A New Place to Start a Life-changing Journey

A New Place to Start a Life-changing Journey

A New Place to Start a Life-changing Journey

Kentuckiana patients now have another option to turn to for surgery that can help them shed pounds and transform their health.

Weight-loss surgery reshapes the stomach to allow it to hold less food and sometimes alters the hormones and intestinal bacteria that regulate hunger, depending on the type of procedure. Surgery is an option for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35–40 occurring with an obesity-related chronic health problem, such as Type 2 diabetes.

“Exciting research is emerging that says weight loss surgery is an extremely effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes,” said David Geller, MD, bariatric surgeon at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. “Some studies suggest the surgery may be appropriate for diabetes patients with BMI lower than 35.”

Much More Than Surgery


This spring, Dr. Geller and general surgeon Robert Farrell, MD, began offering three types of weight-loss surgery — sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and gastric band — at Jewish Hospital. The operations, however, are just one part of the new surgical weight-loss program.

Learn more about each procedure on our Weight Loss Surgery 101 infographic. 


“Patients meet with the surgeon to determine the most appropriate operation for them, and then they have appointments with a mental health professional, an exercise physiologist and a nutritionist,” Dr. Farrell said. “They also
attend a support group meeting with pre- and post-operative patients.”

After surgery, patients continue to receive the multidisciplinary support they need to make the lifestyle changes that are crucial to success.

“Positive, long-term results depend not only on the success of the surgery, but on patients’ willingness to get active and follow a healthy diet,” Dr. Geller said. “Our team helps them navigate the transition and maintain those modifications.”

Register online to attend a free weight-loss surgery seminar or call 502.912.8751.

Transformation Before Transplantation


For individuals who need a liver or kidney transplant, having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher can increase the risk of complications after surgery.

“Obesity can be prohibitive for patients who otherwise qualify for a transplant because they are more likely to experience issues with wound healing after surgery,” said Dr. Farrell. “The immune system-suppressing drugs they need to take after transplantation may compound those issues.”

Weight-loss surgery for transplant candidates is available at Jewish Hospital. Approximately six months after the operation, the surgeon evaluates patients’ BMI to determine whether they have lost sufficient weight to be listed for a transplant.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine

Losing Weight for a Healthier Life

Losing Weight for a Healthier Life

Losing Weight for a Healthier Life

Did you know weight-loss surgery can help treat Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be challenging to control. Adults with the condition must prick their fingers to check their blood sugar multiple times a day. Many also take one or more medications or use insulin injections to keep their glucose levels under control. Even with these treatments, some people have a difficult time managing their illness.

“Medications and insulin injections work to a point, but they’re like a bandage,” said Robert Farrell, MD, FACS, bariatric surgeon at KentuckyOne Health Weight Loss and Surgery Associates. “We’re now seeing a paradigm shift. Weight-loss surgery is becoming a prominent choice for some people with Type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese.”

Available Options

Three weight-loss surgeries — Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding — were discussed at the 2nd Diabetes Surgery Summit as treatment options for Type 2 diabetes. All three are available at KentuckyOne Health and are performed laparoscopically, meaning surgeons operate through several small, key-hole-sized incisions instead of through one large incision. Laparoscopic surgery is usually less painful and gets patients back on their feet faster.

During a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, surgeons create a small pouch from a portion of the stomach. This pouch is separated from the rest of the stomach and the two upper parts of the small intestine, which are known as the duodenum and jejunum. The pouch is then reconnected to the lower segment of the small intestine, forming a “Y” shape. The surgery limits the amount of food people can comfortably eat at one time and the number of calories and nutrients that are absorbed from food.

“Metabolic changes happen almost instantly when you bypass the duodenum, so people see diabetes improvement not long after surgery,” said Joshua Steiner, MD, FACS, bariatric surgeon at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Saint Joseph East, part of KentuckyOne Health. “Many of our patients go home needing very little of their diabetes medication.”

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass essentially cures Type 2 diabetes in 80 percent of cases. Roughly 85 to 90 percent of Dr. Steiner’s patients no longer have to worry about diabetes after surgery, and nearly 100 percent see improvement.
Dr. Farrell offers Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, which was the most performed bariatric surgery in 2015, to patients looking to improve their Type 2 diabetes symptoms. During a sleeve gastrectomy, physicians remove roughly 80 to 85 percent of the stomach. More than 80 percent of his patients who have a sleeve gastrectomy notice Type 2 diabetes improvement or resolution.

“To see that there is an option that can treat diabetes and prevent serious complications fills people with hope,” Dr. Farrell said. “These surgeries are truly life changing.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health magazine. For more information about weight loss and nutrition, subscribe to One Health magazine today.