Home Locations UCHealth Surgical Weight Loss Center - Anschutz Medical Campus

Before visiting someone,
please read our visitation policy to help with the planning of your visit.

Monday: 8am – 4:30pm
Tuesday: 8am – 4:30pm
Wednesday: 8am – 4:30pm
Thursday: 8am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8am – 4:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Your team
Kweku Hazel, MD, BS
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Dana Lynn Beall Brown, PhD
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Akshay Chauhan, MD
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Kevin Rothchild, MD
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The UCHealth Surgical Weight Loss Center at Anschutz in metro Denver is a comprehensive program, providing a full range of minimally invasive surgical weight-loss options for patients with a goal of improving overall health and lifestyle.

The procedures we offer include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) and gastric banding. Our Center is designated as an MBSAQIP Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications (received Dec. 2021) as recognized by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.

A Center of Excellence

We have also been recognized by Anthem, Cigna, Optum (United) and Aetna as centers of excellence for meeting or exceeding their rigorous performance standards and quality guidelines.

Our program treats all types of patients, including adolescents (14-18 years old). Our Surgical Weight Loss Center team collaborates with physicians from Children’s Hospital Colorado to evaluate these candidates and work closely with them and their families to determine if surgery is the right option.

Learn more about our team and our comprehensive treatment approach

Take the first step

The first step to becoming a patient is attending our informational seminar.

To register

  1. Find weight loss classes/events.
  2. Look for “Surgical Weight Loss Informational Seminar – Denver Metro” at the UCHealth Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion.
  3. Select the “Register” button.

After you register, you will be emailed an invitation to the virtual seminar to your personal email address. You will also receive a Patient Information Packet (PIP) and a food journal. Please print these items out if you can, complete them and bring them along to your first appointment with our surgical weight loss team.

Program overview

Our team

Our world-class team includes surgeons, a nurse practitioner, registered nurses, a program psychologist, registered dietitians, physical therapists/personal trainers and support staff.

Program overview

Our multidisciplinary program offers:

  • Fellowship-trained, board-certified bariatric surgeons.
  • Dedicated bariatric nurse practitioners and dietitians.
  • Dedicated patient navigator and surgery scheduler.
  • Specially equipped private and semi-private rooms.
  • State-of-the-art facilities.
  • Post-operative support groups.
  • Post-operative skin fold surgeries.
  • Pre/post operative physical therapy and training.
  • Clinical trials to emphasize weight loss through life changes.
  • Nutrition classes.

Our program is accredited for adolescent treatment.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I know if bariatric surgery is for me?

Start by attending our free educational seminar to learn more about our program as well as medical and surgical weight loss treatment options. See “take the first step” above.

Are there general requirements to qualify for bariatric surgery?
  • Yes. Most insurance companies only cover surgery when a patient has a BMI (body mass index) of 40+ or 35-39.9 with several other medical co-morbidities or health problems. (You can calculate your BMI via the tool on this page.)
  • Patients need to have quit smoking at least 8 weeks prior to surgery, and also cannot be using drugs or alcohol.
  • All patients need to complete a psychological evaluation and nutrition class prior to surgery.
  • Patients must meet other specified requirements as outlined by their insurance plan for surgery to be covered.
What if my BMI is less than 35?

There are still weight loss options for you if you do not qualify for surgery, including physician-guided weight loss. We’re happy to discuss these options with you.

How do I know if my insurance will cover bariatric surgery?

Call your insurance company and ask if bariatric surgery is a covered benefit on your plan, and what criteria your insurance requires to approve the procedure.

Our surgical weight loss team has put together detailed insurance criteria guidelines and checklists that will be reviewed with you at your initial surgical consult if you wish to pursue surgery.

Your appointment

Here’s what to bring to your appointment

After you have attended a seminar, please call 720.848.2070 to schedule your initial consult if you are interested in pursuing surgery.

Please bring in your completed PIP (patient information packet) and 3-day food journal. These were emailed to you as part of your seminar registration.

If you have lost your copies, please email us at [email protected] and we will email you another copy.

We will ask you to obtain all medical records pertaining to health problems associated with obesity and bring them with you to your appointment. These records will help establish medical necessity with your insurance company.

Note: Before getting approval for weight loss surgery, we require that patients complete a nutrition class and a comprehensive psychological evaluation.

Support groups

Attending a support group is a great opportunity to meet others who have had, or are planning to have, bariatric surgery. You can also learn about various topics of interest from expert guest speakers.

All of our support groups are meeting virtually.

How to register

Find weight loss support group listings, and sign up.

