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Winthrop University Hospital

Bariatric (Weight-Loss) Surgery Program

A comprehensive bariatric surgery program with a team of experts who personally take each step with each patient along their journey to weight loss


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Bruce D. of Mineola, NY, before and after bariatric surgery
"Since my surgery, I have lost more than 200 pounds, and now I am gaining muscle, not fat, by lifting weights, doing martial arts and even competing in ballroom dance competitions. I went from doing nothing to doing so much I don't have time to do it all. Prior to the surgery, I got sick easily, and frequently had to take prescription antibiotics. Since the procedure four years ago, I have been on antibiotics just once. It's a complete change: a rebirth, a fresh start and it's as good as it gets."

What is Bariatric Surgery?

If diet, exercise and other medical weight-loss methods fail to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, surgery may be the only way to treat serious obesity, a chronic, debilitating condition that can be life-threatening.

Recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a viable option for individuals who have been unable to lose weight using conventional medical methods, bariatric weight-loss surgery is a major gastrointestinal operation that results in weight loss primarily by limiting how much the stomach can hold. Other procedures not only limit food intake, they also decrease nutrient absorption. Bariatric surgery is the only proven long-term treatment for clinically severe obesity.

Winthrop-University Hospital's bariatric surgery experts perform:

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  • Laparoscopic Gastric Banding - A minimally invasive procedure that places an inflatable and adjustable band around the top of the stomach, limiting food intake.


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  • Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass - A minimally invasive procedure that limits the size of the stomach and restructures the intestinal tract to restrict appetite and limit the calories the body can absorb.


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  • Sleeve Gastrectomy - a minimally invasive procedure that limits the size of the stomach by removing 75% of the stomach. With this part removed, the stomach is limited in the amount of food it can hold at one time.


  • What are the Risks and Benefits?

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    Joan S. of Bayside, NY, before and after Bariatric Surgery
    All major surgery comes with risks, which differ for each patient. Opting to have bariatric surgery is a very personal decision, and only a discussion with a physician can clarify the individual risks and benefits each patient can expect.

    Since obesity is often accompanied by such life threatening diseases as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, serious breathing disorders and circulation problems, the weight loss that results from bariatric surgery is often the only way to avoid early death from weight related medical conditions.

    Ultimately, success depends on the patient's post-surgical lifelong commitment to adopting new eating habits and participating in ongoing exercise and support programs.

    Winthrop's bariatric surgeons have successful outcomes that meet or beat most nationally published rates.

    Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

    Bariatric surgery candidates must be morbidly obese, which usually means 100 pounds overweight (men) or 80 pounds overweight (women) with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Alternatively, the procedure may be appropriate if the patient is 80 pounds overweight with a BMI greater than 35 and a serious obesity-related condition. Before becoming eligible for surgery, patients meet with the team for a full evaluation.

    The Bariatric Surgery Team

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    Karen and Tom G. of Elmont, NY, before and after bariatric surgery

    Karen: "I was once a Rockette dancer, but after my son's birth, the weight just piled on. It reached the point that walking stairs and lugging groceries into the house were difficult. Now, I have more energy and I park farther away from the store on purpose just to walk more. I've lost more than 80 pounds already and am still losing. I am off of my diabetes medication and my blood pressure is way down. This summer, my husband and I effortlessly walked four miles around a campground. It's a wonderful feeling."

    Tom: "It's impressive to look in the mirror see my body change every day. I finally know what it feels like to be thin and healthy. Now, at 176 lbs., my waist size is down to a size 32 from 62, and I wear a size medium shirt instead of a 6XL. The surgery gave me a better place in life when there was no other way."

    Karen and Tom G.: "Losing weight together worked out well: Tom's experience inspired his wife and now they both love the way they look and feel."
    Understanding the enormous amount of time and consideration it requires to take that first step, the muiltidisciplinary Bariatric Surgery Team treats each patient with one-to-one sensitive, personal care, committing to five years of follow-up care and supporting every patient's effort to reach a greater sense of well-being.

    The team, which promotes the highest level of patient satisfaction, follows patients closely throughout recovery.

  • Bariatric Surgeon - Board-certified with fellowship training in advanced laparoscopic surgery and bariatric care, he maintains hands-on involvement in every phase of treatment.

  • Bariatric Nurse Coordinator - Along with the surgeon, the bariatric nurse coordinator answers questions, provides information about the procedure, assesses eligibility for surgery, and advises on issues including insurance, medications and food required postoperatively.

  • Nurses - Compassionate, skilled and trained in post-bariatric surgical care, the nurses work to prevent and manage possible post-operative complications during hospitalization. They routinely attend educational programs to stay up to date on the newest advances in care specific to bariatric surgery patients.

