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Bariatric Surgery–much more than a numbers game

To Your Health
Scott Lowe
CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd

A4-CBN-4-4-14-4Considering the onslaught of media coverage given to the obesity epidemic in the United States, you may be wondering: why write another?

The answer: it’s one thing for the media to report on the problem—it’s quite another to educate the public on possible solutions.

If your weight—or the weight of a loved one—is preventing the healthy, active life you’ve imagined, Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard can help.

In December 2013, Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard received a Center of Excellence designation awarded by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). In fact, Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard is the only Bariatric Center of Excellence in Southwest Florida.

To achieve this designation, Physicians Regional submitted to a rigorous review of our surgical weight loss program—including the staff that cares for surgical weight loss patients as well as our facility provisions.

Why is this important? Medical Director for the Bariatric Center of Excellence Dr. Thomas Bass explains: “Accreditation clearly demonstrates value in clinical outcomes. Studies show a two- to three-fold reduction in mortality rates compared to non-accredited facilities.”

The benefits of weight-loss surgery, called bariatric surgery, also go beyond what the eye can see.

Physicians Regional’s comprehensive program addresses the physical and emotional aspects of weight loss by offering education and support from pre-surgery through recovery.

In support of this multi-disciplinary approach, our team includes registered dietitians, behavioral psychologists, physical therapists, nurses and many other qualified healthcare personnel.

Bariatric Surgery by the numbers:

1. Bariatric surgery is medical treatment for medical problems—not for cosmetic reasons. Research has documented its effectiveness in improving and resolving obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and others. By helping you lose weight, it may also lower your risk for other serious conditions such as heart disease, high blood, pressure, stroke, arthritis, and certain malignancies.

2. Weight-loss surgery is typically recommended for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater.

3. The safety of bariatric surgery has greatly improved over the past 10 years and carries a similar risk to gall bladder removal or childbirth.

4. Today, bariatric surgeries are typically laparoscopic and require only small incisions.

Nonetheless, it’s important that you ask yourself: Am I ready to make a change?

Every weight-loss procedure requires you to commit to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular exercise.

According to Bariatric Nurse Practitioner and Bariatric Surgery patient Amy Phipps, “Bariatric surgery is a wonderful tool, but requires lifelong lifestyle changes to maintain the weight lost.”

Phipps, who works in the office of Dr. Moses Shieh of the Surgical Healing Arts Center, continues, “Lifelong follow-up is critical to long-term success, so choosing a program where you feel comfortable and accepted is important.”

You may also be surprised to learn that most insurances cover bariatric surgery including Medicare and Medicaid.

Patients with private insurance should call their insurance company to see if their policy has bariatric coverage as employers choose whether or not to include bariatric coverage in their contracts.

“Our commitment to continuing education and investment in state-of-the-art medical equipment means that outcomes will continuously improve beyond the highest standards,” says Dr. Bass. “Patients can expect to receive compassionate care, centered on safety and sensitivity to each person’s individual needs.”

In the simplest terms, surgery to lose weight may be safer than carrying around those extra pounds. Please consult your physician or call Gail Ekblad at 239-354-6143 for more information.

 

 

 


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