Awards and recognition

Aetna Institutes of Quality badge Anthem BlueCross designated Blue Distinction Center Bariatric Surgery logo

UCH’s Surgical Weight Loss Center is designated as an MBSAQIP Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications (received Dec. 2021), as recognized by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The MBSAQIP accreditation recognizes the high level of patient care delivered and excellent outcomes provided by our doctors, nurses and staff.

Patient testimonials

Maggie DinesAndrew KrauseAngel MattenAmber Kois

A journey of perseverance.

Surgical weight loss patient Maggie DinesMaggie Dines’ journey is one of continued perseverance. Like most people struggling with being overweight, she had tried everything. Every diet, every workout program, special meals, etc. They always worked for a little while, but soon enough the pounds would return. It wasn’t until she was having a conversation with her best friend—the same conversation she had had time and time again—about her weight and unhappiness, that her friend discussed weight-loss surgery as a possible option for Maggie. While she had never considered it before, she felt she was now in the right head space to hear about this route.

Maggie started to research weight-loss surgery and even attended an informational session at University of Colorado Medicine – Anschutz. She learned surgery was not a fix-all solution, but a tool to place in her toolbelt so she could have a successful weight-loss journey. It was a step that Maggie said she was “So thankful to take.” Preparing for and undergoing weight-loss surgery was hard. It required a lot of dedication. But to her, being overweight and unhealthy felt harder.

Since the surgery, Maggie has a new outlook on life—thanks to the newfound ability to live with more freedom than ever before. She continues to work out, eat well (but less) and has even started skiing, skydiving, backpacking and running 5Ks! She credits this new tool with saving her life and helping her to finally start living!

After weight-loss surgery, Andrew is “unapologetically me.”

Surgical weight loss patient Andrew KrauseAndrew Krause’s weight-loss journey started in May 2019. He was almost 30 and had the health of someone more than double his age—his mental and physical health were failing. He found the UCHealth Surgical Weight Loss Center and is “forever grateful” to the team that took a chance on someone who he thought was a “hopeless case.”

Andrew’s weight-loss surgery has been so much more than a tool to aid in his weight loss. The amount of internal growth and mental healing he went through has been the difference between night and day. By getting to the root of how and why he ate, and by learning healthy eating from the team at UCHealth, his relationship with food changed. Andrew now treats his body like a car, giving it only the best premium gasoline and his mind like a prince—all the special treatment and attention he deserves.

He says that part of that 500-pound man will always remain with him. It’s what helped protect him from all of his experiences in this world for a long time. But now, there’s a new Andrew out in the world, and he’s learned new ways to be even more himself. In his own words, he’s finally “unapologetically me.”

Angel’s positive changes are both mental and physical.

Angel Matten, before and after weight loss surgery

The UCHealth Surgical Weight Loss Center has helped Angel develop a healthy relationship with food and has led to positive changes both mentally and physically. Angel says, “as much change as you see on the outside, the internal growth is much bigger.” Prior to surgery, she says “I look back at pictures of myself and I see a big smile on my face and know the pain behind it. I spent a lot of my life hiding behind weight.”

Since weight loss surgery, Angel has seen the power in making good decisions for herself and says, “I will always carry a part of the sad 394lb woman inside of me. She taught me a lot about how easy it is to hide, and also about how determination and breaking cycles can lead to a freedom I never thought possible for me.”

Amber’s surgery changes her outlook on life.

Amber Kois before and after photos

After all the dieting and working out with so little to show for it, all the countless years of trying and countless tears not drying, Amber finally (in December of 2018) broke down and confessed to her doctor, “I just can’t do it on my own.” It was at that point that her doctor introduced her to the UCHealth Surgical Weight Loss Center.

Amber never believed that she could ever undertake a surgery of this magnitude or put herself through this “bother” simply for herself, but with the support of the Surgical Weight Loss Center, she felt empowered. Suddenly, with this newly found support, she felt confident in undertaking this personal journey to not only improve her life as it stands currently, but to change her outlook on life moving forward.

After the Surgical Weight Loss Center answered Amber’s questions and addressed her concerns, all options were laid out. Once Amber met her surgeon, she felt completely at ease and knew her life was about to change for the better, forever. While she will admit that this has been one of the most challenging (and rewarding!) experiences of her life, she can look back now and find it difficult to imagine where she once was and where she finds herself today. She looks at old photographs when her weight, at its highest point, was 332 pounds; yet as she looks in the mirror today, she can proudly proclaim to herself that she will never be THAT person again.