  • Nutritionist - Free nutritional counseling is provided by a nutritionist after surgery to help patients manage post-operative dietary requirements. The nutritionist also helps patients overcome eating problems, educating them about their new diet.

  • Medical Specialists - The Team also includes a radiologist, pulmonologist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist and psychiatrist, who perform comprehensive medical examinations and evaluations before surgery, as well as an anesthesiologist and highly trained operating room staff, who are familiar with the special needs of bariatric patients during the operation.

    From Start to Finish and Beyond

    Winthrop-University Hospital's Bariatric Surgery Program is committed to providing every patient with:
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      Anthony L. of North Babylon, NY, before and after bariatric surgery
    • Ongoing care and support from the surgeon and bariatric nurse through each phase of the weight-loss process
    • Free postoperative nutritional counseling and support group
    • Free access to online resources designed to help patients manage lifestyle changes
    • Initially, patients meet with the surgeon and bariatric nurse coordinator, who provide information about the procedure, answer questions, assess eligibility for surgery and advise on medications and food required postoperatively.
    • Before surgery, comprehensive medical exams and evaluations are performed by a team of specialists, including a nutritionist, radiologist, pulmonologist, cardiologist and psychiatrist.
    • A prerequisite for surgery is attendance at an intensive education program to learn about what to expect during and after surgery.
    • Surgery is performed by a Board-certified surgeon with fellowship training in advanced laparoscopic surgery and bariatric care. The surgeon works closely with anesthesiologists and highly trained operating room staff familiar with bariatric patients' special needs.
    • After surgery, the surgeon, bariatric nurse coordinator and nutritionist follow patients closely throughout recovery.
    • Postoperatively, patients continue to be closely monitored for nutritional deficiencies, receiving individual attention from the bariatric surgeon and nurse coordinator. Nutritionists also provide free nutritional counseling to help patients manage post-surgical dietary requirements.
    • Follow-up care includes support from a psychologist and a bariatric surgery support group, which meets in Winthrop's Community Outreach Center at 101 Mineola Boulevard in Mineola and at the satellite office located at 157 E. Woodside Ave in Patchoque. The group follows a 12-month curriculum, addressing issues relevant to patients and their families. Please call (516) 663-3300 for meeting dates and times and directions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How do I know if I'm a candidate for bariatric surgery?
    2. Bariatric surgery candidates must be morbidly obese, which usually means 100 pounds overweight (men) or 80 pounds overweight (women) with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Alternatively, the procedure may be appropriate if the patient is 80 pounds overweight with a BMI greater than 35 and a serious obesity-related condition. Before becoming eligible for surgery, patients meet with the team for a full evaluation.
    1. What are the risks of weight-loss surgery?
    2. All major surgery comes with risks, which differ for each patient. Opting to have bariatric surgery is a very personal decision, and only a discussion with a physician can clarify the individual risks and benefits each patient can expect.
    1. How much weight will I lose?
    2. The average patient loses between 50 to 80 percent of excess body weight.
    1. Can I become pregnant after bariatric surgery?
    2. Women should avoid pregnancy for at least 18 to 24 months after surgery. It is important to discuss pregnancy plans with your surgeon during your first appointment.
    1. Will my insurance cover the surgery?
    2. Insurance coverage varies with each patient's insurance plan. Check with your insurance provider before coming in for an appointment.
    1. What is my first step?
    2. Prospective patients should contact their insurance provider to determine if bariatric surgery is covered. Then patients should call (516) 663-3300 or (516) 663-8936 for more information or to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
    1. How long will I be hospitalized?
    2. Gastric bypass patients usually stay in the hospital for two days; band patients usually leave one day after surgery.
    1. How soon will I be able to return to work after surgery?
    2. It varies depending on the surgery and the type of work you do. Band patients may return to work two to three weeks after surgery; bypass patients may take longer.
    1. How often will I need to exercise after bariatric surgery?
    2. Exercise is vital to your short- and long-term success. At Winthrop, patients walk in the recovery room approximately two hours after completion of the surgery; walking one to-two blocks within a week is generally encouraged. You should seriously consider joining a gym or physical therapy program (if you have physical limitations) after surgery when your surgeon gives you approval to do so. An exercise program is crucial for optimal weight loss and maintenance of weight loss.

    Lives Changed Forever

    See Also: Winthrop's Bariatric Surgery Program Leaves Lives Forever Changed

    120 Mineola Boulevard, Suite 320
    Mineola, NY 11501

    516-663-3300
    516-663-8936
      157 E. Woodside Ave.
    Patchogue, NY 11772

    631-265-7000
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