Specialist Spotlight: Weight Loss Surgery
Obesity is a growing epidemic in our country occurring in 1 out of every 3 adults. In Will County*, 30% of adults are obese and another 38% are overweight. And all of these people have an increased risk of developing other serious health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes and cancer.
Since 2003, Christopher Joyce, M.D. and Brain Lahmann, M.D. have been leading the charge locally helping nearly 5,000 individuals live healthier and happier lives after weight loss surgery. Known as BMI Surgery, these two highly-skilled bariatric and laparoscopic surgeons are pioneers in their field performing Will and Grundy counties’ first gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric bypass, Lap-Band™ and Realize™ adjustable gastric bands, and sleeve gastrectomy procedures. Last December, they were the first in Illinois to offer the ReShape™ gastric balloon, which is a new FDA approved, non-surgical weight loss procedure for people with mild to moderate obesity.
“Forty years a significant gap has existed in treatment options,” said Dr. Joyce, medical director of the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. “We often see patients who are clinically obese and in desperate need of medical intervention to help them lose weight, when diet and exercise alone have failed and surgery is not an option. ReShape provides this group of ‘in-between’ patients with access to a non-surgical, reversible option to encourage new habits and lasting results.”
As compared to other bariatric surgeons around the country, Drs. Joyce and Lahmann have extremely low complication rates and their patients lose an average of 82% of their excess body weight four years after gastric bypass. Together with Silver Cross, BMI Surgery is an accredited center to perform metabolic and bariatric surgery by MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program) and is also a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery®. Drs. Joyce and Lahmann also consistently rank in the Top 1% of physicians in the nation for patient satisfaction.
“We believe patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach,” said Dr. Lahmann. “Our patients see an exercise physiologist, dietitian, cardiologist, psychologist, pulmonologist, and bariatric nurse to get them ready for surgery. We carefully screen everyone to ensure their success and safety. And our comprehensive program also includes pre-and post-surgery education, exercise classes, nutritional supplements and a monthly support group.”
Patients, who are interested in losing weight, can meet the doctors at a free Obesity & Your Health informational session any Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in their office on the Silver Cross Hospital campus.
Not only are these physicians passionate about helping patients regain their lives, but they are positive role models. Dr. Joyce is an accomplished athlete competing in hundreds of endurance events, including 3 Boston Marathons and 7 Ironman Competions. He also serves as a proctor, training other surgeons around the country in the latest bariatric techniques. Dr. Lahmann was a child prodigy entering high school at the age of 10, accepted into college before he could even drive, and by age 26, had finished medical school and a 5-year surgical residency before being offered a coveted laparoscopic fellowship at Cedars-Sinai in L.A.—the hospital of the “stars”.
“These cutting-edge surgeons have their pick of working anywhere in the world,” said Paul Pawlak, President/CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “We are fortunate they have chosen Silver Cross to help our patients overcome their weight loss struggles and get healthy.”
*Will County Community Health Status Assessment Report, Will County MAPP Collaborative, 2013