Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-General & Vascular Surgery offers a comprehensive bariatric surgery program including laparoscopic
sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic adjustable gastric bypass surgery,
as well as removal of gastric bands due to complications and/or infection.
We also provide a
support program to help ensure your well-being and long-term success following surgery.
Patient Information Classes
When considering bariatric surgery, many common questions arise...
- "Does my health insurance cover the cost?"
- "How long is my hospital stay?"
- "How does the surgery work?"
- "How can I get started?"
A bariatric surgery class is offered twice a month to answer those questions,
and others. The class includes a presentation, a question and answer session
and a one-on-one consultation. The class is open to anyone wanting to
learn about bariatric surgery and whether they might be a candidate. A
referral from a primary care physician or specialist is required to attend.
The class is billed like a doctor’s visit, with the patient responsible
for the copay.
For more information about the bariatric surgery class, call
Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-General & Vascular Surgery at 912-265-5125.
Surgery Approval Process
To qualify for surgery, patients must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35
with weight associated comorbidities, or anyone who meets BMI/comorbidity
requirements. BMI is a measure of body fat based on an individual’s
weight in relation to their height. A BMI range of 18.5-24.9 is considered
a normal or healthy range. A BMI of 30 or above is considered in the obese category.
If you qualify for surgery, our bariatric coordinator will assist you through
the surgery approval process. This can take six to seven months depending
on your nutrition. Once your steps are complete and you receive your insurance
approval, additional office and testing appointments will be scheduled
prior to selecting a surgery date. Our pre-admission nurses will contact
you to review all the information you will need to know for surgery. Our
goal is to assist you in making this surgical process effortless.
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy involves removing part of the patient’s
stomach and forming the remaining section into a tube-like structure.
As a result, the stomach will hold less food and produces less appetite-regulating
hormones. By reducing stomach capacity and appetite, the procedure assists
with weight loss and improves health.
Using minimal incisions, the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is typically
a one hour inpatient surgery, depending on the patient, requiring a two
to three day hospital stay. Typically, patients return to work in two
weeks and have no restrictions after six weeks. Sleeve gastrectomy substantially
improves or cures co-morbid conditions associated with obesity, such as
diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obstructive sleep apnea.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure to bypass part of the stomach, making
it smaller so the patient feels fuller with less food. The surgeon creates
a small pouch, reducing the amount of food a patient can eat. The stomach
pouch is then surgically attached to the middle of the small intestine,
skipping the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.
Bypassing part of the intestine may limit the amount of calories that
are absorbed and send messages to the brain indicating the patient is full.
The procedure is performed as an inpatient and requires a three to five
day hospital stay. It offers reduced complications and pain compared to
other bariatric surgeries. Typical results are a loss of up to 65 percent
of excess body weight at one year post-surgical.
Bariatric Support Group
Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-General & Vascular Surgery is proud to partner with Emerald Isle Counseling to host an obesity/bariatric
support group for anyone who would like to attend. Patients of
J. William Tsai, M.D., undergoing the bariatric surgery program will be required to join this
support group. Participation in the support group provides an opportunity
to network with others who are going through a similar experience. The
group is an open discussion mediated by Allyn Robb Jr., EDS, NCC, BCPC,
LPC of Emerald Isle Counseling.
Brunswick Bariatric Support Group
Camden Bariatric Support Group
Healthy Partners Article
Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?
Healthy Partners, Winter 2019
Are you one of the millions of Americans whose health is negatively impacted
by their weight? Have you found that diets and exercise just don’t
result in significant weight loss? It may be time to consider bariatric
surgery, also called weight loss surgery.
Together in Love and Weight Loss
Healthy Partners, Winter 2019
Jim and Iris Gandy have been married for almost 15 years and have struggled
with weight issues for even longer. But with the help of their friends
and family and the Southeast Georgia Health System Bariatric Care team,
they underwent bariatric surgery on the same day. Two months after surgery,
they were already living happier, healthier lives.