Experience Counts in Weight-loss Surgery
The Surgical Weight Control Center has performed gastric band and gastric bypass surgeries to help people overcome their lifelong battle with being overweight since 1989. To help ensure that surgery is the right choice for you, we provide all potential patients with as much information as possible. Our relationship and commitment to you begins before surgery and continues after surgery for a lifetime.
Today, Surgical Weight Control Center of Las Vegas stands as a Nationally Accredited Bariatric Centers by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). Our doctors have trained more than 100 surgeons from across the country to perform these operations. We have traveled across the country to assist surgeons in performing their first cases. We have also developed surgical techniques that are used in weight-loss centers across the country.
James D. Atkinson, MD, FACS
As the Bariatric Medical Director of Surgical Weight Control Center, James D. Atkinson, MD, FACS has had visits by more than 100 surgeons from across the nation seeking to learn his techniques and procedures.
“It is important for the community to know that our entire practice is dedicated 100 percent to bariatrics,” says Dr. Atkinson. “This is our full-time commitment and we do not perform other types of surgeries.”
A native of Las Vegas, Dr. Atkinson earned his bachelor’s degree from Portland State University, and his medical degree from the University of Nevada. In 1995, he went on to perform his residency training at the University Medical Center of Las Vegas where he trained in bariatric surgery, trauma surgery, and served as chief resident in surgery in 2000.
After his surgical residency, Dr. Atkinson specialized in advanced laparoscopy. He then became a consultant for Ethicon Endo-surgery and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Dr. Atkinson’s achievements include induction into the distinguished medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha, earning a spot as one of America’s Top Surgeons in 2002, and being featured in MD News.
Darren Soong, MD, FACS
Darren Soong, MD, FACS, FASMBS, was one of the first surgeons to perform the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which is still the procedure he performs most often. Dr. Soong is a diplomat of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has consistently been listed in multiple publications and magazines as one of Las Vegas’ top doctors.
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Dr. Soong graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and earned his medical degree at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in general surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and has been an assistant clinical professor with several medical schools. Before specializing in weight-loss surgery, Dr. Soong performed a wide range of surgical procedures including general surgery, trauma surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery, burn surgery, oncologic surgery, advanced wound care and peripheral nerve surgery.
Married with identical twin daughters, he enjoys spending time with his family. His hobbies included surfing, prone and stand up paddle boarding and fishing. He plays tennis competitively and maintains a 5.0 USTA level rating.
Our staff will become your second family as you move along your road to successful, permanent weight loss. Friendly and competent, our staff is eager to help you and to answer your questions. We can also help you obtain insurance approval before surgery, and deal with the emotional and physical changes that you will experience after surgery.
Melissa Moyer, PA
Physician Assistant and Program Director
Melissa Moyer, PA originally joined the practice in 2008 as a physician assistant in which she focused on performing Lap-Band® adjustments and helped monitor their effectiveness. In her new role as physician assistant and program director, Melissa will continue to assist Dr. Atkinson and Dr. Soong in the operating room, while she also manages and coordinates patient care and educates patients to help them understand the biological and lifestyle changes that come with weight-loss surgery. In addition, Melissa also provides post-operative and long-term support by managing and monitoring patient progress.
Melissa is a native of Las Vegas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and her physician assistant degree at Touro University in Las Vegas. She is a member of the Nevada Academy of Physician Assistants.
Marc Washington, PA is a nationally-certified physician assistant who works in collaboration with the surgeons at the Surgical Weight Control Center to provide comprehensive patient care. Marc serves as an agent for the physicians and assists with bariatric/metabolic surgery. A native of Binghamton, NY, Marc is a graduate of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii with a double-major bachelor’s degree, and earned his Masters in Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies degree from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. in 2011.
Prior to working at the Surgical Weight Control Center, Washington was the senior physician assistant to a multiple-provider general and bariatric surgery practice in New York from 2012 to 2016. He was the primary assistant in thousands of surgical cases including laparoscopic bariatric surgeries, and was a founding member of the premier bariatric surgery service for the area. Marc has presented his research on topics at both the Society for Neuroscience and the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and has served as an On-Site Expert for a pharmaceutical company. He is married and is the father of two children.
As a registered dietitian with extensive experience in consulting with bariatric patients, Michelle’s interaction with patients begins post-surgery. An expert in her field, she assists patients in their weight-loss journey through the guidance of healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Michelle holds a bachelor of science degree in nutrition sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is is passionate about helping people meet their goals by helping them develop healthy nutrition habits. Her experience includes working at Desert Springs Hospital MNedical Center in Las Vegas as a clinical dietician, weight-loss and sports nutrition education. She is also a former personal trainer. Michelle lives in Henderson with her husband and spends her free time volunteering for community organizations such as Three Square Food Bank and the Children’s Heart Center.
Michele Berry, MBA
Senior Practice Administrator
Michele Berry has more than 15 years of experience in practice management. Previously, she managed six palliative medicine departments at Banner Health in Arizona. Michele has her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix and her MBA from Minders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.