NYM Adds Bariatric Gastric Bypass to Robotic-Assisted Surgery Program

February 4, 2012 Editorial Staff
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Adding to its advanced robotic-assisted surgery program, NewYork Methodist Hospital now offers minimally invasive, roboticgastric bypass surgery to help obese patients achieve weight lossof up to 70 percent of body fat. NYM is one of only three hospitalsin the Northeast to offer robotic gastric bypass surgery.

Weight loss surgery can greatly improve the quality of life ofmany patients, said Steven J. Carryl, M.D., attending surgeon,Department of Surgery at NYM. With better results, lesspost-operative symptoms and a shorter recovery time, minimallyinvasive bariatric surgery can be a good option for many obesepatients who need to lose a significant amount of weight.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index, or ratio of heightto weight, of greater than 35. Robotic gastric bypass surgery helpspatients lose weight by permanently reducing the stomach size andrerouting the digestive track. Because of its decreased size, thepatient’s stomach will only be able to hold small amounts offood.

The robot, which is controlled by a surgeon, allows for increasedprecision and enhanced magnification for the surgeon, which resultsin less pain and a shorter recovery time for the patient, as theminimally invasive procedure means smaller incisions. The patientalso experiences less blood loss and less scarring than a patientwho undergoes traditional gastric bypass surgery.

Because it is irreversible, gastric bypass surgery should onlyperformed when all other weight loss methods have failed. Nearly60 percent of adults living in Brooklyn are either overweight orobese, said Dr. Carryl. Robotic gastric bypass surgery has beenshown to have the greatest success in reducing health complicationsrelated to obesity, including diabetes and high cholesterol, andthe procedure can greatly enhance a patient’s long-termhealth.

For patients who may only need to lose up to 45 percent of theirbody fat, NYM offers laparoscopic band surgery, a minimallyinvasive, reversible bariatric procedure that restricts the amountof food a patient can eat by placing an adjustable band around thestomach.

Laparoscopic band surgery, like gastric bypass surgery, requires acommitment to lifestyle changes from the patient, as the band canbreak from overeating, said Piotr Gorecki, M.D., chief of advancedlaparoscopic surgery and chief of bariatric surgery.

New York Methodist Hospital also provides customized weight lossplans through its Comprehensive Weight Management Program foroverweight or obese patients who do not need or want to undergosurgery.

Program participants receive a medical evaluation and may meet witha nutritionist, fitness expert and behavior modificationspecialist. Monthly follow-up visits with their weight loss teamallow participants to monitor their progress.

Working with a support team makes the process of losing weighteasier, said Alfred Ba Tun Leong, M.D., physician in NYM’sComprehensive Weight Management Program. This program is not aboutfinding a quick fix or trying the latest diet, but rather, workingwith each individual patient to make long-term lifestylechanges.

For more information about the Comprehensive Weight ManagementProgram at NYM, call 718.246.8580. To speak with a hospital staffmember about gastric bypass or laparoscopic band surgeries, call718-780-5293.

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