Bariatric Weight Loss Program Begins at Archbold

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Weight Loss Surgery Begins at Archbold

Comprehensive Bariatric Weight Loss Program
unique to region

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One-third of adults in the United States are considered obese.

Nearly 70 percent are overweight.

In fact, America’s persistent weight problem has become the country’s leading cause of preventable death. Recently surpassing smoking as the number one health risk factor in the country, obesity is now confirmed by health professionals nationwide as an epidemic.

Archbold Memorial Hospital has officially announced the launch of their new Bariatric Weight Loss Program, a unique, comprehensive weight management program designed to help patients achieve their weight loss goals, improve their overall health and enhance their quality of life.

The program features Lap-Band surgery, a type of bariatric weight loss surgery, as well as a range of personalized weight loss services.

While Lap-Band surgery isn’t completely new to the area, the Program’s multidisciplinary approach is unlike any other bariatric weight loss program in South Georgia.

Archbold’s Bariatric Weight Loss team consists of experts in their respective fields in laparoscopic surgery, integrative medicine, nursing, nutrition, psychology, exercise and therapeutic management.

John Mansberger, M.D., will oversee the evaluative and support portions of the program, along with psychologist Robin Perkins, PhD, and registered dietitian/certified diabetes educator Beth Lowe. Lap-Band surgery will be performed by South Georgia Surgical Associates board-certified surgeons John Cascone, M.D., and Gregory Patterson, M.D.

Through an initial evaluation and comprehensive nutritional and weight history assessment, the team will work with patients to identify obstacles to successful weight management, making recommendations for the best individualized weight loss program.

Comprehensive bariatric weight loss programs like Archbold’s result in significant improvement or reversal of obesity related health problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, infertility and emotional suffering.

On par, comprehensive programs have proven more successful for the patient than programs that offer surgery alone. “In fact, bariatric programs that include surgery result in a long term fifty percent success rate, compared to ‘quick weight loss’ programs that result in a five percent success rate,” said Mansberger.

Mansberger recommends that patients seek advice from their doctor to determine the weight loss treatment options that are most appropriate for them.
“Anyone overweight or obese is eligible to be seen by our program,” said Mansberger. “We hope to help many individuals reverse their weight issues and obesity related health problems.”

The recommended method of treatment depends on a patient’s level of obesity, overall health condition, and readiness to lose weight. Many patients succeed and completely change their lives with simple nutritional, emotional and physical support. In some cases, Lap-Band surgery may be recommended.

For patients who are at least 100 pounds overweight and have been unsuccessful with traditional weight loss programs, weight loss surgery may be an option to consider. Studies have shown that while people on traditional diet and exercise weight loss programs can lose weight, as much as two-thirds of that weight is regained within one year—and almost all of it within five years.

Lap-Band surgery reduces the stomach’s capacity by restricting the amount of food a patient is able to eat at one time. The band provides a “full” sensation faster and allows the patient to stay full longer, resulting in the patient consuming fewer calories and in turn experiencing weight loss.

Part of the surgeons’ attraction to offering Lap-Band surgery specifically was that it was an effective procedure that has proven to help thousands of patients lose weight—and keep it off.

“Lap-Band surgery is the safest surgical treatment available for reversing obesity and obesity related health conditions,” said Patterson. “Lap-Band surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require cutting, stapling, or removal or rerouting of any part of the patients existing stomach or intestines. This makes it a much safer option to consider compared to gastric bypass surgery.”

In most cases, the Lap-Band System is put into place during a minimally invasive surgical procedure using general anesthesia. The procedure is performed through a few tiny incisions. The surgeon implants the band around the upper part of the stomach, much like a belt. A tube is then connected from the Lap-Band System to a small access port, fixed beneath the skin of the abdomen. Often performed on an outpatient basis, the surgery itself typically takes about an hour.

“The Lap-Band system offers few risks and generally a fast recovery time. Patients commonly return to normal activity within one week following the surgery,” said Cascone.

After the first four to six weeks, adjustments to the Lap-Band System are made through the access port. This is performed as needed—more frequently in the first year—to maintain optimal weight loss, by adding or removing saline solution.

“Patients experience steady, healthy, long-term weight loss results with the Lap-Band system,” said Cascone. “Patients generally average a healthy one-to-two pound weight reduction a week.”

Cascone, Patterson and Mansberger feel confident that the Archbold’s program has the necessary support system needed for patients to stay motivated and be successful.

Archbold patients will receive extensive education and psychological support before and after surgery to help achieve maximum results from the program.

This support is an important component for patients to achieve long term weight loss success. Patients must receive psychological evaluation prior to qualifying for weight loss surgery, and post surgery support is available through individual and group therapy sessions.

Patients who qualify for weight loss surgery must also consult with a dietitian prior to the surgery to learn and implement necessary lifestyle changes. Patients undergo several diet phases after the surgery. A dietitian educates the patient on each phase to help prevent any nutrient deficiencies, and to assist patients with maintaining as much muscle mass as possible. Patients also learn how to plan menus that are satisfying in order to make the weight loss process easier and more successful.

The diet is a key component for Lap-Band success and begins even before the procedure. “Patients that qualify for surgery must learn a completely new lifestyle that places nutrition and exercise as the focus,” said Lowe, who follows patients for a year post-surgery. “Lap-Band surgery helps the patient lose weight, but the patient still has to begin eating differently and should increase physical activity.”

Patient evaluation for the Archbold Bariatric Weight Loss Program is now in progress. For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact bariatric program coordinator Wendy Wilbourn, RN, at (229) 228-7008. Also, visit