Monday, December 15, 2014

Bariatric Surgery – How one decision can change your life

By: Sue Bunnell, RN and manager of the Comprehensive Bariatric Center at Princeton Baptist Medical Center

As a former weight loss patient, I know first-hand the impact that excess weight can have on a person’s life. Eleven years ago, I found myself at 293 pounds and made a decision that has truly changed my life. I decided to take action and find out more about bariatric surgery.

I remember when my oldest son was a Cub Scout – all I wanted was to be active in his life and participate in the fun scheduled outings. Because of my weight, however, my capacity was greatly limited and both my son and I missed out on the trips.

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), obesity affects approximately 78 million Americans – with Alabama’s obesity rate at 32.4 percent. In addition, the disease is linked to more than 40 other life-threatening conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis and even cancer.

If you are one of the millions who are overweight, I know where you are and I know what you are facing. Looking back, I remember the fear of losing my life and happiness to the disease and also the fear of taking the first step to freedom.

The Comprehensive Bariatric Center at Princeton Baptist Medical Center is dedicated to delivering personalized, cutting-edge services to improve the health and quality of life for our patients. Everything from our individualized program to the design of our facility was created with patient experience in mind.

Recently, our Center was designated as an Optum™ Center of Excellence, indicating that the Center meets or exceeds nationally recognized standards of care. Since opening nearly two years ago, our team of specialist have focused on providing the highest quality bariatric program in the Southeast.

When you visit our Center for the first time, you will notice something different. It’s the size-appropriate chairs that are placed from the valet parking to the patient rooms, the wider halls, the bimonthly support group, the lifelong free follow-up care, the gym that can accommodate 450 pounds and is wheel-chair accessible and the large auditorium for our training and weekly educational classes that truly sets us apart from any other facility in the region.

Our board-certified surgeons are specialized in minimally invasive surgeries, including Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB); Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB); and Gastric Sleeve (GS). In addition to surgical options, we also offer a medical weight-management program, educational sessions, nutritional and exercise counseling, support groups, cooking classes and recovery programs.

If you are struggling with your weight like I was 11 years ago, I would encourage you to schedule a tour or a seminar to find out more about how our services can help you. It has made all the difference in my life – I’m now 145 pounds healthier – and that’s something I am proud to share.

For more information, please visit our website:  

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