Bariatric Surgery - Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Bariatric Surgery


LINKS /Main Page/Qualifying for Surgery/Types of Surgery/Support Groups
Non-Surgical Weight Loss Options/Nutrition Corner/FAQs

What is Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgery?

Dr. Rana Pullatt, Director, VISN 7 Bariatric Surgery Program, Charleston, SC.

Bariatric, or weight loss, surgery is designed to assist veterans in improving their health and quality of life by using a surgical procedure for weight reduction. Although bariatric surgery has been shown to be an effective tool in weight loss, it is important for veterans to remember that surgery is only a tool.  A successful outcome is dependent on the veteran’s commitment to a long-term lifestyle change. 

What Does Overweight and Obese Mean?

More than 60% of Americans are considered overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for many diseases and conditions. The more body fat you have the more likely you are to develop obesity related conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

The terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ refer to a person’s overall body weight and whether it’s too high. For adults, overweight and obese ranges are determined by using a person’s weight and height to calculate a number called Body Mass Index (BMI).

Calculate BMI

An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29 is considered overweight.
An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
An adult who has a BMI of 40 or higher is considered morbidly obese.

Who We Serve

The Ralph H Johnson bariatric surgery program in beautiful Charleston, SC serves veterans of the US Military that live within VISN 7 (Veterans Integrated Service Network 7), which includes most of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. If you unsure if you live in VISN 7, check the map for more information. At this time, the Charleston VAMC does not accept veterans from outside VISN 7.     

Listen to our pre-recorded Information Seminar to learn more about Weight Loss Surgery and the team.



Our Team


Program Director & Surgeon
Rana Pullatt, MD 

Program Coordinator
Emily Couture, PAC
(843) 577-5011 x 5503 
Dianne Bozzelli, RD 
(843) 577-5011 x 5506
Sandra Coulon, Ph.D.
(843) 513-3252
Elizabeth Hamilton, PharmD. 

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Contact Info


  • Charleston VA Medical Center
    Specialty Clinic
    1st Floor

Contact Number(s)

  • 843-789-7330
  • 888-878-6884

Hours of Operation

  • Mon-Fri 7:30-4:00pm