The decision to have surgery is rarely an easy one, but having confidence in the quality of medical care you will receive can help ease the process. This is particularly true of bariatric or weight-loss surgery, which involves extensive pre- and post-op care across a variety of disciplines.
“No one has surgery sooner than three months after their first visit,” says Dr. Noel Williams, Chief of the Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery program at Penn Medicine. “We mandate that protocol ourselves to make sure the patient is well-prepared.” A dedicated team of board-certified surgeons, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, and psychologists guide patients through the preoperative evaluation, surgery and aftercare. “This is not just an operation,” says Dr. Williams. “These patients have to change their lifestyle and eating habits. We’ve done research studies and the patients who follow up on a routine basis do better from a weight loss standpoint.”
Penn Medicine’s access to other renowned programs in diabetes treatment, cardiology, and its world famous medical obesity research and treatment center ensures that patients with special needs get the attention they require. Often, says Dr. Williams, bariatric patients come referred from Penn’s orthopedic or organ transplant centers when they are deemed too high-risk for those surgeries due to their obesity.
Patients have greater access with the recent addition of Penn Medicine Bucks County, which joins locations in Valley Forge and Cherry Hill in providing information sessions and outpatient care for bariatric patients. For patients living in the suburbs these locations are convenient and give them more options for outpatient care and support.
Every location is staffed with top medical professionals (the Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery program has nine surgeons who together performed more than 3,500 procedures in the past 5 years) and state- of -the- art equipment. Many of the surgeries are robot-assisted and all are minimally invasive, so patients have only a one-to-three-day inpatient surgical recovery time. “Each patient has a reproducible standard of care,” says Dr. Williams, “so there is no question the outcomes are better.”
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