Behavioral Health/Chemical Dependency
Silver Cross: First to Offer New Weight Loss Surgical Procedure in Illinois
Hospitals serves as a training site for new REALIZE Adjustable Gastric Band
After bringing weight loss surgery to the greater Will, Grundy and southwestern Cook County areas in 2003, Silver Cross Hospital remains a leader in the fight against obesity. The Hospital was the first in Illinois and third in the nation to use the new REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band. Silver Cross is also serving as a center for doctors to come and train on how to use REALIZE Adjustable Gastric Band. “Physicians are coming from all over the country,” said Dr. Joyce.
The REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band is a device that is surgically implanted around the stomach to help people with morbid obesity lose weight and improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions. The band was approved by the government (Federal Food & Drug Administration) in October.
In the clinical trial that led to its approval, REALIZE™ Band patients lost an average of 50 pounds or 40 percent of their excess body weight within the first year of surgery and maintained that weight loss over three years. More than one-third of patients lost 50 percent or more of their excess weight.
Joseph F. Margotta, age 70, and his son, Joseph M. Margotta, age 41 were the first patients to have the Realize Band surgery at Silver Cross. Dr. Christopher Joyce and Dr. Brian Lahmann, both specializing in Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, performed the Margotta’s surgeries. Drs. Joyce and Lahmann are two of only 40 physicians in the country using the new REALIZE™ band for bariatric surgery.
Both men had been overweight for years. “We would gain weight and lose it, we couldn’t keep it off,” said Joseph F. of Plainfield. His son, Joseph M. suffered from high blood pressure, and they both suffered from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep.
“I knew I needed more longevity because I wanted to see my grandchild go through life’s passages and I wanted to do it together with my son…and it actually worked,” said the senior Margotta. “We were able to perform all of the pre-surgical tests together.”
After their surgeries were approved, the Margotta’s began researching six different hospitals, but were most comfortable with Silver Cross. “We went to an informational session at Silver Cross and were impressed by the program and by Dr. Joyce,” said Joseph F.
During the procedure, the surgeon creates a small incision in the abdomen to insert surgical instruments and a camera. Then, a band is wrapped around the stomach and tightened to create two chambers—a small upper stomach with a narrow opening to a lower stomach.
Once the band is in place, surgeons attach the REALIZE™ Injection Port to the abdominal wall underneath the skin. This allows doctors to inject or remove saline to tighten or loosen the band.
The surgery can be done in less than a minute, therefore decreasing the amount of time under anesthesia. Post-surgery adjustments are then made based on the patient’s individual needs.
Dr. Joyce says this surgery is different from a regular laparoscopic gastric band surgery because the band is implanted differently. “It takes less time, which means there’s less chance of complications. The REALIZE™ Band also makes it easier to do adjustments after the surgery.”
Since their surgeries in November, Joseph F. has lost 46 lbs and Joseph M. has lost 67 lbs. Their sleep apnea has been alleviated, as well as Joseph M.’s high blood pressure.
“While the surgery itself helped, it’s really the lifestyle change that keeps the weight off,” says Joseph F., who has now changed his diet and exercises daily.
According to Dr. Joyce, he and Dr. Lahmann have performed over 70 REALIZE™ Band surgeries to date.
Dr. Joyce says, of the new procedure, “As with anything, technological improvements equal better outcomes for patients.”
The bariatric surgery team at Silver Cross Hospital is led by Dr. Christopher Joyce, who performed the first traditional and laparoscopic gastric bypass surgeries in the far southwest suburbs. Since 2003, Dr. Joyce and his partner, Dr. Brian Lahmann, have performed over 2,000 weight loss surgeries. They have also led the hospital’s program to be one of only 10 in Illinois and the only bariatric surgery program in Will and Grundy counties that has been recognized as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgeons.
BMI Surgery is affiliated with Silver Cross Hospital—a Solucient100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for three consecutive years. BMI Surgery is also a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, Blue Distinction Surgery Center, and the area’s most experienced and comprehensive obesity and minimally invasive surgery practice. BMI Surgery has helped thousands of people in the Chicago southwest suburbs win their personal battles with obesity and regain their lives.
To learn more about the REALIZE™ adjustable gastric band, attend a free informational session, any Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Specialty Care Pavilion on the Silver Cross Hospital campus, 1300 Copperfield Ave., Joliet. A special Saturday session will be held at 10 a.m. on April 5 in the hospital’s conference center. Register to attend at www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).