM Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, although some procedures may be done at UM Laurel Medical Center in Laurel or UM Capital Region Surgery Center in Bowie.