Phoebe Bariatric Program reaches 100-procedure milestone

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, October 20, 2016

AMERICUS — General and Bariatric surgeons, Jeremy Joyner, MD, and Sean Sheff, MD, performed their first bariatric surgery at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in December 2013. To date, more than 100 Phoebe bariatric patients from all over South Georgia have received the benefits of collectively shedding nearly three tons of unhealthy, excess weight — with exceedingly good results.
The national three-year post-op average for adjustable gastric band is 39 percent while sleeve gastrectomy is 46 percent.
“Many of the gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy procedures we’ve performed have resulted in patients losing 70-100 percent of their excess body weight — and even more in some cases ¬¬— far exceeding national averages,” shared Joyner. “We expect to see even greater results with by-pass surgery presently offered.”
Surgical weight-loss options offered by Phoebe Bariatrics’ surgeons Joyner and Sheff were initially limited to adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. In October 2015, offerings were expanded to include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery — considered a higher-risk, higher-reward procedure — which studies report a national three-year post surgery weight-loss average of 59 percent. Sheff noted, “All surgeries carry some risks. We view it as risk versus benefit. With all three procedures, pre-operative regimens are rigorous and the patients are monitored closely. While it is too early to compare Phoebe’s 13 gastric by-pass patients’ results to three-year post-surgery national data, we are already seeing comorbidity reduction of obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, high-blood pressure, bad cholesterol and sleep apnea.”
On Sept. 29, the physicians held a reception recognizing their first 100 patients’ weight-loss journey. More than 65 guests were in attendance. Brandi Lunneborg, Phoebe Sumter Chief Executive Officer, congratulated the patients’ dedication to improving their health and recognized the bariatric surgeons, surgical team and support staff who work in concert to provide a comprehensive bariatric program to meet the needs and goals of their patients. Sheff and Joyner thanked their patients for having chosen them to begin their weight loss journey —  noting the success of this program would not be possible without patients committed to healthier lifestyles.
Stephanie Nobbs of Albany who underwent the laprascopic gastric bypass surgery was one of many patients in attendance at the recent event. She emphasized, “this procedure should be considered by anyone who has continually battled weight loss without success. I was able to lose 100 pounds in the first year alone, and after two short months my weight reduction completely eliminated my need for diabetes medication.”
In addition to board-certified and fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons, Sheff and Joyner, Phoebe Bariatrics staff members include a board-certified nurse practitioner program coordinator, a registered dietitian, LPN, medical assistant, and dedicated operating room and post-operative nursing staff. All procedures are performed in Americus at Phoebe Sumter. Pre-screenings and post-follow ups are offered in both Albany and Americus.
Quick facts about the program:
•  Adjustable gastric band
o    10 surgeries performed
o   Average excess body weight loss at Phoebe Bariatrics > 1year post-op= 58.85 percent
o   National average excess body weight loss = 39 percent
•   Sleeve gastrectomy
o   77 surgeries performed
o   Average excess body weight loss at Phoebe Bariatrics > 1year post-op = 64.07 percent
o   National average excess body weight loss = 46 percent
•   Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
o   13 surgeries
o   No >1 year post-op data at this time
o   National average excess body weight loss = 59 percent
The national three-year post-op average for adjustable gastric band is 39 percent and 46 percent for sleeve gastrectomy. Many of Phoebe Sumter’s patients have lost 70-100 percent (or more in some cases) of their excess body weight with the gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy.
Those interested in learning more about weight-loss surgery, may visit or register for a free seminar by calling 229-931-1152.