32940 Magazine — 2012-2013
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Health First’s NewFit Surgical Weight Loss Program

Offering obese patients a new life

One of the most pressing public health challenges for this country is the epidemic of an overweight and obese population. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, two in three American adults are now overweight, including one in three who are obese. Duke University researchers used a new statistical model of projecting obesity rates from examining different sets of Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on hundreds of thousands of Americans. They predict that by 2030, 11 percent of people will be severely obese, as defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 or being roughly 100 pounds or more overweight. Based on these findings, the U.S. healthcare system will be saddled with 32 million additional obese people within two decades.

The health risks associated with obesity are significant, equating to a much higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, several cancers, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, and liver disease.

“Locally, Brevard County has an obesity rate of 30 percent and in Central Florida it is 28 to 29 percent,” said Dr. Nathan Allison, a general surgeon specializing in laparoscopic, robotic, and bariatric surgeries with the Health First Physicians Group.

To address this obesity issue, Health First has opened the Health First NewFit Surgical Weight Loss program. Dr. Allison is leading this program located at the Health First Viera Hospital Medical Campus. He is the only Fellowship-trained surgeon performing robotics-assisted surgery in Brevard. With hundreds of successful surgeries behind him, Dr. Allison is among the area’s most experienced Bariatric surgeons. Expertly equipped in the art, science, and surgery of ‘shaping up’, Dr. Allison is personally and uniquely responsible for guiding hundreds of patients to their coveted goal weight.

What is NewFit? What makes it different?

NewFit is a network of doctors and other professionals who specialize in the complete, comprehensive, and ongoing treatment associated with Bariatric weight-loss procedures. Providing the area’s most complete and comprehensive list of Bariatric procedures, NewFit most commonly performs the following three procedures: Gastric Banding, Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Gastric Bypass. Additional capabilities, such as revisions, may also be available when needed.

Click on What is NewFit? At www.NewFitNewLife.com for more information.

Providing the area’s most cutting-edge surgical technology and safety, NewFit is differentiated by the fact that it is Brevard’s only surgical weight-loss program using the da Vinci® robotics- assisted surgical system.

The Health First Viera Hospital surgical facility is designed specifically for the care and comfort of Bariatric patients. Health First Viera Hospital’s state-of-the-art Bariatric facility was designed to optimize the comfort and safety of Bariatric patients. Features include bigger beds and bed lifts, enhanced gurneys, customized bathrooms, weight-appro-priate wheelchairs, larger doorways, and a wide range of furniture and medical tools designed specifically for Bariatrics.

The multi-disciplinary, Bariatric-trained and specialized team can usually perform 100% of the needed pre-op treatment and testing – saving patients time, hassle, and healthcare costs.

The Role of Robotics

Laparoscopy is an extremely advanced technique that is a less invasive and superior alternative to open surgery. It involves placing tiny instruments, including a laparoscope or camera, through multiple tiny incisions in a patient’s abdomen, which greatly reduces post-operative complication rates, recovery times, pain, bleeding, and scarring.

With the power to make minimally-invasive techniques even more minimal, the da Vinci® robotics-assisted surgical system provides the next phase of surgical safety, recovery, and results – putting the highest caliber of capabilities at a surgeon’s fingertips. Featuring the most advanced Bariatric technology to date, the da Vinci® robot provides the surgeon with enhanced capabilities during the procedure, including the best possible surgical view, precision, dexterity, access, and control. Further minimizing the already-reduced complication rates and recovery times associated with laparoscopic surgery, Health First’s Viera Hospital facility is currently Brevard’s only surgical weight-loss facility to use the da Vinci® robot.

In addition to superior outcomes and fewer complications, patient advantages include less pain and scarring, less risk of infection, less blood loss, and quicker return to normal activities.

Who is a candidate? What can they expect?

“While every patient and case is different, you may be a likely candidate for Bariatric surgery if your BMI is 40 or above, or your BMI is at least 30 and you also suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, or another weight-related health condition,” said Dr. Allison.

“While the procedure you choose is ultimately up to you, as your NewFit surgeon I will closely work with you to determine your best surgical weight-loss option,” said Dr. Allison. “Generally speaking, the more weight you need to lose, the more aggressive we recommend your procedure.”

Patients can expect to lose anywhere between 40-80% of their excess body weight over a 24-month time span following the surgery. In addition to significant enhancements in their quality of life and physical capabilities/mobility, patients also experience drastic improvement or resolution of existing medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. A normal recovery period can last anywhere from one to six weeks, after which nearly all patients experience improvements in their ability to do physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and exercise.

Maintaining weight loss

In order to maintain weight loss, patients need to follow a lifelong diet and exercise plan, attend follow-up visits, and remain committed to their medical management program. Our psychologists and other staff will be there to help patients resolve potential setbacks and maintain the tools needed to continue their weight-loss success.

“Our complete range of care capabilities allows us to handle everything that needs to happen throughout the entire Bariatric journey. This all works to ensure the patient’s optimal weightloss success and improved long-term health,” says Dr. Allison.

Insurance coverage

All major insurances are accepted. Knowing how an insurance company will pay a claim and if it is a participating provider will help avoid unexpected costs later. It is each patient’s responsibility to know their insurance contract and which providers participate with their insurance plan.

Visit www.NewFitNewLife.com to learn more about Bariatric surgery, register for a free education seminar or download our NewFit Getting Started Kit.

Center for Disease Control data predicts that by 2030, 11 percent of people will be severely oboese, as defined by a body mass index of over 40, or being roughly 100 pounds of more overweight.