CVMC Surgical Weight Management Program Spotlight




CVMC Surgical Weight Management Program

A reflection on the year 2010
by Libby Shaver, MSN, RN, BN
Bariatric Program Coordinator 

Andra Williams of Statesville says:

“I decided to get the surgery because I had a weight problem for most of my life and I had tried everything you can imagine to lose the weight. I eventually developed hypertension and diabetes.  I did not want to die young. I wanted to raise my children and this was the best option for me.  Bariatric surgery truly gave me my life back.  I never used to feel well or do things with my kids.  My weight was embarrassing and I stayed away from several social situations.  Now, my life is the total opposite.  I have always been an outgoing person, but now I feel like who I am on the outside truly matches who I am on the inside.  I would definitely recommend the surgery to someone else. It is not for everyone.  Issues with food are still there, and it is not an easy way out.  It is a tool to help you get there. You have to have your eyes open, understand what the risks are, and be compliant.  Otherwise, you can “cheat” your body and gain the weight back.  This is a lifelong struggle, with or without surgery. It is amazing. Everyday I am amazed and so thankful.  I can enjoy my family and my life.


 Since the development of the Surgical Weight Management Program in late 2004, numerous lives like the one above have been transformed. This program offers comprehensive care for the “morbidly obese” patient before and after weight loss surgery. Under the leadership of Montgomery Cox, MD, director of the program, and bariatric surgeons, James Cook and Jon Hata, the staff consists of a team of professionals who are experts in their respective field – nursing, nutrition, and surgery. The team works together to provide patients with the best medical services in an environment of compassionate intervention and goal-oriented care. This excellence in patient care is provided from consultation through treatment.


Types of Bariatric Surgery Offered

The program offers three types of weight loss surgery: Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding. The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach to limit food intake and re-route the intestinal tract to limit calorie absorption. The Sleeve Gastrectomy reduces the size of the stomach but does not bypass the intestine. The Gastric Band is the least invasive weight loss surgical procedure which reduces the stomach’s capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time without requiring stomach cutting or stapling or gastrointestinal rerouting to bypass normal digestion. All of these procedures are performed laparoscopically.


A Multidisciplinary Team Approach – Each Step of the Way

Patients are carefully screened and a team of bariatric surgeons, nurse practitioner, nurse coordinator, nutritionist, and mental health professionals all work with each individual to make sure they are ready to make the lifelong changes necessary for a successful outcome. Safe weight loss through surgery requires a strong commitment from the patient and the team of medical experts providing the care. Patient education is the single most important factor in ensuring positive outcomes. Our care begins months before the surgery is scheduled to prepare patients and guide them through dramatic changes in their overall health. This care continues through months and years following surgery to keep patients on course. Additionally our program has been carefully designed and configured to provide the highest level of comfort and dignity.              

Staying Connected – Patient Support Network

One of the most important keys to achieving success with bariatric surgery is having a strong support system. The program works to strengthen the patient community by offering monthly support group meeting for pre- and post-operative patients. Individual patient experiences are invaluable resources that are beneficial for the whole group. Patients will hear about successes, frustrations, plateaus, and special moments, and have a chance to share their own experiences. Various speakers, including our registered dietitian Lynn Delserone, exercise specialists, psychologists, physicians and bariatric surgery patients will share their knowledge and experiences on a variety of topics of interest to bariatric support group participants. Research shows that patients, who are engaged in post-operative support, have a greater chance of being successful long term following weight loss surgery than those that do not participate.  


Monthly Support Group

An Event to Remember: Celebrating Milestones

We take our commitment to our patients very seriously and we try to involve our postoperative patients in activities and celebrations as much as possible because we know their accomplishments are not only gratifying but life-altering. We all want to openly share in their successes and motivate them for more. At our center, we consider this a key component to our comprehensive program. Each year a themed annual celebration is held in their honor. In September 2010 we celebrated Bollywood style. From Indian cuisine customized to meet patients’ needs to participation in an Indian style dance; we celebrated numerous success stories that have come out of our center. A photographer was present to capture the event and each attendee left with a keepsake to remember this all importance occasion in their journey.       


2010 Annual Celebration

The Impact on Co-morbidities and Medication Use

Patients typically lose more than 50% of their excess weight after bariatric surgery. Our program is no exception – our average weight loss following bariatric surgery at two year post-op is 57%. Obesity-related diseases markedly improve or resolve after bariatric surgery, reducing cardiovascular risk and improving life-expectancy. No other medical or surgical intervention simultaneously treats as many disease processes as bariatric surgery does.

Our results

  • 69% of our patients’ co-morbidities, such as diabetes, sleep apnea and hypertension have been dramatically improved or resolved.
  • The number of medications taken has been reduced by 57%.
  • The average Body Mass Index (BMI) of a patient prior to surgery was 46 and is now 32.
  • Since beginning our Surgical Weight Management Program in late 2004, CVMC has helped individuals lose more than 31,000 pounds collectively.