Weight-loss surgery is a new beginning for many
January is often a time of reflection and renewal. So it’s not a surprise that Dr. Neil McDevitt sees a jump in interest by people who struggle with obesity and want to know how Coastal Carolina Bariatric Center can help them lose weight long term.
“People use the new year to evaluate where they’ve come from in the past year, where they want to be and how to get there,” says Dr. McDevitt, who receives more speaking invitations from businesses and other community groups during this season.
Dr. McDevitt relocated and established Coastal Carolina Bariatric Center at Summerville Medical Center in early 2011. He has guided more than 225 patients through major weight-loss surgery over the past three years as part of the center’s comprehensive program, which emphasizes substantial changes in diet, calorie intake and activity levels.
Through it all, Dr. McDevitt and his staff offer patients a great deal of personal support. It’s not unusual for them to run together in road races as “Team McDevitt” or to celebrate when a patient reaches a weight-loss milestone by going on a special outing. This fall, Dr. McDevitt, his staff and his family went on a horseback riding trip at Middleton Plantation with a woman who was able to return to riding as a result of reaching her goal. “We help people get their lives back, and there’s no greater satisfaction.”
Coastal Carolina Bariatric Center has continued to see growth in its practice through the past year, and Dr. McDevitt points to several contributing factors. During the summer, the American Medical Association voted to declare obesity a disease, changing the conversation about weight loss and leading more primary care physicians to talk with patients about options such as weight-loss surgery. Also, Medicare and Medicaid have expanded their list of approved bariatric facilities to include newer programs such as Coastal Carolina Bariatric Center. And there’s a growing awareness of the complications linked with obesity.
While many of his patients fall into the category of “morbidly obese,” with a body mass index (BMI) well above 40, Dr. McDevitt is also seeing more people who are “obese” with a BMI as low as 35, but who struggle with quality-of-life issues due to chronic diseases such as diabetes. “Actually, there has been new data over the last couple of years that has shown that a lot of the bariatric procedures we do help people long term with diabetes, separate from the weight loss,” says Dr. McDevitt.
Coastal Carolina Bariatric Center offers three types of weight-loss surgeries : Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, LAP-BAND surgery and vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The best surgery depends on the patient’s situation and expectations, Dr. McDevitt says. “Each one of these surgeries is a tool. You have to pair the right tool with the right person.”
To learn more about Coastal Carolina Bariatric Center, or sign up for an information seminar, call 843-875-8994.
“People use the new year to evaluate where they’ve come from in the past year, where they want to be and how to get there.” Dr. Neil McDevitt, Bariatric Surgeon