For Anthony Manning, MD, celebrating and cheering on patients make for his favorite days.


“Some of my best days in clinic are when I can celebrate with patients who have come a long way in their weight loss journey,” he says.


Manning has been in practice for more than seven years, primarily as a general surgeon. In addition to numerous general surgical procedures, he began performing bariatric surgery, more commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, shortly after his relocation from Temple, Texas to Conway in August of 2018.


For Manning, Conway “feels like home.” He says, “Conway is where my wife, Hanna, and I met, and we began our marriage.” The two met while completing their undergraduate studies at the University of Central Arkansas. They have two sons.


Manning performs gastric sleeve bypass surgery at Conway Regional Medical Center. As he explains, the gastric sleeve reshapes and reduces the size of the stomach from being the size of a sack to that of a banana to limit the amount of food a person can consume.


He adds, “I’m passionate about weight loss surgery at Conway Regional because of the overarching benefits for the patient. Certainly, there are cosmetic benefits with weight loss that can help the patient from a self-esteem standpoint, but also globally in terms of health, we can help with diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These are benefits for the patient years down the road instead of just months.”


Q&A with Dr. Anthony Manning


Q: What inspired you to choose to begin performing bariatric surgery (gastric bypass)? Is there a story behind your inspiration?


A: I did a significant amount of bariatric surgery during residency training and really began to enjoy it. When I began planning my move to Conway in 2015, I approached Conway Regional in the very early stages to discuss a bariatric surgery program. We have an incredibly strong medical community, but there were no providers doing bariatric surgery at that time. Since the beginning, Conway Regional has been very supportive of the bariatric surgery program.


Q: How does bariatric surgery improve the quality of life of your patients?


A: A few of the improvements are relatively straightforward, such as increased energy and self-esteem.  However, what I care the most about are the other medical conditions that improve as a result of weight loss surgery. In some cases, patients can reduce medications for other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If these conditions can be improved today, then in 10 years the patient will be healthier than they would have been otherwise. 


Q:  How do you determine who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?


A: Each patient is different, so I take a consultative approach, evaluating preexisting conditions, insurance and desired outcomes. However, at a high level, candidates for bariatric surgery are determined based on BMI, or body mass index, a calculation that considers each patient’s height and weight.


Q: Are there other clinical specialists who are a part of each patient’s bariatric team, and what role do they play in the success of your patients?


A: We have an incredible team at Conway Regional helping individuals prepare for bariatric surgery. Our Diabetes Education and Wellness Department supports our patients as part of the initial preoperative visit, as well as following them throughout the process, and walking them through diet changes after surgery. I cannot say enough good things about them.


Because sleep apnea is very common for bariatric candidates, patients will frequently see a Conway Regional pulmonologist to conduct a sleep study. Depending on other health conditions, a patient may see other specialists such as a cardiologist. There are many components to consider, but in every situation, we create a care plan with continuity of care across specialties to ensure the best outcome for each patient.


Q: What is the key to having long-term successful gastric bypass surgery?


A: Like many things in life, the ultimate outcome from a weight loss surgery is very dependent on the patient. It is an old cliché, but “you get out of it what you put into it.” Lifestyle changes must continue well past surgery, but these changes are certainly attainable. Our dietitians like to say, “all food fits,” meaning you can still have treats along the way, but there are changes to diet and exercise that must be permanent.


Q: Are there some general success stories? 


A: There are almost too many to mention! We have had patients lose upwards of 75 pounds in the first four-to-five months. We are seeing patients who have had sustained weight loss and are experiencing substantial improvements in quality of life.


About Dr. Manning


Anthony Tyler Manning, MD, has been in practice for more than seven years. He graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2013 and completed a surgical residency at Baylor Scott & White in Temple, Texas before joining Conway Regional Surgical Associates in August of 2018. General surgeons focus on the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland.