Our Surgeons

At North Valley Surgical Associates, we share one common goal — to help each and every one of our patients live healthier and happier lives. Dr. Deron Ludwig and Dr. Erik Simchuk are experienced surgeons who understand the problems that individuals struggling with obesity face and how difficult it can be to make the decision to undergo bariatric surgery. Since 2007, we have been dedicated to helping patients understand the issues surrounding obesity, as well as providing them with state-of-the-art treatments and personal support to help them reach their weight-loss goals.

Our practice offers the unique feature of every operation being performed by both surgeons working together. At many other institutions it is common practice to have the surgeon working with a technician or nurse assistant. We feel it is important to our patients to have the skills of two surgeons working together to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Meet Dr. Deron Ludwig

Deron Ludwig, M.D.Deron J. Ludwig, M.D., Bariatric Program Surgical Director – Dr. Ludwig is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine and has returned to Chico to practice both general and bariatric surgery. Dr. Ludwig spent three years as a staff surgeon at Keesler Medical Center, Biloxi, Mississippi with the US Air Force. Dr. Ludwig underwent surgical training in general and bariatric surgery at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. As an accomplished laparoscopic surgeon, Dr. Ludwig performs all weight loss surgeries offered at Enloe Medical Center laparoscopically. Dr. Ludwig is a member of ASBS and a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons.


  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
  • American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Society for Bariatric Surgery
  • Obesityhelp.com sponsor
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society

Meet Dr. Erik Simchuk

Erik Simchuk, M.D.Erik J. Simchuk, M.D., Bariatric Program Surgeon – Dr. Simchuk is a graduate of Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H. He underwent surgical training in general and bariatric surgery at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, finishing his chief resident year in June 2000. Dr. Simchuk undertook a fellowship in upper gastrointestinal surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in Bristol, England in 2000 and 2001. He joined Deron J. Ludwig, M.D., Surgeon and Program Surgical Director for Successful Solutions, in practice in September 2007 after practicing in Loveland, Colorado for six years. Dr. Simchuk performs all weight-loss operations laparoscopically and provides other advanced laparoscopic treatments to the greater community. He is board-certified in general surgery and maintains active memberships in the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons.


  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
  • American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

More about North Valley Surgical Associates

North Valley Surgical AssociatesAt North Valley Surgical Associates, our friendly staff, extensive knowledge, training, and experience, combined with exceptional surgical results and outstanding patient support, have helped us to become one of the most trusted weight-loss clinics in Northern California. Because of this, we have been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the  American Society for Bariatric Surgery. We are extremely proud of this distinction, which is shared with a few select bariatric practices in the nation.

Our surgeons and staff are committed to leading the way for obesity treatment and patient advocacy. We believe patient education is essential to successful weight loss. We hold an initial bariatric surgery informational seminar each week, where patients can meet Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Simchuk face-to-face in a spacious and comfortable conference room. During the informational seminar, prospective patients can watch a presentation about the nature of obesity and the surgical support programs we provide as part of the treatment process.

We also believe that the success our patients experience is a direct result of the advanced surgical treatments we offer, which are backed by support programs emphasizing education, nutrition, exercise, and behavioral health. Our practice offers onsite nutrition counseling and behavioral health counseling to patients before and after surgery. We have developed the Lifestyle Management Program to provide longterm support for weight loss maintenance.

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

email: staff@chicoweightloss.com


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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