Nationally-recognized bariatric program at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital
Weight loss can be a difficult and discouraging process at times, especially for those who may be affected by obesity. Globally, the world obesity crisis affected over 800 million people. However, there are practical solutions such as a change in diet or weight loss surgery that can reduce the risk of other complications.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Having obesity also puts people at risk for many other serious chronic diseases and increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Unfortunately, according to 2020 CDC Adult Obesity Prevalence data, Kentucky is one of 16 states in the U.S. that has an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35 percent. This is up from 12 states in 2019.
Eating a proper diet and partaking in regular exercise are things that most individuals can do to maintain healthy body weight. If you are unable to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise or have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater, you may benefit from weight loss surgery.
A BMI of 40 or higher is referred to as “severe” or “extreme” obesity. A 40-50% decrease in excess body fat can result in significant improvement in overall health, including reducing complications from comorbidities. In losing excess body fat, a 2018 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the mortality rates of patients who had weight loss surgery compared to those who did not were 1.3% versus 2.3% over a 4.5-year span.
“For most of our weight loss surgery patients, the decision to have a procedure only comes after they have unsuccessfully tried again and again to lose significant weight with no tangible results,” said John Olsofka, M.D., surgeon at UofL Health’s Weight Loss Surgery program located at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. “Our patients want to improve their health and their overall quality of life. Weight loss surgery, combined with long-term exercise and nutritional counseling have a profound, positive effect on patients being able to sustain long-term health.”
Dr. Vincent Lusco, another surgeon at the Weight Loss Surgery program said that the personalized weight loss surgery program at Mary & Elizabeth is designed for significant and lasting weight loss.
“Our patients gain so much,” said Dr. Lusco. “They get relief from diabetes, hypertension and joint pain, and they have renewed energy and more confidence. Most of all, they get back the freedom to do the things they enjoy whether taking a walk with their loved ones or playing with their children. It’s life-changing.”
Most major insurance plans, including UofL Health’s OnePlan, provide weight loss surgery coverage for patients meeting selection criteria.
The program at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is accredited through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). The board-certified surgeons are highly experienced and have performed more than 4,800 weight loss surgeries during the past 15 years. Each patient receives care from a dedicated team including a program coordinator, registered dietitian, health psychologist, exercise physiologist and other specialists to ensure that lifestyle changes are made to ensure long-term success. Patients also receive complimentary lifetime access to the program’s registered dietitians.