Stony Brook University Medical Center has opened the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center, located at 37 Research Way in East Setauket.
For those pursuing weight loss as a New Year’s resolution, now there’s even more reason to consider bariatric surgery, according to Aurora Pryor, director of the center and a nationally renowned bariatric specialist and clinical researcher on the latest laparoscopic bariatric surgery techniques. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that weight-loss surgery prevents heart attacks and strokes in formerly obese people and reduces their risk of dying from cardiovascular complications. Conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Institutes of Medicine in Sweden, it is one of the first studies to track outcomes of patients who have had bariatric surgery.
“If you need to lose 100 pounds or more, bariatric surgery offers an important option,” said Pryor, professor of surgery and chief of the Division of General Surgery, Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Burns, and Department Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs at the School of Medicine, “but it’s also an option for those who are less overweight but are experiencing health-related problems.”
A multidisciplinary team of experts at the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center also consider holistic methods and other weight loss options geared to individual patients. For eligible patients who may benefit from bariatric surgery, Pryor incorporates her clinical expertise with findings from her research in advancing laparoscopic bariatric surgery techniques and outcomes, and new surgical technologies.
Bariatric surgery not only offers a significantly higher chance of long-term weight maintenance, it also offers hope for health improvement, Pryor added. National data compiled from 136 scientific reports totaling bariatric surgical results of 22,094 patients show that 86 percent improved their diabetes and 76.8 percent were cured of diabetes; 78.5 percent improved their high blood pressure and 61.7 percent were cured of high blood pressure; 70 percent improved high cholesterol; and 85.7 percent were cured of sleep apnea.
Compared to diet and exercise or medication alone, bariatric surgery offers the best weight-loss outcomes, Pryor added, noting that studies show more than 70 percent of bariatric surgery patients are able to lose at least 50 percent of their excess weight and keep it off for well over five years. In addition to treating medical problems, it is one of few ways to decrease your risk of developing many cancers.
Pryor has personally performed more than 1,000 bariatric surgeries—more than 95 percent of them laparoscopically—and has trained 25 surgical fellows in minimally invasive bariatric surgery. She has written more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, co-edited two textbooks, made more than 130 presentations worldwide, received a number of research grants, and patented several surgical technologies.
To learn more, prospective patients can visit http://bariatrics.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/. Included is a video educational presentation featuring Dr. Pryor. For more information or a schedule of upcoming community education seminars, call (631) 444-2619.