NYM Adds Bariatric Gastric Bypass to Robotic-Assisted Surgery Program

Jan 25, 2012

Brooklyn, NY

Steven J. Carryl, MD

Steven J. Carryl, MD, attending surgeon at NYM, poses with the da Vinci robot.

Adding to its advanced robotic-assisted surgery program, New York Methodist Hospital now offers minimally invasive, robotic gastric bypass surgery to help obese patients achieve weight loss of up to 70 percent of body fat. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index, or ratio of height to weight, of greater than 35. NYM is one of only three hospitals in the Northeast to offer robotic gastric bypass surgery.

"Weight loss surgery can greatly improve the quality of life of many patients," said Steven J. Carryl, MD, attending surgeon, Department of Surgery at NYM. "With better results, less post-operative symptoms and a shorter recovery time, minimally invasive bariatric surgery can be a good option for many obese patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight."

Robotic gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose weight by permanently reducing the stomach size and rerouting the digestive track. Because of its decreased size, the patient's stomach will only be able to hold small amounts of food.

The robot, which is controlled by a surgeon, allows for increased precision and enhanced magnification for the surgeon, which results in less pain and a shorter recovery time for the patient, as the minimally invasive procedure means smaller incisions. The patient also experiences less blood loss and less scarring than a patient who undergoes traditional gastric bypass surgery.

Because it is irreversible, gastric bypass surgery should only performed when all other weight loss methods have failed. "Nearly 60 percent of adults living in Brooklyn are either overweight or obese," said Dr. Carryl. "Robotic gastric bypass surgery has been shown to have the greatest success in reducing health complications related to obesity, including diabetes and high cholesterol, and the procedure can greatly enhance a patient's long-term health."

For patients who may only need to lose up to 45 percent of their body fat, NYM offers laparoscopic band surgery, a minimally invasive, reversible bariatric procedure that restricts the amount of food a patient can eat by placing an adjustable band around the stomach.

"Laparoscopic band surgery, like gastric bypass surgery, requires a commitment to lifestyle changes from the patient, as the band can break from overeating," said Piotr Gorecki, MD, chief of advanced laparoscopic surgery and chief of bariatric surgery.

New York Methodist Hospital also provides customized weight loss plans through its Comprehensive Weight Management Program for overweight or obese patients who do not need or want to undergo surgery. Program participants receive a medical evaluation and may meet with a nutritionist, fitness expert and behavior modification specialist. Monthly follow-up visits with their weight loss "team" allow participants to monitor their progress.

"Working with a support team makes the process of losing weight easier," said Alfred Ba Tun Leong, MD, physician in NYM's Comprehensive Weight Management Program. "This program is not about finding a quick fix or trying the latest diet, but rather, working with each individual patient to make long-term lifestyle changes."

For more information about the Comprehensive Weight Management Program at NYM, call 718-246-8580. To speak with a Hospital staff member about gastric bypass or laparoscopic band surgeries, call 718-780-5293.

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