Saint Elizabeth Bariatric Surgery Center has helped over 1,200 people with their weight struggles. While the program follows the same principles established in 2002, it is constantly evolving to meet patients’ needs.
As a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, they offer comprehensive support services for both before and after surgery, such as:
• Bariatric nutritional assessment
• Educational classes by credentialed bariatric surgeons
• Assessment by an exercise physiologist that includes an exercise plan with ongoing follow-up
• Patient reunions and ongoing education to help patients achieve and celebrate healthy goals
• Support for lifestyle changes from psychologists
• Support groups facilitated by certified bariatric nurse and a nutrition therapist
The most recent addition to the Bariatric Surgery program is the exercise assessment pre-and-post surgery. A fitness assessment is completed and an individualized exercise plan is created that meets the needs of each patient.
The first step in the assessment is a meeting with an exercise physiologist to learn the patient’s exercise history and to determine their fitness knowledge. Then, their current conditioning is assessed to determine their strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance.
After the assessment, a physical exercise plan is created based on the individual’s current fitness level and access to fitness equipment. For some, it may start with walking on a regular basis or, for others, it may be a more detailed workout including weight lifting and stretching. The plan is tailored to the patient’s needs. They may not have access to a gym, so that is taken into consideration and a home-based plan is created.
After the assessment, patients are contacted to see if they have questions about their exercise plan and to offer encouragement to execute their fitness goals. After four weeks, they return for a follow-up assessment, giving them the opportunity to see how their overall fitness has improved.
Diane Regnier has lost sixty pounds since she started her exercise plan four weeks prior to her surgery on February 28, 2012. “Working with the exercise program has opened my eyes to how close I was to hurting myself. Before, my blood pressure and resting pulse were high. Within three weeks of beginning my exercise program, I saw improvements in both,” says Regnier.
Picture caption: Diane Regnier had laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in February of 2012 and has been utilizing the fitness program available through the Saint Elizabeth Bariatric Surgery Center. Regnier says, “Exercise makes me feel great. It motivates me to keep taking care of my heart.”
A detailed report, including the pre-assessment, post-assessment and behavior modifications, is shared with the bariatric surgeon.
Ray Taddeucci, MD, shares that the exercise program has been very valuable to his patients. “As patients begin to lose weight, their capacity for exercise improves dramatically, giving them the ability to increase their workouts and, in turn, see significant weight loss on a week-to-week basis.”
Research has shown that patients who exercise 3 or more times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes lost an additional 12% of their excess weight for 6 months. Dr. Taddeucci adds, “In order to receive maximum benefits from surgery, exercise must be incorporated into a patient’s daily routine. The exercise assessment has been a great addition to our program.”