Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare named Number One in NYS for bariatric surgery

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. - For the second year in a row, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) has been named the top hospital in the state and among the top hospitals in the nation for its bariatric surgery program with a 5-star rating by HealthGrades.

Favorable outcomes for bariatric surgery patients at FSLH earned the organization a number one ranking in New York State for Bariatric Surgery in 2011 and 2012, and among the top five percent in the nation for bariatric surgery. FSLH is also a recipient of the HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year (2007-2012). The hospital is a designated Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).


“Our physicians, nurses, surgical staff and support team have worked hard to achieve a safe and successful bariatric surgery program for our community,” commented Scott H. Perra, FACHE, president/CEO of FSLH.


“Receiving this recognition is indicative of the effort the bariatric team at FSLH puts forth when working with our patients,” said William A. Graber, MD, FACS, Bariatric surgeon and medical director for the program. “In order for the surgery to be a success, the entire bariatric team works with the patient before, during and after surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. Our team includes nurses who specialize in bariatric surgery so that our patients receive the specialized nursing care they require. We are very proud to have achieved this ranking two years in a row.”


Founded in 2002 by Dr. Graber, the Bariatric Surgery Program, located at the St. Luke’s Campus of FSLH, performs an average of 50 procedures a month. In addition to resulting in significant long-term weight loss, bariatric surgery has been shown to reverse common complications of obesity, including type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and cardiovascular silent killers like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These benefits improve patients’ quality of life and overall health, and reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease and early death. Bariatric surgery may also reduce future healthcare costs.


“Our findings show a significant difference between 5-star hospitals and those performing on the 1-star level for bariatric surgery, especially when it comes to in-hospital complication rates,” said Dr. Arshad Rahim, group vice president of Accelerated Clinical Excellence at HealthGrades, and the study’s author. “At HealthGrades we’re committed to providing consumers with in-depth information to research and prepare for a procedure as well as to select the right provider in order to help patients achieve the best possible outcomes.”

Key findings published in “Choosing Bariatric Surgery to Improve Overall Health: 2012 HealthGrades Trend Report” include:

·         5.87 percent of patients experienced one or more in-hospital complications from bariatric procedures from 2008 to 2010

·         5,788 patients could have potentially avoided a major in-hospital complication if all hospitals performed  at the level of 5-star hospitals

·         Charges for a bariatric procedure at a 5-star hospital are, on average, $3,189 less than at a 1-star hospital.


FSLH’s Bariatric Surgery Program offers:

  • Nurses, social workers, therapists, pharmacists, case managers and other clinical experts who specialize in the care of weight loss surgery patients
  • Registered dietitians who provide pre-operative and post-operative diet education and counseling
  • Education and support in which family and friends can participate
  • Individual educational sessions
  • Physical and occupational therapists that provide education regarding exercise tolerance, improving mobility, work and leisure activities and assistive devices as needed
  • A comprehensive patient guide for patients to follow from pre-operative consultation through the post-operative period
  • A support group where you can share your experiences with other weight loss surgery patients.


Types of Weight Loss Surgery
Dr. Graber, Dmitri Baranov, MD, PhD, FACS, and Gregory Dalencourt, MD, perform gastric bypass surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery and gastric sleeve surgery. 


During gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is stapled in two sections, creating a small pouch that serves as the “new” stomach. The new stomach limits the amount of food intake and provides patients with the familiar feeling of fullness. The pouch is connected directly to the small intestine.


In adjustable gastric band surgery, a silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The pouch fills after consuming only a few small bites of food. The silicone band is connected to a port that is placed just under the skin in the abdominal wall. Adjustments can be made to the band through this port. Saline solution is added or removed to the band’s inflatable inner surface to adjust its tightness.


With the gastric sleeve, most of the stomach is removed, leaving just a thin "tube" of stomach to hold the food eaten at a meal. The tube-shaped stomach is sealed closed with staples. The tube functions just like a pouch. It allows patients to feel extremely satisfied with the small amount of food that it takes to fill it, and therefore they tend to eat much less than before surgery.


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