Nationally-Recognized Bariatric Program at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital Celebrates 5,000th LapBand Procedure

Louisville, KY – The weight loss surgery program at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is celebrating a significant milestone this week. UofL Health weight loss surgeons, John Olsofka, M.D. and Vincent Lusco, M.D. just performed the facility’s 5000th LapBand ™ procedure.

“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 Dr. Olsofka, UofL Physicians – Louisville Surgical Associates.  “Our patients want to improve their health and their overall quality of life.  Weight loss surgery, combined with long-term exercise and nutritional counselling have a profound, positive effect on patients being able to sustain long-term health.”

According to the 2022 Center for Disease Control adult obesity prevalence data, Kentucky is one of 15 states in the U.S. that has an adult obesity prevalence between 35-40%. 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.

Dr. Lusco adds 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, UofL Physicians – Louisville Surgical Associates.  “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 one or playing with their children.  It’s life changing.”

The program at Mary & Elizabeth is accredited through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).  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.

Mary Vaught was 325 pounds before her LapBand surgery. She lost 155 pounds and has kept the weight off for more than seven years.

“I had been overweight my whole life.  I was 280 lbs. when I got married,” said Mary. “Then I got pregnant, had my son and ballooned up another 60 or 70 lbs. after that.  The moment I decided I really needed to deal with my weight was after my son was born because I knew that if I was overweight at the age of 30, I wouldn’t be around to take care of him.  I wanted to be the mom that could play with my child and run and watch him grow up.”

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 didn’t were 1.3% versus 2.3% over a 4.5-year span.

Most major insurance plans, including UofL Health’s OnePlan provide weight loss surgery coverage for patients meeting selection criteria.

To learn more about the weight loss surgery program at Mary & Elizabeth Hospital including how to register for a free online weight loss surgery seminar, call 502-361-6059

About UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with six hospitals, four medical centers, Brown Cancer Center, Eye Institute, nearly 200 physician practice locations, and more than 800 providers. With more than 12,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly-skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission: to transform the health of communities we serve through compassionate, innovative, patient-centered care.

About UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital

Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, part of UofL Health, is a 298-bed, full-service hospital. The hospital offers a full range of vascular, orthopedic, cardiac, neurological, surgical, rehabilitative and 24/7 emergency services. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is also home to UofL Health – Weight Loss Care, the region’s only weight-loss management program utilizing the Lap-Band® System. In addition, the hospital provides the Orbera® gastric balloon procedure. The hospital has been recognized as one of the first health care facilities in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction® Center for bariatric surgery. The hospital also includes a Healthy Lifestyle Center. The hospital was initially founded by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 1874.

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UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with seven hospitals, four medical centers, 200+ physician practice locations, 700+ providers, Frazier Rehab Institute, Brown Cancer Center and the Eye Institute. With more than 12,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission—one purpose—delivering patient-centered care to each and every patient—each and every day.

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