Northwest Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in South Florida recognized by insurance companies as a Center of Excellence For Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric Center of Excellence Badge

This prestigious designation is granted to institutions who have demonstrated required resources to perform safe bariatric surgery, and have excellent short and long-term outcomes. These indices, therefore, not only document process, i.e. equipment, supplies, training of surgeons, and the availability of consultant services, but emphasize results. Application for designation as an ASBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence is voluntary.

The main benefits of being a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery are, among others, patient safety and advocacy, continuous improvement of bariatric surgery through comparisons of patient selection, operative procedures, and care paths.

Program Medical Director

  • Kahlil Shillingford, MD

    Dr. Shillingford graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, MI. He then completed his General Surgery Residency in Baltimore, MD in 2005. Subsequently he completed a Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida. He is Board Certified in General Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery as well as The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.

About Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States. Along with the physiological impact of morbid obesity, there are significant medical health issues that affect the body’s mechanical and metabolic functions. These co-morbidities affect nearly every organ in the body and produce serious illnesses including:

Why choose Northwest Medical Center for your Surgery?

  • We are a designated Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery
  • We are a full service acute care facility
  • Latest surgical technology and equipment
  • Our patient rooms are customized for bariatric patients
  • Clinical equipment specifically for bariatric patients
  • Our nurses and other clinical personnel are specially trained to care for our pre and post-op bariatric patients
  • Specially trained operating room bariatric team
  • Extensive pre and post-operative patient education and support groups available to you
  • Access to bariatric specialists and surgeon 24 hours a day

Our demonstrated surgical techniques, multi-disciplinary approach to care, extensive pre and post -operative patient education and follow-up support provides you with a significant advantage over other programs.

Our specially trained surgical team, bariatric floor nursing staff, and other clinical personnel afford you the multifaceted standards, complex patient management and intricate guidelines that rule the bariatric field today.

Patient Results

John before and after weight initially 487.5 weight after 344

Zalik before and after weight initially 339 weight after 185.5

Bariatric Procedures

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap Band)

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap Band), recalls the principle of doing the least invasive procedure possible to achieve the desired results. In this method, a band is placed at the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The opening to the rest of the digestive track is adjustable through a subcutaneous port. Most patients experience the same amount of weight loss however, at a slower rate. Indications for Lap Band surgery are the same as the Roux-en-Y.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is the most frequently performed weight loss surgery in the U.S. This minimally invasive procedure is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity currently available. Weight loss occurs as a result of reducing the size of the stomach and bypassing a portion of the small intestine creating a minimal amount of malabsorption. By creating a small pouch, we limit the amount of food you can eat . In most cases, patients report an early sense of fullness and satiety that decreases the desire to eat.

The laparoscopic approach results in a shortened hospital stay of 2-3 days, limited pain and discomfort, quicker recovery and reduced risk of infection and ventral hernias.

Benefits of gastric bypass surgery include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Increased stamina and activity tolerance
  • Increased self esteem
  • Co-morbidities which are often improved and/or alleviated after Gastric Bypass: Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, GERD, Sleep Apnea, Respiratory Insufficiency, Stress Urinary Incontinence, Muscular-skeletal difficulties, Infertility
  • Procedure takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours
  • Short hospital stay (2-3 days)

da Vinci Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomies is the surgical removal of a portion of the stomach. Doctors generally perform a sleeve gastrectomy, a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about one-quarter of its original size, on extremely obese patients where the risk of performing a gastric bypass or other weight-loss procedures would be too high. The procedure, which is not reversible, permanently reduces the size of the stomach. Northwest Medical Center is currently the only hospital in Broward and Palm Beach counties to offer this procedure using the da Vinci Surgical System.

Read more about this procedure:

Requirements for Bariatric Surgery Eligibility

  • At least 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight
  • Body Mass Index of 40 or greater
  • Multiple failed medically supervised weight loss attempts (1-2 years)
  • Between the ages of 18-60
  • Psychologically stable


Please check with your insurance provider to verify benefits and specific exclusions as each contract may vary.

All surgeries are performed at Northwest Medical Center. Please verify if Northwest Medical Center is a participating facility with your insurance carrier.

Insurance companies require a letter of medical necessity written by your primary care physician that must include certain “key words” as well as a psychological evaluation.

Additional Resources

Visit these websites for more information on obesity and bariatric surgery:

Disclaimer: Northwest Medical Center’s Bariatric services may provide links to third-party web sites, however Northwest Medical Center does not promote, sanction or approve the content on these web sites. Northwest Medical Center is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites, and does not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk.