CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 08/26/14 -- At Presence Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics, having bariatric surgery is not just about weight loss. It's also about curing some medical conditions as supported by a clinical body of evidence. It's about a complete lifestyle change, and the Institute is staffed with a renowned physician and other highly trained professionals who teach patients how to change their relationship with food and become comfortable with their body image as they transition into their ideal weight. Patients relearn how to eat and care for themselves, to put their health and well-being first. This is why the Institute's success rate for people losing excess weight over the long-term is much higher than the national average.
The Institute emphasizes the importance of disease control and lifestyle change as much as weight loss because the physicians and staff see their patients as individuals. "Every patient has different needs, and we treat the individual needs of everyone we see. We create a very specific program for each patient, including their diet to exercise plan," said Seth Teske, RN, coordinator of metabolic and bariatric surgery at the Presence Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics. Teske is a full-time nurse coordinator who oversees patient navigation through the process to ensure patients are ready for their surgical procedure. "When you come to the Institute, you come to a place that is welcoming and warm, a place that helps you take care of all your physical, emotional, and surgical needs so there is no running around from facility to facility for various tests and consultation."
Gerald Rodriguez, 31, who has struggled with an unhealthy weight his whole life and scheduled for a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on August 26, feels right at home with his care team at the Institute, especially with his surgeon, Rami Lutfi, M.D., medical director at Presence Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics, who is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in his field. Dr. Lutfi not only becomes your surgeon, he becomes your friend through the process. Upbeat and positive, Dr. Lutfi's passion for his work strongly motivates patients.
"The surgery is already changing me and I haven't even done it yet," said Rodriguez. Two months ago, Rodriguez quit smoking in preparation for his surgery, and last month he began making changes to his diet. "I cut myself off from pop, and instead of a McDonald's McGriddle sandwich for breakfast, I eat a banana."
Rodriguez, who will be the Institute's 500th bariatric surgery patient, is motivated by the desire to prevent future illness including diabetes, which claimed the life of his grandmother Ana Sanchez at the age of 65. Rodriguez's mom, aunt and other grandmother also have diabetes. Rodriguez has a seven-month year old son he wants to watch grow up.
Research studies show that the cure rate for people with type 2 diabetes who undergo bariatric surgery is over 80 percent, and Rodriguez wants to stay a step ahead and prevent disease altogether. He stands 5'10" and weighs 340 lbs. Based on his BMI (body mass index), his ideal weight is 165 lbs. Rodriguez couldn't have found a better place to accomplish his goals. Not only does the Institute provide world-class treatment and resources, it is designated an Accredited Center -- Comprehensive by MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Also, Rodriguez's surgeon, Dr. Lutfi, is the current president of the Illinois Association of Bariatric Surgeons and trains other physicians on how to perform sleeve gastrectomy. Dr. Lutfi has been selected as one of a few guest surgeons to represent the United States at the IFSO14 (International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and metabolic disorders) Fifth International Conference on Sleeve Gastrectomy. He will perform a live laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with a hiatal hernia repair that will be observed by 350 surgeons from around the world who will be gathered at the conference in Montreal on August 26, the day the 500th surgery will be performed on Rodriguez.
"The sleeve gastrectomy has become the most popular weight loss surgery due to its minimal risks and great success as far as weight loss and resolution of obesity related illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension," said Dr. Lutfi. "We are seeing very positive results with follow up more than five years after the time we performed our first sleeve [surgery]."
The sleeve gastrectomy is simpler than traditional gastric bypass procedures, requiring either just a single incision or five tiny incisions. It does not require the use of a device or change the anatomy of the intestine. It simply involves reshaping the stomach to look like a sleeve (or a small banana) that holds a much smaller amount of food. Additionally, the storage part of the stomach, which also makes the hormones that cause hunger, is removed, changing the way obese patients feel about food by decreasing their cravings.
The Institute's expert staff also includes Kim Mahoney, the onsite registered dietitian who's been with the Institute since it opened in 2008, who makes sure patients understand the diet and lifestyle changes that need to be made. An onsite psychologist provides counseling before surgery and post-operative support as patients transition to a different body image and healthier lifestyle. The Institute also has a full-time insurance specialist who takes care of all the insurance hurdles so patients can concentrate on behavioral and dietary changes instead of worrying about paperwork needed to get their surgery approved.
In addition to the Institute's team being readily available to answer questions, there are weight loss seminars twice a month led by physicians and monthly support and pre-op orientation classes. There is no extra charge for these additional consultation or support services.
About Presence Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics
The Presence Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics is designated as a Center of Excellence, and is designated an Accredited Center -- Comprehensive by MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The Institute is located on the campus of Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, a nationally recognized, award-winning teaching hospital serving Chicago's lake shore communities that is home to many world-renowned physicians and advanced medical technologies. Presence Saint Joseph Hospital is part of Presence Health. More information about the Institute is available at http://www.reshealth.org/weightloss.
About Presence Health
Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, created in November, 2011 through the merger of Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care. With more than 150 sites of care, including 12 hospitals, Presence Health has 22,000 employees and 4,000 medical professionals. More information is available at http://presencehealth.org