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South Nassau Communities Hospital Provides Gastric Sleeve to Help Obese Lose Significant Weight

"I have more stamina and can climb the stairs into my house and down to the laundry room without sweating and getting out of breath," said Ms. Howell, who no longer has to take medication for her high blood pressure.

Oceanside, NY, June 20, 2010 --( Gastric sleeve weight-loss surgery has helped Amityville resident Joycelyn Howell, 58, and her daughter shed excess weight and gain back their health and wellness. Ms. Howell, who had the surgery in October 2009, has dropped nearly 60 pounds, while her daughter, who had the surgery in May 2009, has lost more than 100 pounds.

“I have more stamina and can climb the stairs into my house and down to the laundry room without sweating and getting out of breath,” said Ms. Howell, who no longer has to take medication for her high blood pressure. “I can get up in the morning without having to psych myself into it, because when you have extra weight, everything you do is a chore.”

Gastric sleeve surgery was originally used to initiate the surgical weight loss process in patients who were not eligible for weight loss surgeries. A study on the outcomes of 292 patients who underwent laparoscopic gastric sleeve weight-loss surgery showed that the procedure is safe and effective and results in significant weight loss. The study, “Initial Outcomes Following Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy in 292 Patients as a Single-stage Procedure for Morbid Obesity,” was published in the February 2010 edition of The Bariatric Times.

The average percentage of excess weight loss after surgery was 24 percent after one month, 36 percent after 3 months, 50 percent after 6 months, 57 percent after 9 months and 60 percent after 12 months. The study demonstrates that it can be used as a single-stage operation for patients not eligible for weight loss surgeries, as well as patients who are eligible for lap band or gastric bypass surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy offers as much weight loss as gastric bypass surgery with a decreased potential for complication.

Under the direction of Rajeev Vohra, MD, FACS, director of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery, South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Weight and Life Management offers the gastric sleeve as a single-stage procedure. The short- and long-term weight-loss and health benefits achieved by patients have prompted most major insurances to cover the procedure.

“The gastric sleeve is a procedure that does not involve rerouting or reconnecting of the patient’s intestines and is therefore a much simpler operation than the gastric bypass or duodenal switch,” said Dr. Vohra, who has performed more than 100 gastric sleeve surgeries. “Basically, the left side of the stomach is surgically removed which results in a new stomach that has moon-shaped contours and is reduced in volume by one third. And, unlike the lap-band, the gastric sleeve does not require the implantation of an artificial device inside the patient’s abdomen that is periodically adjusted as the patient loses weight.”

In addition, studies have shown that the gastric sleeve is more effective at reducing the feeling of hunger than the gastric band or gastric bypass and it has lowered patients’ risk of experiencing post-operative malnutrition or vitamin deficiency.

South Nassau has successfully performed over 2,500 weight loss surgeries, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, Lap-Band®, and revisional surgeries like the StomaphyX®. All of the surgeries are performed laparoscopically, which is less invasive and typically reduces the patient’s length of hospital stay. Dr. Vohra is complemented by a weight loss team composed of highly trained surgeons, a program coordinator, patient liaison, physician assistant, registered dietitian and psychologist who are there to support the patient throughout his or her weight-loss journey. The team empowers patients to make significant changes in their lifestyle – especially in their eating habits.

South Nassau Communities Hospital is designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASBS). Hospitals granted Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence status have demonstrated that they meet standards to perform safe bariatric surgery and have documented excellent short- and long-term patient outcomes. South Nassau is authorized to provide weight-loss surgery to all Medicare eligible patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to expand coverage is based on the “demonstrated high success rates” achieved by hospitals that have been designated as a “Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence.”

Contact Information
South Nassau Communities Hospital
Damian J. Becker

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