Northern California's Premier Bariatric Surgery Practice

Find out how to take control of your life again!

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat can have adverse health effects and lead to disease conditions, and reduce life expectancy. Severe obesity, sometimes known as “morbid obesity”, is defined according to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company height and weight tables as being 100 pounds or 100 percent above ideal body weight.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Weight Loss Surgery, also known as bariatric surgery is known to be the most effective and long lasting treatment for morbid obesity and many related conditions, but now mounting evidence suggests it may be among the most effective treatments for metabolic diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obstructive sleep apnea.

Am I a Candidate?

Your body mass index, or BMI, is a measure of how much body fat an individual is carrying on his or her body based on the individual’s height and weight. To be considered for weight loss surgery, your BMI must be greater than 40 (usually 80 to 100 pounds above ideal body weight) or greater than 35 if you deal with other obesity-related health issues such as Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

How much does Bariatric Surgery Cost?

The good news is most insurances recognize the medical necessity of bariatric surgery and cover the procedure. Most insurance, however, have strict requirements a patient must meet prior to authorizing surgery. Many insurances require patients to spend 6 months meeting with a Dietician or Physician for medically supervised weight loss.

Attend a Seminar

Join us for one of our free informational seminars led by one of our world class bariatric surgeons. We will cover topics such as:

  • Why obesity is so dangerous to our health
  • What surgical options are available
  • The benefits and risks of weight loss surgery
  • The process from seminar to surgery
  • Insurance coverage and requirements
  • Out-of-pocket costs for weight loss surgery

Seminars are held each Wednesday at noon. We look forward to seeing you!

Simple Steps to Begin Your Journey:

Dealing with insurance can sometimes be confusing and a bit overwhelming. The good news is most insurance companies recognize the health benefits of weight loss surgery and choose to cover their members. Many insurance companies, however, have very specific guidelines members must meet in order for them to authorize your procedure. Our professional team will help you navigate your insurance requirements and provide you with a simple step by step process to authorize your procedure. We recommend you call your insurance provider prior to your consultation and ask if your specific package covers bariatric surgery. And if so, what are the requirements.
Candidates for bariatric surgery must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or have a BMI of 35 and be diagnosed as having one obesity related medical illness such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea or others to be considered candidates for weight loss surgery. Male candidates will often be at least 100 pounds overweight, while female candidates will often be 80 pounds overweight.
  • BMI Calculator

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    BMI Calculator
We host a free informational seminar/webinar each week designed to help you learn what you can expect from weight-loss surgery. We cover morbid obesity disease, health issues associated with obesity and different weight-loss surgical options. Everyone is invited to attend the webinar or the live seminar – whichever is most convenient for you. You will learn about all of the latest options for life-long weight loss and find out what the best choice is for you – with no cost and no obligation.  
This one-on-one consultation with Dr. Ludwig or Dr. Simchuk is designed to better answer your specific questions about weight loss surgery and help you decide which surgical procedure is right for you.  The surgeon will discuss with you the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery as it pertains to your specific health history and situation. We will bill your insurance for this consultation appointment.


Our Doctors

SurgeryLearn about Dr. Simchuk and Dr. Ludwig

Our Procedures

student_blogs_53 Learn about our state-of-the-art surgical procedures

Our Program

Our Program Learn about our Lifestyle Management Program

Video Q&A:

video Q&A Learn more about Bariatric Surgery directly from the surgeons


What do you have to lose?


The staff has been so helpful and encouraging . . . and all of my questions have been answered. I know not every day is a good day but we as patients would never know it! Thank you to all of you for being such nice people. Kris

I just wanted to celebrate EVERYONE at NVSA. Had my appnt today and I swear I feel soooo good after my appnts. Got to chat with Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Simchuk (two totally cool guys)… and the office staff . . . AMAZING- luv you gals. . . I’m so blessed to know all of you! Thank you ALL for giving me my life back! Cyndie

They have always been this way…Amazing people that ALWAYS take time to help. I’m 1 1/2 years post-op. I still call and they are still pleasant and helpful!!! Love them all!! Geodi

They are so nice that when I have appointments with other doctors in their building I stop by to just say hello. One just has to stay in touch with family! Janet

I love the staff!! I asked if they got paid extra for being so sweet. An amazing group of people there! Lisa

One year today!!!!!!! 130 lbs gone that was the best day of my life!!!! Thanks Doc and staff! You are the best! Your support is out of this world and the friendship that I got from your office made my worst day feel like I was cared for! Thanks again! Terry

