James Parrish, MD — Bariatric Surgeon in Louisiana

Meet Dr. James Parrish

Dr. James Parrish is board-certified in General Surgery and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has devoted his career to helping people overcome the physical and emotional effects of obesity, and he is committed to providing patients with comprehensive care to ensure that they lose weight safely and effectively. Dr. Parrish believes that education and a solid support system – from the first consultation to follow-up care – is essential to providing patients the assistance they need as they embark on a new path toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Dr. Parrish has over 20 years of experience with minimally invasive abdominal surgery and has undergone additional post graduate training in bariatric surgery since 2003. Since that time, Dr. Parrish has performed thousands of bariatric procedures in Central Louisiana.

Thank you Dr. Parrish for giving me my life back. I have been a very persistent patient, Dr Parrish has been awesome. I have lost over 90 lb. And before I’ve been very sick. Now I’m well again.

Michelle Hoben

May 22, 2016


Background and History

Dr. James Parrish is the Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at both Christus Central Louisiana Surgical Hospital and Christus St. Francis Cabrini Hospital. Dr. Parrish is currently an Executive Board Member of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.


Dr. Parrish has had extensive education and training at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the nation. His educational history includes:

  • 2010 – Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Program (Ethicon) – Baton Rouge, LA
  • 2009 – Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Preceptorship – Lafayette, LA
  • 2009 – Bariatric Mini Fellowship, University of Texas-Southwestern – Dallas, TX
  • 2008 – Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Program (Allergan) – Memphis, TN
  • 2003 – Fundamentals of Bariatric Surgery – Redwood City, CA
  • 1996-2001 – Louisiana State University, New Orleans – General Surgery Residency
  • 1992-1996 – Louisiana State
 University School of Medicine in
 New Orleans – Honors Program
  • 1988-1992 – Emory University, Atlanta

Professional Organizations and Leadership

Dr. Parrish has held membership with a variety of world-renowned medical organizations, including:

  • Fellow of the American Society For Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery 
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • Fellow of the Southeastern Surgical Congress
  • Member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
  • Executive Board Member of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  • Past President of the Rapides Parish Medical Society
  • Past President of the Medical Executive Committee – Dubuis Hospital
  • Past Member of the Medical Executive Committee – Central Louisiana Surgical Hospital
  • Past Liaison to American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer
  • Past Member of the Credentials Committee –
 Cabrini Hospital
  • Past Member of Quality Improvement Committee – Cabrini Hospital
  • Past Member of CLA Quality Board – Christus Health System 

What Is a Bariatric Surgeon?

A bariatric surgeon is a physician who has received additional training in performing surgical techniques designed to achieve significant weight loss in obese patients. Bariatric surgeons are typically MDs (medical doctors), although some are ODs (osteopathic doctors). After completing four years at a medical school, a physician will then complete a surgical residency program to learn the skills needed to safely and effectively perform bariatric procedures like gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding, and others. These programs usually last between five and seven years.

How to Choose a Weight Loss Doctor

You are beginning an extended journey of weight loss, and it’s important to choose a bariatric surgeon who you trust and like, since you’ll hopefully be developing a lifelong relationship with this person. In addition to reviewing their educational background and training, we suggest you pick a physician who is a board-certified in surgery and a member of prestigious medical associations like the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.  It is also important to choose a surgeon who practices at a Bariatric Center of Excellence that includes a comprehensive pre- and post-operative program. The initial consultation is the perfect opportunity to get to know a prospective surgeon, learn about their philosophy, ask lots of questions, and feel out their demeanor. One of the questions we suggest you ask is about support programs: do they offer nutrition and fitness counseling and guidance? Having this available will help you achieve the desired outcome and keep the weight off long term. Ultimately, you will benefit from someone who is compassionate, highly educated, and dedicated to patient care.

What Questions Should I Ask My Bariatric Surgeon?

The initial consultation is the ideal opportunity to ask many questions and learn more about which procedure or procedures you should consider, what the surgeon’s practice philosophy is, and much more. Some of the questions we advise our patients to ask a prospective weight loss doctor include:

Where did you receive your medical degree?
What kind of additional training have you received?
How long have you been performing these procedures?
Have you had any complications?
What medical organizations are you a member of?
Are you board-certified in surgery?
What weight loss procedures do you offer?
Which procedure do you recommend for me based on my needs?
Are there any alternatives to consider?
Do you offer nutrition and fitness counseling?
How can I achieve the optimal outcome?
How often will I be returning for visits after my operation?
How much weight loss can I expect?
Will medical insurance help cover the cost of my treatment?
Do you offer medical financing?

You may have a number of additional questions you wish to ask, and a prospective surgeon will want to answer your questions to the best of their ability.

If you would like more information on the biography and credentials of our bariatric surgeon, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. James Parrish, please contact us today.