Caring team lends support for bariatric surgery patients

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Supportive surgeon: Dr. James Siatras (left) consults with a patient at the Northwest Indiana Center for Bariatric Surgery at Methodist Hospitals. | Supplied photo

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Weight loss surgery is not merely a medical procedure; it’s an element in a lifelong journey to better health.

From the beginning and beyond the point in which the desired goal weight is achieved, the weight-loss surgery experience is a long-term process with a wide range of challenges.

Each weight-loss surgery patient is a unique individual with his or her own distinct needs. That’s why Dr. James Siatras, who was fellowship trained in bariatric surgery at Indiana University, personally guides each patient through his or her journey at the Northwest Indiana Center for Bariatric Surgery at Methodist Hospitals.

“At Methodist Hospitals, we have built our bariatric surgery center by developing long-term, long-standing relationships,” Siatras said. “In bariatric surgery, lasting success is dependent on the patients’ ongoing compliance with follow-up. So, we take a supportive, team approach in which patients fully understand that we’re genuinely here to help them.”

To accomplish that, Methodist has assembled an experienced, multidisciplinary team to support Dr. Siatras as he guides patients through every step of this life-changing experience.

Together, they have created a compassionate, nurturing environment to encourage patient involvement throughout the entire process: the initial evaluation, weight-loss surgery, and long-term follow-up care.

Each member is an expert in his or her field and has extensive experience in the special issues of weight-loss surgery patients. In addition to Siatras, who is also board certified in general surgery, the team at the bariatric surgery center includes bariatric nurse and program coordinator, Karen Krutz; registered dietitian, Kristina Greene; and medical assistant, Mary Robinson.

The center’s team is supported by psychologists, social workers, exercise physiologists and other health-care professionals to meet the needs of patients.

Team leader

At Methodist Hospitals, that team approach is truly led by the surgeon. Siatras sees each patient every time he or she visits the center — before and after the weight-loss procedure is performed.

“I’ve seen how that consistent contact with and support from their surgeon has improved patients’ results and overall experience,” Siatras said.

Siatras wants patients to know that he will always play an active role in their care, and that they are welcome to discuss any concerns they may have with him.

“There is a purpose to our personal approach,” he said. “Our goal is to give patients a greater sense of security, to make sure they never feel that they’re being treated ‘like a number,’ that they are not alone, and to carefully guide them through this entire experience.”

Provided by Methodist Hospitals