Company A


251 Cohasset Road, Suite 310
Chico, California 95926

Office Hours:
Mon-Thurs, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm

ph: (530) 891-1651
fx: (530) 891-1644



I had been exploring the option of weight loss surgery for several years. I had researched various different medical practices that provide the surgery. However, it always felt impersonal, as if I was just a number. I had pretty much given up on the idea and resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to be overweight the rest of my life. In February of 2011 I decided to give it one last try. I attended one of the informational seminars provided by North Valley Surgical Associates. Dr. Simchuk was the presenter that day. Afterwards I had my initial evaluation and Dr. visit with Dr. Simchuk. I had not stepped on a scale for over a year. Since I had not been dieting or exercising I was willing to accept that my weight was probably in the high 300 lb range. Was I ever surprised when the scale read 415 lbs. Dr. Simchuk explained that based on my BMI and pulmonary test statistically my life expectancy was 52 years old. I was only 46 and the time. I did the math, and did not like the answer. Dr. Simchuk further explained that I would need to lose thirty-five or forty pounds before he would even perform the surgery. This was to help insure that the surgery be completed laparoscopicly. I had lost, and regained, more that this on several occasions, so this was not going to be a problem. I decided right there that I was going to do this. I live in Redding, so on my way home that night I stopped in Corning and had my last burger and fries and then never looked back. The next day, I followed Dr. Simchuk's advices and started having a protein shake for breakfast and one for lunch. For dinner I would have a lean protein, large salad and lots of vegetables. My exercise simply consisted of walking as far as I could for 15 minutes and then turning around and walking back. I did this four or five days a week. The weight came off pretty fast at first. Eventually I had to start speeding up my walk to make sure I would get my heart rate up. By May I had lost nearly eighty pounds and starting walking briskly on a treadmill. Then, as always, the weight started to come back on. I had put back on 15 lbs. Finally, June 6, 2011, the Day of my surgery arrived. I decided that the vertical sleeve would be best for me. I had lost that 15 lbs again plus five more. This was due to the liquid diet I was on for 10 days preceding the surgery. I won't lie, that night after surgery, I had "buyers remorse" in a big way. I could hardly drink water, let alone eat. I still had cravings for unhealthy food, but now there was nothing I could do about it. I was a tough week. Then, I could have some soft foods, and as time went on I got to add things back to my diet. Eventually, six months after surgery I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted, just in very small quantities. By six weeks after the surgery I was back walking on the treadmill again. I was going faster and steeper. At about three months out I was up to about an hour of cardio four days a week. I would even have to jog for about a minute or two and then walk for three or four just to get my heart rate up to where it used to be when I walked. Now, the best part of all of this was that from this little bit of exercise and my restriction to the amount of food I could eat, I was dropping between two to four pounds each week pretty consistently. When you get that kind of return on your effort it makes it real easy to want to exercise. Eventually, I was spending more minutes jogging on the treadmill than I was walking. Then in January 2012, there was no more walking, just jogging. I am now just barely one year out from surgery. I am down about two hundred pounds and only 15 pounds away from my goal. I still go to the gym regularly and can jog six miles in under an hour. I know I am not setting any records, but if you asked me a year ago if I would ever run again, I would have told you that was impossible. I now have my life back. I coach football and no longer feel like a hypocrite when I condition the players. I am not putting them thru anything now that I could not do myself. Sure there were some tough times, the liquid diet, the "buyers remorse" right after surgery for a month or two. But now, I can honestly tell you that having the surgery was one of the best things that I have done in my life. I have no regrets. When I was morbidly obese, my life was quite restricted. I now have my life back.

