Posted Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals have launched the Center for Bariatric Surgery, a combined program that unites nationally recognized bariatric surgeons and staff from both hospitals into a single program on one campus. The Center for Bariatric Surgery, which is based at The Miriam Hospital, is expected to be the largest weight loss surgery program in the state.
Siva Vithiananthan, MD, chief of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Miriam Hospital, leads the program. He is joined by surgeons G. Dean Roye, MD, and Beth Ryder, MD, who previously performed bariatric and general laparoscopic surgeries at Rhode Island Hospital and have transferred their practices to The Miriam Hospital.
Sampson said Miriam’s campus was chosen for the Center for Bariatric Surgery because of its established and nationally known complementary weight control programs, including a clinical weight management program, led by Vincent Pera, MD; a diabetes research and weight loss program led by Rena Wing, Ph.D., a world leader on obesity research; and the hospital’s behavioral medicine program.
The Center for Bariatric Surgery offers comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals who are seeking a surgical solution for weight control. The program provides a full range of bariatric care services to support patients throughout the entire process, including a thorough physical and psychological preoperative evaluation, free patient support groups, pre- and post-operative counseling and a long-term follow-up plan to help patients commit to the lifestyle changes needed to achieve and maintain successful results.
The multidisciplinary bariatric surgery team includes physicians, Miriam’s Magnet-award winning nurses and nurse practitioners, behavioral therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, pulmonologists and radiologists with expertise in weight loss surgery and obesity. The Center for Bariatric Surgery also includes a 20-bed surgical intensive care unit designed for the comfort and safety of bariatric surgery patients and their families, including specialized furniture, wider doorways and larger shower stalls.
In the United States, more than half of all adults are considered overweight or obese, and the numbers continue to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 39 percent of Rhode Islanders are considered overweight and another 22 percent are considered obese. Obesity is closely linked with a number of serious health complications, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions.
“Many of our bariatric surgery patients go home and within months find they no longer need their insulin or their blood pressure medication because their levels are within normal range and they are ‘cured,’” said Vithiananthan. “As health care providers, it is a privilege to not only restore our patients to health but to also improve their quality of life in such a dramatic way. This is the true measurement of our success.”
He said the program’s ultimate goal is to bring all weight control services and surgery into one physical building, so that a patient can walk in one door and have all his or her needs met.
Bariatric surgery promotes weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some procedures, altering the digestive process. As with other treatments for obesity, the best results are achieved when combined with healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activity. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, about 200,000 bariatric operations are performed each year in the United States.
Both Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals have been recognized as American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence®. The designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of excellence in providing superior and comprehensive bariatric surgery care. The Miriam also has been designated a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
The Center for Bariatric Surgery provides different minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, bariatric surgical techniques, including. laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric banding, laparoscopic gastric sleeve resection and bilio-pancreatic duodenal switch surgery procedures. For more information on the Center for Bariatric Surgery or to enroll in the next monthly bariatric patient information seminar, please call 401-793-3922 or visit www.miriamhospital.org/bariatric-surgery.
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