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Miami Valley Hospital Opens New Bariatric Surgery Unit

Recent Data Indicates Weight Loss Surgeries Extend Lives

DAYTON, Ohio, December 6, 2007 –– Miami Valley Hospital has completed construction of a new 14-bed bariatric surgery unit specifically designed for the comfort of large-sized patients.

The new unit according to Camille Wilson, RN, BSN, and nurse manager, will help patients feel more at ease while they undergo a variety of bariatric procedures.

Wilson said the unit features private rooms, internet access, flat screen TV’s and modern conveniences that make the recovery process easier.  Specially trained nurses staff the floor and promote relationship based care with patients and their loved ones.  The unit is designed with warm soothing colors and custom lighting to create a relaxing and healing environment.

According to Debra Anderson, Bariatric Program Manager for the Weight Loss Surgery Center, the MVH Bariatric Unit utilizes a comprehensive approach to care. Patients recovering from surgery have access to a psychologist, dietician, exercise specialist, hospitalist and other medical personnel who are all trained in managing the care of the obese person.

In July of this year, the MVH Bariatric Unit was named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery (ASMBS). The designation recognizes the safety and efficiency of the unit as well as its ability to demonstrate a track record of favorable outcomes. MVH has been offering bariatric procedures since January of 2006.

The unit’s medical director, Dr. John Maguire, MD, FACS, and Dr. Donovan Teel II have 30 years combined experience in bariatric surgery and specialize in laparoscopic surgery.

The opening of Miami Valley Hospital’s new Bariatric Unit comes on the heels of recently announced data showing that weight-loss surgeries extend lives.

According to the August 23, 2007 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, two studies, one in the U.S and another in Sweden, both concluded that death rates fell significantly for those obese people who opted for gastric by-pass or lap band surgeries versus those who did not. The U.S. study followed 16,000 patients and found a 40-percent mortality reduction; the Swedish study followed 4,000 cases and saw a 29-percent drop in death rates.

Anderson—who has herself had bariatric surgery—witnesses evidence every day that weight-loss surgery works in many cases. Some patients who used to gasp for air during the night now sleep soundly. Many people on disability go back to work. Signs and symptoms of diabetes or other diseases have been known to disappear.

“A significant amount of diabetes is reversed or resolved. Two to three weeks after surgery, some patients come off their meds. It’s phenomenal,” she said.

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. study indicated that gastric by-pass procedures can prevent death from cancer by as much as 60 percent, and that they may represent one of the best procedures for treating Type 2 diabetes.

With hard data like this emerging, Anderson hopes that obstacles to bariatric surgery will be reduced and more obese people will have access to these weight-loss options before they show signs of major disease. This is especially critical since obese people who do not yet have diabetes or heart disease are likely to develop these conditions if they don’t lose weight.  

Anderson points out that treating a person with diabetes costs $10,000 to $12,000 per year while bariatric surgery typically represents a one-time cost of approximately $15,000 - 25,000.

In the past several decades, obesity has more than doubled in adults and has also risen significantly in children. Experts predict that by next year 39 percent of the nation’s population will be obese. This is not healthy news as obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, hypertension and gastroeosphageal reflux disease (GERD).