I had been exploring the option of weight loss surgery for several years. I had researched various different medical practices that provide the surgery. However, it always felt impersonal, as if I was just a number. I had pretty much given up on the ...more
Hi all! My name is Brandi, I'm 38 year old mother of one. I live in Redding California with my beautiful son Jayden & the love of my life Isaac. When I was young I was always the smallest one in any room. I was very active, energetic & outgoing. I weighed 108 pounds in 1995 when I found out I was pregnant. My weight soared during my pregnancy and was diagnosed with pre clampsia. I weighted 176 when I delivered my son. I held on to some of my weight gain, but did eventually get down to 135. In 1999 I got the depo-provera (birth control) injection and blew up like a balloon. I hit well over 200 in under a year. My weight continued to spiral out of control. I was a very unhappy, unhealthy person. I turned to my best friend, my comfort, food! I stopped looking in mirrors, weighing myself, and did the bare minimal to make myself up. I hated clothes shopping but kept growing out of everything! I knew I couldn't continue living this way, what kind of example was I setting for my son. I decided to meet with a therapist. The first time we met, he walked in and introduced himself the first question out of his mouth was "how long have you been morbidly obese?" I was so dumb founded & shocked I didn't know how to respond! I didn't go back! Buried my head in the sand & ignored the obvious! My doctor started putting me on medications, slowly but steady more and more. Each time I went to see her, every time I had blood work done. I ended up on 8 different medications. Several for blood pressure, high triglyceride's, high cholesterol, sugar diabetes, poking my fingers every day & a sleep apnea machine every night! I even had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder. My doctor warned me if I continued on this road my body WILL give out on me within the next 5 years. I'd have a heart attack, stroke or a major organ failure. I was mortified! My son ....I'm his everything. I've been a single mom all these years, what happens to him if I'm no longer here! She mentioned Gastric Bypass. I started looking into a local doctor. I attended the seminar, went to meet the nurse, nutritionist, got my psychological evaluation, attended the support group meeting. Actually went twice a month for over a year. I wanted to learn as much as I could from actual patients. I paid the fees needed up to that point & was ready to schedule my appointment with the surgeon so we could set a date. Time ticked by and I didn't hear from anyone from the hospital or his office, so after a couple months I called. I was told the doctor wasn't performing surgery any longer. No appoligies, no refund, no explanation. I was furious & devastated!!!!! Beyond upset, angry, and scared! What was I going to do! I felt lost and hopeless. My fiancée was there for me & we started the South Beach Diet, excersing everyday and changed the way we ate. I lost 38 pounds, but as soon as the holidays came the weight came right back on. I only ate carbs a short time and gained almost all my weight back. My doctor put me on another blood pressure medication and did blood work, which she was doing regularly, knowing my health was spiraling out of control. In September of 2010, two years almost to the day my Dr. warned me she called, my liver was failing and she needed to see me immediately. I went in and she refered me to a liver specialist out of San Fransisco. In October 2010 I went to see him and he told me I would eventually need to go on a liver transplant list. My liver failure was in the earlier stages, but the damage was there and getting worse each day. I brought up gastric bypass and asked his opinion. He said he was going mention weight loss surgery and I would be the perfect candidate for the Roux-En-Y. That every health problem I was having could be helped if not cured by this "miracle" surgery, even my liver would heal itself. It being the one organ that if given the chance will regenerate itself. I left his office with more hope then I had in years, but scared to hope, do to my let down by the other surgeon. I looked up North Valley Surgical Associates and made an appointment. I went to their siminar and met with Dr. Simchuk the same month, October 2010. He was wonderful, the whole staff was. He told me I was the perfect canidate and finally I had hope! I left there excited and ready to change my life. I had surgery January 24, 2011. It was easy. I felt great, immediately. I was off all my medication (except 1 low dose blood pressure med) the day I left the hospital!! A miracle! That's what this surgery is. I followed the instruction to the letter. It was hard at times, my head still wanting things I couldn't have, but watching myself melt away was extraordinary! My weight was just falling off. Dr. Simchuk set my target goal at 136 pounds . I was convinced, just for one weigh in I had to hit under 130. So determined I was excersing almost every day. I was 125 pounds in August 2011. I was so happy and excited! Then I started having some pain and discomfort, but it was back to school night for my son so continued on with my day. By that evening I was in a lot of pain. Isaac drove me to the local emergency room, (yes BIG Mistake ALWAYS GO TO DR. SIMCHUK!!!) I had to have 2 surgeries within four days. My bowls had obstructed. I was in the hospital for 10 days, and my weight plummeted down to 111. I started off slow and study again working my energy and body up to walking and getting my water, protein, and vitamins in. Im back to excersing 4 days a week. I'm 5'4 and my weight is at a healthy 118, and I'm growing stronger every day. As far as I've kept track I've lost 106 pounds. Though as stated before there was a time I refused to weigh myself. I am that 1% of people who have a complication, but this surgery saved my life! I would do it again (complications and all) because this was the best decision I've ever made. It gave me my life back, my son his mom back. My future is bright with endless possibilities and I can't wait to see where it takes me. Thank you Dr. Simchuk & Dr. Ludwig and everyone at North Valley Surgical Associates. I have so much gratitude and respect for all of you. You change many peoples lives and give us all hope and possibilities we never knew existed!

Hi all! My name is Brandi, I'm 38 year old mother of one. I live in Redding California with my beautiful son Jayden & the love of my life Isaac. When I was young I was always the smallest one in any room. I was very active, energetic & outgoing. ...more

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