Departmental News


In June 2001, our bariatric program for the treatment of morbid obesity marked its first year and a half of clinical service. A total of 42 patients have had gastric bypass surgery thus far, changing their lives for the better in terms of physical health and psychosocial well-being.

Among our patients, the average weight loss at two weeks has been 19 pounds, at three months 50 pounds, at six months 90 pounds, and at one year 112 pounds.

Patient before surgery (left) weighing 273 pounds …       … And at six months after surgery at Stony Brook (right), showing weight loss of 100 pounds.

Our bariatric program is unique in that patients are treated by a multidisciplinary healthcare team not only preoperatively, but postoperatively as well. In addition to the surgeon, this team may include an internist, nutritionist, physical therapist, social worker, and psychologist, among others. Our patients are followed very closely after they undergo surgery in order to prevent nutritional or other complications from developing.

Our bariatric program is unique in that patients are treated by a multidisciplinary healthcare team not only preoperatively, but postoperatively as well.

This program is directed by Collin E.M. Brathwaite, MD, associate professor of surgery and chief of trauma/surgical critical care, who is an active general surgeon with considerable experience in nutrition (he currently chairs University Hospital's nutrition committee). Arif Ahmad, MBBS, John S. Brebbia, MD, and Louis T. Merriam, MD, all assistant professors of surgery, are also involved in the program.

Barbara Smith, RN, MS, is the nurse practitioner who coordinates the patient care and facilitates the monthly support group. Having worked closely with all patients treated so far, she says, "It's very rewarding to see patients smiling and developing a sense of humor where there was none before and, above all, to see them restore their health."

What our patients have said about the outcomes of their bariatric surgery:
n I am becoming a new person; I should have done this years ago.
n I was a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol; now all of that is gone and I no longer take any medication.
n It's like being reborn, but this time I like myself.
n I haven't been this healthy in 20 years.
n This is a long-time prayer answered for me.
n I feel so good.
n I have no regrets.
n I would never trade how I look now for being able to eat the way I did before.

Morbid obesity is that state where body weight exceeds ideal body weight by 100 pounds or more. Most of the serious diseases that are associated with it are improved, if not totally reversed, after gastric bypass surgery. This treatment is a tremendous opportunity for those individuals who face shortened life spans due to their obesity.

Although this particular surgery is not for everybody, it works well for those who have tried every other method of weight loss without success and who are committed to making major behavioral lifestyle changes in order to be healthier, feel better, and live longer.

For more information about our bariatric program, please call Barbara Smith, NP, at 631-444-1045.

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