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Dignity Health Surgical Specialty Center - Bariatric Surgery

At Dignity Health Surgical Specialty Center - Bariatric Surgery (formerly known as The Weight Loss Surgery Institute of the Central Coast). Our expert surgeons and team of weight loss professionals can help you discern if your weight is threatening your health. If it is, weight loss surgery may be the answer. 

Our surgeons see patients in Santa Maria, Lompoc and San Luis Obispo but all Weight Loss Surgical procedures  are performed at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria. Take our Health Risk Assessment below to see if you’re a candidate for Weight Loss Surgery.

Dignity Health Surgical Specialty Center is a multi-specialty clinic for patient care. We believe that each surgeon and patient become a team and work together in finding the best treatment plan options for each condition. In addition to bariatric surgeons, our health center offers excellent General Surgeons and Trauma Surgeons.

Meet our Expert Team

Carol McCloskey, MD, FACS

Carol McCloskey, MD, FACS

Dr. McCloskey is an experienced bariatric surgeon and has performed more than 2,000 bariatric surgery procedures over the last ten years. She performs a wide range of surgery procedures; in addition to minimally invasive gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries, she offers advanced techniques in hernia repair, anti-reflux surgeries, and routine general surgery. She emphasizes minimally invasive and laparoscopic techniques that reduce pain and shorten recovery times.

Dr. McCloskey received her medical degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and went on to complete her surgery residency at University of Pittsburgh as well. She performed an additional year of fellowship at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery, making her an expert in this field. Dr. McCloskey is Board Certified in Surgery since 2006. She joined the Weight Loss Surgery Institute of the Central Coast team in 2015. She serves as the Medical Director.

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Kim Blanton, BSN, RN

Kim Blanton, BSN, RN

Kim Blanton is our Bariatric Nurse Program Coordinator.  She has been a nurse for more than 19 years and has experience in multiple fields of nursing including; Administration, Critical Care, Telemetry, Antepartum, and Med Surg. As the Bariatric Nurse Coordinator she has extensive training regarding the care of the morbidly obese and bariatric surgical patients.  

Kim completed her BSN at Holy Names University in Oakland, Ca. Kim carries certifications in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. She is excited to be part of the Bariatric multi-disciplinary team and enjoys helping patients achieve their goals with weight loss and improving their overall health.

Andrea Hughes, MS, RDN, CDCES

Andrea Hughes, MS, RDN, CDCES

Andrea has been a registered dietitian for over 20 years and now she works exclusively at the Weight Loss Surgery Institute of the Central Coast on the multidisciplinary bariatric team with our patients. Andrea graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition, two Master of Science degrees from Mississippi State University and earned and maintained certification in diabetes over 15 years ago. Andrea has worked in many healthcare settings from 15 years exclusively in pregnancy and in various fields of nutrition; head-start to hospice and management. 

Currently, Andrea works with our patients both before and after surgery, teaching them about the unique nutritional needs pre and post metabolic bariatric surgery. Andrea’s goal is to help patients feel comfortable with their bariatric care while assisting patients to confidently use their weight loss “tool” for success and maintenance as well as to provide support long-term for optimal health and nutrition.

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Dignity Health Surgical Specialty Center - Bariatric Surgery

There are spots in the parking area out in front of this office. There is also street parking.

Obesity-related health conditions like:

  • Type II diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Cardiac disease
  • Cancer

Criteria for Surgery

You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if: 

  • You are more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight or you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35-39.9, along with two or more medical conditions such as diabetes and/or hypertension which would improve significantly with weight loss.
    • Surgery may be considered with a BMI as low as 35 if your doctor determines that there's a medical need for weight reduction and surgery appears to be the only way to accomplish the targeted weight loss.
    • Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of the degree of your excess weight, based on weight and height. BMI is calculated by dividing body weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying that amount by 704.5. This provides a metric calculation for BMI. Calculate Your BMI 
  • You have tried and been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise
  • You are prepared to make a lifelong commitment to dietary, exercise and behavioral changes necessary for long-term success
  • You have no mental or behavioral disorders that may interfere with long-term weight loss success



Pacific Central Coast Health Centers contracts with most health insurance plans, including Medi-Cal, and provides health care services that fit your health plan benefits. If you have questions about the health insurance plans we accept, contact the office where you would like to be seen and our staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield
  • CenCal
  • Cigna
  • Coventry – First Health
  • Health Net
  • Healthsmart – Interplan
  • Medi-Cal
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan – Beech Street
  • Networks by Design
  • Tricare
  • TriWest
  • United Healthcare
  • Western Growers


It’s important to know you are in the most qualified, skilled hands when considering any type of major surgery. 
Our center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

MBSAQIP accreditation means:

  • You will receive compassionate care by physicians who meet bariatric surgery criteria set by both The American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery 
  • The center has an established and verified commitment to patient safety
  • The center is held to the highest bariatric surgical standards and have quality improvement initiatives in place 
  • The center participates in regular evaluations of surgical programs, ensuring we are meeting safety requirements, consistently improving processes, applying multidisciplinary approaches, and implementing standards of care defined by MBSAQIP 

Marian Regional Medical Center is a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent Accreditation under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). We can perform all approved bariatric procedure types on patients of all ages. 

This accreditation is separate and distinct from the adult accreditation and is awarded to Comprehensive Centers that meet the MBSAQIP Core Standards as well as those standards designated for adolescent accreditation.

Marian Regional Medical Center has also been designated as a BlueDistinction Center by Blue Shield of California.

Distinctions like these recognize our comprehensive and personalized approach to treating our patients and providing tools for lifelong success, including:

  • Pre-surgery Education Seminars
  • Physician Consultations
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Exercise Planning
  • Support Groups
  • Post-surgery Follow-up

What makes our Expert Team at the Dignity Health Surgical Specialty Center - Bariatric Surgery stand out?

Our physicians and staff will be with you every step of the way on your weight loss journey, from our introductory education session and physician consultation, to nutrition counseling, weight loss surgery and post-surgery support. 

Obesity is a complex disease with no simple solution. At Dignity Health Surgical Specialty Center - Bariatric Surgery, our expert team of bariatric surgeons specialize in weight loss surgery and  can help and guide you to see to what is best for you. You can take the first step to a healthier life by taking our online assessment.  

Take the Online Assessment

View All Videos

Video: Healthbreak-Outcomes of Weight loss surgery
Dr. Carol McCloskey, Bariatric Surgeon

Video: Healthbreak – Gastric Bypass Surgery
Dr. Carol McCloskey, Bariatric Surgeon

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Know Your BMI?

New Patient Forms

Please download, complete and print these forms before you arrive for your consultation. We will review them at that time so be sure to bring them to your appointment.

Here is the link for the forms in case you can’t access the one above:

Patient Forms