It is a discerning listener who can stomach a bad band.
If you have been morbidly obese for years, are sick of it, frustrated with failed diets, or scared of invasive surgery, you might listen and discern when surgeons at Kent Hospital talk about a good band for your stomach.
If you are interested in learning more about the Surgical Weight Loss Program at Kent Hospital, a series of upcoming informational sessions are planned, January through April. They will be held at the hospital and at the Greenville Public Library in Smithfield.
Michael Coburn, MD, and Holli Brousseau, RN, nurse manager of surgical services, will lead the discussion on Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery (NOT Gastric Bypass Surgery). The session will provide answers to basic questions surrounding this procedure, help identify who is a candidate, and explain all of the key steps of the process.
Dr. John Isaac of East Greenwich, who is a surgeon, will be the other MD involved with the program.
“A patient got me interested in this a year ago,” said Dr. Coburn. “The patient was morbidly obese. He wanted to know where he should start such a surgery.
“A half dozen more patients asked the same question. A half dozen went to programs in other places,” he added. “They were displeased with the way they were handled. They said they didn’t get the personal touch.”
Kent Hospital doctors then became personally interested and studied the procedure in depth. “It is patient driven,” said Dr. Coburn.
Coburn called the procedure “a very effective way of achieving weight loss. Diets only work 2 to 5 percent of the time. That is a miserable success rate,” he added. “This works 50 to 60 percent of the time (in appropriate patients).”
The procedure is laparoscopic, done in a day, and much less invasive than other stomach surgeries. It is also an adjustable procedure. “If the patient is not losing weight, the band can be tightened and (it can be) loosened, if the patient is having trouble with solid food,” added Dr. Coburn.
The band is meant to stay in the patient for life, however. If there is a problem along the way, later in life, the bands again can be removed laparoscopically, and “the anatomy goes back to where it was before,” added the doctor.
Dr. Coburn added that almost all such programs begin with informational sessions first, which are scheduled in the community where potential patients are invited to learn and ask questions.
Specialists and other surgeons are also invited to the 45-minute sessions that use Power Point and other online models to illustrate the surgery.
The costs, risks, pre-operation workouts, and all the advantages and disadvantages of the surgery, post-operative diet and care of the patient are thoroughly addressed and discussed.
“There are pretty strict guidelines for which patients are good candidates for this surgery,” added Dr. Coburn. “The patient has to be very motivated and obese for many years. He or she has to understand the procedure. Our patients see a psychiatrist, follow a strict diet, and see a nutritionist. It is an involved process.”
Kent Hospital began the program in October. “It has been one hundred percent successful,” added Dr. Coburn. “Every single patient has lost weight. One gentleman has lost 72 pounds in four-and-a-half weeks. Each patient has lost at least 28 pounds.” The optimum loss would be about two pounds per week, he added.
“There is a feeling out there that it’s a very dangerous surgery. There are rumors out there,” added Dr. Coburn. “It is incredibly safe. Early complications are zero.” For any remote complications “down the line,” the band may be adjusted or removed, he said.
The surgery has drastically improved over the decades. “We have been doing it for 10 years now in the U.S. In the past, with a non-adjustable band, only 20 percent lost weight,” said Dr. Coburn. “It is now adjustable, with a large degree of success. The Surgical Weight Loss program at Kent will help provide you with all of the tools necessary to help you decide if this is right for you.”
Sessions are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:
*Kent Hospital, Doctors’ Auditorium, 455 Toll Gate Road, Warwick,
Tuesday, Jan. 11; Tuesday, Feb. 8; Tuesday, March 8 and Tuesday,
April 5; all 6-8 p.m.
*Greenville Public Library in Smithfield, Wednesday, Jan. 12 from 6-8 p.m.
If you are interested in learning more call 736-1988 today to register for an information session.