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Weight Loss Surgery Program Coming to Duluth–Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth is introducing a new bariatric weight loss program


Duluth, GA–Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a group of surgical procedures performed on people who are obese, to achieve weight loss. The surgeries typically reduce the capacity of the stomach with an implanted medical device, (gastric banding) or through division of the stomach and creation of a small pouch (gastric bypass surgery). A third, relatively new procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy , entails removal of most of the stomach leaving a small narrow stomach with reduced capacity. Each of these procedures can lead to significant weight loss and improvement in obesity related medical conditions.

Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth will begin offering bariatric surgery in 2010. Members of the team have put together one of the most comprehensive programs in the country. The medical director of the program is Robert Richard, MD FACS, a board-certified surgeon who has performed these procedures for more than a decade.

“Morbid obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States and the number of Americans who are obese is increasing,” says Dr. Richard. “Bariatric surgery is the most efficient way to defeat the impact of obesity and the conditions associated with it: diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, arthritis and other conditions brought on by obesity. Bariatric surgery requires a complete change of lifestyle, but the benefits of the surgery are worth all the work.”

Studies show that bariatric surgical procedures can result in significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and a reduction in mortality. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes.

Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth has great surgical services and we look forward to offering this new service in our community,” says Lea Bay, GMC Duluth’s president. “Dr. Richard has a unique approach to bariatrics that I believe our community will be very responsive too.”

Informational meetings will be held in Duluth on November 21, December 10 and December 19. Those who register for the meeting will hear about the latest weight loss procedures available as well as the techniques that are required for long-term success. Information about the impact morbid obesity has on health and well-being will also be shared by medical professionals.

Registration is required and seating is limited. For more information, call 678-442-5000.

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Now celebrating the 25th anniversary of its flagship campus, Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network providing award-winning healthcare services to the Gwinnett community and beyond. Campuses in both Duluth and Lawrenceville provide acute care, outpatient services, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services. Digital imaging is the standard of care at all GMC facilities including the newest imaging center in north Gwinnett’s Hamilton Mill area. In 2008, GMC’s 4,300 associates and 800 physicians served more than 400,000 patients. Gwinnett Medical Center’s incredible vision for the future is to transform healthcare.