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

Is Weight-loss Surgery Right for You?

Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right For You?

Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right For You?

Shedding pounds successfully may sometimes require more than a sensible diet and exercise plan. For people who do all the right things, but still can’t lose weight, bariatric surgery is an effective solution.

Experts with KentuckyOne Health have offered weight-loss surgery as a solution for more than 15 years. On average, patients who are good candidates for surgery reach their weight goals within a year of the procedure. However, surgery must be combined with other steps, such as dietary changes and exercise, to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

“Bariatric surgery changes a patient’s stomach,” said Karen Hillenmeyer, PA-C, director of the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Saint Joseph East, part of KentuckyOne Health. “That change is a tool for each patient to use to help make healthier choices.”

Taking the First Step

Attending a free informational seminar is a great way to learn more about whether bariatric surgery is a good option for you. The seminar is an opportunity to meet bariatric surgeons and staff members and discuss possible next steps.

Learn more about free weight loss seminars at KentuckyOne Health

“We believe it’s very important that patients’ medical and surgical history, as well as their behaviors, are carefully considered before determining which bariatric procedure is recommended,” Hillenmeyer said. “We take a team approach to addressing each individual’s needs and goals.”

During introductory seminars, participants learn about the histories of bariatric surgery, available procedures and the potential benefits. Those who choose to move forward with weight-loss surgery will attend educational classes, such as a nutrition information session and a presurgical seminar with certified bariatric nurses.

The teams at KentuckyOne Health’s weight-loss centers are committed to helping patients achieve their goals by making sure they are educated before the procedure and have the support they need to be successful afterward.

“Our program offers ongoing support and classes on a variety of important topics to keep patients informed at each phase of the process,” Hillenmeyer said. “Our goal is to treat each patient individually. We focus on their needs by providing education that helps them make the needed changes to achieve their goals.”

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Weight-loss surgery does more than trim your waistline. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the procedure helps reduce the risk of a variety of comorbid conditions typically associated with obesity, including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Winter edition of One Health magazine. For more weight loss news and information, subscribe to One Health today.

A Community Pillar

Flaget Memorial Hospital exterior

Flaget Memorial Hospital

Today, residents of Bardstown and surrounding communities can take advantage of quality, close-to-home services, such as cancer treatment, orthopedic and weight-loss surgeries, and maternity and primary care, at Flaget Memorial Hospital. Accessing care, however, wasn’t always so easy.

From Humble Beginnings

In the 1940s, the nearest hospital to Bardstown was in Louisville. People had to travel nearly an hour away from home for maternity care and general surgical services. To fulfill the unmet community need, local Bardstown leaders approached the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth congregation about opening a local hospital in Bardstown.

With the Sisters’ help, Flaget Memorial Hospital opened its doors in January 1951. The excitement was palpable – roughly 1,500 people attended the hospital’s open house. A few days later, on Jan. 7, the community celebrated the milestone birth of the first baby born at Flaget Memorial Hospital, Mary Flaget Cecil, who was named after the facility.

Within just a few months, the hospital had treated 352 patients, delivered more than 70 babies and performed more than 90 surgeries. As the population grew, so did the hospital. The 1980s saw the addition of a medical records wing and computed tomography equipment. In the 1990s, an orthopedic surgeon joined the team, and the hospital added a pain management clinic and skilled nursing unit.

Flaget Memorial Hospital moved to its current location on New Shepherdsville Road in June 2005. The 60-acre campus of the accredited, five-star community hospital features a serenity garden and a state-of-the-art cancer center in addition to existing service lines.

Looking to the future, growth will take center stage.

Plans are in place to expand the hospital’s outreach, medical team and capabilities. You can help us grow. Your generous donations to the Flaget Memorial Foundation allow us to focus on compassionate care – the mission of Flaget Memorial Hospital.