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January 9, 2004     Cape Gazette
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January 9, 2004

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CAPE GAZETI, Friday, Jan. 9 - Jan. 15, 2004 - 73 Beebe Medical Center adds obesity surgery program Beebe Medical Center is taking a comprehensive approach to treating patients with obesity and has recently added a surgery that treats obesity: bariatric surgery. Beebe Medical Center surgeons are now performing the most com- monly performed procedure, the Roux-en-Y or gastric bypass pro- cedure. Beebe recognizes obesity as a serious health problem throughout the country. Approxiomately a third of Americans are considered obese; another third is classified as overweight, according to the American Obesity Association. Obesity causes secondary compli- cations, including high blood pres- sure; type 2 diabetes, which is an increasing concern for adolescents as well; heart disease; stroke; and certain cancers. It leads to at least 300,000 deaths and health-care costs up to $100 billion annually. Moreover, obesity takes consider- able emotional and physical health tolls on those who are obese or morbidly obese. Diet and exercise alone, are not effective for some individuals to regain better health and overall well-being. "Obesity is on the rise in this country, taking a devastating toll on both adults and children, and impacting our nation's health-care system," said Dr. Alae Zarif, Beebe Medical Center bariatric surgery program medical director. "It is important to understand that many individu- als have a ge- netic predispo- sition to being morbidly obese, have en- dured social stigma, and likely have de- veloped other ZARIF health compli- cations that prevent them from even beginning an exercise pro- gram,. Bariatric surgery is a seri- ous step, so we evaluate patients carefully to achieve the best possi- ble outcome for their success, which will depend upon modify- ing eating habits and exercising for long-term overall health." To be candidates for the surgery, patients must consult with their physicians and meet the following criteria, as based on National In- stitutes of Health (NIH) guide- lines: be at least 100 pounds over ideal body weight; have a weight limit of 400 pounds; have a body mass index (BMI) - a relationship between height and weight - be- tween 35 and 40 with two comor- bidities or health complications; BMI between 40-50 with no co- morbidities; be betwen 18 and 60 years old; and have documenta- tion of failed medically supervised weight loss. Patients will also be required to meet with the regis- tered dietician and program coor- dinator and attend at least one sup- port group meeting prior to sur- gery. The Roux-en-Y procedure in- volves bypassing a portion of the small intestine, making a direct connection between the small in- testine and a pouch that is inserted into the stomach. It is therefore prevents food absorption and lim- its the amount of food patients can. consume, resulting in significant weight loss. Surgery is only one component of Beebe's overall program for obesity, which Beebe developed after many hours of research, a site visit to Christiana Care and correspondence with hospitals' with successful programs in place. Additionally, Beebe conducted sensitivity training and education about the clinical and emotional aspects of obesity for its staff members who will assist bariatric patients. A person's success at keeping the weight off will depend on a lifelong commitment to dietary changes and physical effort, as well as peer support. To support patients and promote sustained success, Beebe Medical Center is offering monthly support group meetings for patients who have Jeffrey J. Heckert, M.D., FAAFP Gregory A. Bahtiarian, D.O. Mark A. Sordi, M.D. J. Brian Prigg, PA-C, Ph.D. mid-atlantic family practice We Want You as Our Patient! n January 1st we opened our own practice. We are accept- mg new patients and will continue to provide the same qual- ity care to our current members. Appointments can be made at (302) 644-6860. We look forward to serving your health needs for years to come. We are still located at 1535 Savannah Road, Lewes, DE and are awaiting construction of a new office. had the surgery and for those who are considering surgery. The meetings are at 6:30 p.m., the third Wednesday of each month, in the Tunnell Cancer Center. For de- tails, call Marie Berntsen, RN, bariatric surgery program coordi- nator, at 645-3100, Ext. 3623. Come to Bayhealth Medical 8th Annual Healthy Baby Fair "Celebrating the Healthy Family" Saturday, January 31 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Delaware Technical & Community College's Terry Campus in Dover Free classes on motherhood, fatherhood and baby topics. Keynote address by UD graduate Jeanne Driscoll, MS, RN, CS, who will present "The Roller Coaster Ride of Pregnancy and Postpartum (the Normal Emotional Ups and Downs)," from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with a book signing to follow, Babysitting, door prizes and activities for children. Vendors with health and product information. Educational contact hours for clinicians. For details, call Bayhealth Maternal-Child Educator Wendy Keefe RN, CPCE, at (302) 744-6229. .... rii-r--,*" r" "'rr'" ......... ...... '-"" "r-Tllrrnrlrnn'Im'rIr'.m..F...,..,m.,.,,,,=r.m...=mi.,,.,,1 ,m,,,..,,-rFrl'T"l'"r7"r'Tr'Tr77Trrhmmium,Mmmi:mmi llr11T"] ..... r I] F!] IIIIIII Ig lqlT-- 'rT TT fl ]III I]III HIIIIIIIIIBIIIIII L III'I]HIIIII II 1-']" *'l -r r