Surgery Team

Our medical experts support you through an approach that includes lifestyle education, nutritional and psychological counseling, exercise training, and the most advanced and tested weight loss surgery options available. Most importantly, we offer lifelong support to guide you through this incredible journey.

A customized weight loss plan is developed for each of our patients, where every team member gives input based on their education, experience, and training, as well as your individual needs. We are devoted to creating an environment that encourages a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, constructive psychological training, and good nutrition. Pardee Bariatrics and General Surgery is committed to evidence-based and leading-edge surgery, integrated and customized care, and life-long maintenance and support is what sets us apart, leading our patients to successful outcomes and happier, healthier lives.

Dr. Chris Edwards

Dr. Chris Edwards

Dr. Chris Edwards is a board-certified general surgeon and the medical director of Pardee Bariatrics and General Surgery . Dr. Edwards has performed over 2,000 bariatric procedures since 2006 and has practiced in Western North Carolina for more than ten years. He has served as the medical director for dozens of surgeon training courses nationwide for bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, and his work has been published in many peer-reviewed journals. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery, including single-site, bariatric, reflux and hernia surgery. Dr. Edwards’ has brought with him both medical expertise and  a personalized approach which has become the foundation of our Bariatrics and General Surgery program.

Rebecca Rice, DO

Dr. Rebecca Rice

Rebecca Rice, DO, is a board-certified and fellowship-trained general surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery, including bariatric, foregut, and hernia surgery as well as abdominal wall reconstruction. Dr. Rice treats her patients as she would her own family, aiming to provide the highest quality care. She believes all patients have a voice and should be heard.

Amelia Martin PA-C

Amelia Martin, PA-C

Amelia is a certified Physician Assistant who received her graduate training from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Amelia specializes in bariatrics and weight loss providing all aspects of bariatric care, including preoperative care, postoperative care and assisting Dr. Edwards in the operating room. She enjoys the team based approach to bariatric care and working with patients every step of the way throughout their weight loss journey.

Alex Benson, PA-C

Alex Benson is a board-certified Physician Assistant who specializes in bariatrics and weight loss, and a graduate of the physician assistant program from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN. Alex’s philosophy is to put the patient first and walk with them through every step of their care. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, camping, reading, and spending time with her husband and dog.

My Account

Stacey's Story

My name is Stacey and this is the story of my weight loss journey.

Like many others, I have done pretty much every diet out there. I have lost the same 50 pounds time and time again and am always left feeling frustrated. I decided after weighing in at 233 lbs with 2 children who need me and being 43 years old it was time to pursue extra help. I attended one of the bariatric seminars with Dr. Edwards after hearing great things about him and his staff. Everything I had heard ended up being true and then some.

Is this the easy way out? No, not at all. There is work involved. You must make changes to eliminate sugar and caffeine initially as well as reduce portion sizes. Overall health is important so incorporating an exercise routine is also highly encouraged. The online and in-person support groups, resources, tools, and consistent follow-up kept me motivated. They 100% cared about me, my progress and wanted me to succeed, which impacted my positive experience. It has been incredible and an experience that has changed my life forever. I feel like for the first time in my life, I am confident that I will achieve my weight loss goals.

Since surgery on Feb 27, 2020, I have lost a total of 70 lbs and have 30 more to go before I reach my goal weight of 130 lbs. I have Dr. Edwards and his staff to thank for changing my life!

-Stacey K., Pardee Bariatric and Weight Loss patient

Autumn's Story

My name is Autumn Franklin and this is the story of my weight loss journey.

I have always battled obesity, but in spite of it, I have always been a very active person, holding down two jobs as a beautician and also an EMT.  After I was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure at the age of 17, my weight began to climb. From then on, my body and my blood pressure medications began to fight against one another. Very quickly, five pounds turned into ten, and the next thing I knew I had gained 130 pounds. Looking back now, I know that while I gained the weight quickly, it did not happen overnight, and I could have done more to keep myself from gaining the weight as fast as I did.

In January of 2017, I was hospitalized due to stroke level blood pressure coupled with chest pain, something that no 27 year old should have to experience. Referred to a cardiologist, over the course of the next year we tried everything from diets, exercise, numerous tests and medication. After a year of failed attempts to improve my health, my cardiologist looked at me and said he was referring me to the bariatric surgeon. I broke down. My health and my body had lead me to defeat, we had tried everything, and I wanted to get healthy on my own.

I attended Dr. Edwards’s orientation on April 14th, and it was the wake up call I needed. I really needed their help, and before I left that night, I had filled out my paperwork and turned it in to begin my weight journey. A few short weeks later, they called to set up my first appointment to discuss my options. My insurance said they would cover my surgery after a 12-month program.

However, my blood pressure was never below 200/100 every time I went to the doctor despite the various medications I was taking. Dr. Edwards and his staff pulled all of my health records from all my other doctors and sent them to my insurance company so that they could get me qualified under medical necessity. My 12-month program turned into 3 months so quickly, and I remember getting the call that my insurance had approved the surgery for July 26. Little did I know that July 26th would not only be the first day to a new healthier me, but the best day of my life.

Having weight loss surgery has not been an easy journey. Most people will tell you that you are taking the easy way out because of how quickly you drop the weight. In all honesty, it is hard. Having to retrain your mind and body on how you eat how you drink is not easy. Having to avoid greasy fatty food is not easy. Having to avoid cravings for sweets is not easy. Yes, I still want to eat a whole pizza or have a big juicy cheeseburger, but I tell myself it is not worth it.

Having bypass surgery has not only changed my life for the better, but has saved my life. I am now 6 months out from surgery, down 122 pounds that will be forever gone, and I am on two medications plus my vitamins. I am in a better place now then I have been in over 10 years. Dr. Edwards and his team have saved my life and I would do it again tomorrow it I knew it would keep me in health that I am now.