Emory Report
January 14, 2008
Volume 60, Number 15

The Emory Bariatric Center is currently offering Emory University and Healthcare employees a discount when enrolling in comprehensive weight management program using Optifast. For more information, call the Emory HealthConnection at

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January 14, 2008
Achieve your weight loss resolution

Melissa Forster-Green is senior marketing manager for Emory Healthcare Marketing.

Does your New Year’s resolution include a commitment to lose weight and improve your health? The team of weight management specialists at Emory can show you how to lose weight quickly, safely and conveniently.
Emory offers a program that is dedicated to improving the health of overweight and obese patients with a collaborative and compassionate approach to weight loss, offering excellence in treatment, ranging from developing a healthy weight loss plan to performing bariatric surgery.

As a health problem with far-reaching implications, obesity can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. The Emory Bariatric Center recognizes the complex interaction of environmental, biological and psychological influences in the development of obesity. Its core treatment philosophy is behavior modification – all treatments and interventions are designed to help patients develop the skills and behavior changes necessary to manage their weight for a lifetime.

Offering the best treatment options currently available in achieving and maintaining weight loss, the Emory Bariatric Center partners with each patient to develop a healthy weight loss plan that addresses his or her individual needs. In addition, the center’s status as an academic research program allows it to offer levels of expertise, treatment, medication and technology that community health programs can’t match. While weight loss is its primary focus, the center also incorporates the skills of numerous experts to treat the various medical problems that can accompany obesity.

“Losing weight is about improving health and creating and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes,” notes Melinda Kane, Emory Bariatric Center manager. “We stress the importance of physical activity and good nutrition, as well as address psychological triggers.”

The center tailors each patient’s treatment using a continuum of methods and treatment options that respond to the rising risks that accompany increasing levels of obesity. These methods include nutrition and exercise therapy, lifestyle education, pharmacotherapy, liquid meal replacement and bariatric surgery. The center’s multi-specialty team includes a bariatrician, a psychologist, dietitians, surgeons, exercise specialists and administrative and managerial personnel.

For those patients who remain severely obese even after attempting non-surgical weight-loss or who have an obesity-related disease, surgery may be appropriate.

“Our surgeons perform between 200 to 250 bariatric surgeries a year and our complication rate is extremely low,” says Edward Lin, surgical director. “We see the resolution of diabetes and other comorbidities after weight loss surgery in the overwhelming majority of our patients.” Surgical procedures performed include the Lap-Band System, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

“Our staff has been trained to care for the bariatric patient in an environment of compassion, and our facilities and equipment enable us to take care of patients of size,” says Kane. “We also have one of the largest national experiences with revisions following surgeries performed elsewhere and, as a quaternary care facility, have all the resources to deal with complications that, although rare, may arise. Our program stands out because of its comprehensive nature and our excellent outcomes. Our multispecialty team is one of the many advantages of having surgery at Emory.