Outcomes show Gundersen Lutheran Bariatric Surgery among the best

Weight-loss surgery improves life for those struggling with obesity

La Crosse, Wis. — January 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — At Gundersen Lutheran Health System’s Bariatric Surgery Center, three bariatric surgeons perform about 150 weight-loss surgeries each year. With exceptional outcomes, Gundersen Lutheran has been named a Center of Excellence and Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center*.

“When people are considering weight-loss surgery, they should know an organization’s success rates,” explains Gundersen Lutheran surgeon Shanu N. Kothari, MD. “We collect and carefully review data on our surgeries and change treatment based on outcomes.”

Dr. Kothari shares this example: “We perform better than average in most outcomes, but we noticed our numbers were below average for bleeding after surgery. We recognized it and changed our blood thinning strategy. As a result, blood transfusions dropped from 5 percent to less than 1 percent.”

Generally, bariatric surgery is best suited for those who are 100 pounds or more overweight. Gundersen Lutheran may provide surgery to patients with less weight to lose if they have weight-related health problems. Bariatric surgery should be considered only when other weight-loss efforts have failed.

“At least 50 percent of excess weight off one year out is deemed a success. Our patients lose about 70 percent on average and maintain major weight loss long-term,” reports Dr. Kothari. “Patients also see striking improvement or an end to diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems, acid reflux, joint pain and other health issues, and can reduce the medicine they take.”

Skill of the surgeons is a major factor in success, but picking patients who are right for weight-loss surgery is also vital. “Patients are evaluated before surgery and if the risks outweigh the likely benefit, we won’t do surgery,” Dr. Kothari explains.

Bariatric surgery is not an easy solution. For the surgery to be a success, patients need to commit to making lifelong changes. To help patients succeed, Gundersen Lutheran offers lifelong support for its bariatric patients.

To learn more, contact Gundersen Lutheran Bariatric Surgery Center at (608) 775-2331 or visit gundluth.org/bariatrics.

*American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network

About Gundersen Lutheran

Based in La Crosse, Wis., Gundersen Lutheran Health System is a multi-specialty medical center with hospitals and clinics in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa that provide emergency, specialty and primary care. For the latest news releases, go to gundluth.org/news.