Lakeland Niles gearing up to offer popular obesity surgery

Published 3:32 am Monday, January 26, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The renovations to Niles' Lakeland Hospital are not the only improvements being made to the hospital.
Officials at the hospital also are implementing a Bariatric surgery program.
Starting this month, the hospital will offer free Weight Loss for Life seminars to potential candidates. The first monthly seminar will take place on Thursday in the Meeting Room at Lakeland Hospital.
The seminars will cover the risks and benefits of Bariatric surgery and will help to determine if someone is a possible candidate for the surgery.
The doctor responsible for performing the increasingly popular surgical procedure will be Florentino Aquino, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Joyce Tittle, the Lakeland Hospital Bariatrics program coordinator, said hospital officials attended informational seminars and visited many hospitals that currently have bariatrics programs while they were developing their own program.
She said education and follow-up programs are essential components for each surgery.
She said many people see it as a quick fix to weight loss.
Tittle said the surgery involves changing the stomach's size to a small pouch that is around the size of a thumb. This pouch bypasses the rest of the stomach and is connected directly to the small intestine.
The gastric bypass operation is designed to limit the amount of food that you can eat.
She pointed out obesity is a serious health concern that can lead to such problems as high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and sleep apnea.
Losing weight can decrease the likelihood of encountering these problems.
In order to qualify for the surgery, you must have documentation stating that you have tried other means of losing weight.
The patients that qualify for the surgery are generally a minimum of 100 pounds overweight.
For most patients, the surgery results in them losing 50 to 75 percent of their excess body fat within the first 12 to 18 months.
Tittle stressed the importance of staying committed to living a healthy life after surgery.
This means starting to exercise and not returning to bad eating habits.
Tittle said they have already had several people sign up for the Weight Loss for Life seminar and a number of doctors in the area have expressed an interest.
Registration is required for Thursday's seminar. For more information, call (269) 687-1401.