News, Updates, and Events at Hope Bariatrics

Center of Excellence Re Certification

March, 2010

Hope Bariatrics, Geoffrey Wilcox, M.D., Michael Felix, M.D. and Heritage Valley Sewickley recently received their recertification with  the American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery.   The ASMBS  Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery and a long term post-surgery follow up program.

The Hope Bariatrics’ surgery program and Heritage Valley Sewickley was recertified after a thorough documentation review of outcomes data and a site visit in which all aspects of the surgical program were closely evaluated. The ASMBS review assessed the program’s ability to help patients cope with the significant emotional and lifestyle changes through a multi-tiered approach that includes nutritional, psychological, and educational support. The surgeons’ skills and the quality of the hospital in which the bariatric procedures are performed are also assessed.

“Heritage Valley Sewickley’s role in providing a state-of-the-art facility for bariatric surgery and post-surgical care is reflected through this Center of Excellence recertification,” said Norm Mitry, president and chief executive officer for Heritage Valley Health System. “The experience and expertise of the bariatric care team including physicians and staff involved in caring for our bariatric patients is evident through the excellent outcomes experienced by bariatric patients.”

“This designation is an indicator of the excellent level of care we provide to our patients, beginning with the pre-operative information seminar and office visits, to the surgery and hospital stay, and through the extensive post-operative follow-up process,” said Dr. 

Newsletter (Summer 2009)

Download our Summer 2009 Newsletter

Benefits of Gastric bypass surgery

Dr. Oz discusses the benefits of Gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Oz says “Gastric bypass surgery can help you lose weight, prevent heart disease and cancer, and reverse your type 2 diabetes virtually overnight – yet only 1% of eligible patients elect to go under the knife.

Hear more from Dr. Oz and watch the full episode online

Nutrition Update

Bone Health: New Studies indicate an even greater than expected risk for osteoporosis after bariatric surgeries.  Both gastric bypass and lap band patients had higher incidence of bone loss.

Read your dosage and labeling carefully for all supplements, especially calcium products.  All bariatric patients need the following to maintain good bone health: 1500-1800 mg calcium citrate or calcium lactate-gluconate daily.  (Do NOT use calcium carbonate products.)  Take in divided doses of 600 mg or less.  Plus two servings of low fat milk or yogurt daily.

2000 IU (International units) of D-3 daily or the equivalent per week such as 5000 IU D-3 per week.  It is fat soluble and does store in the body, so you do not need to take it daily to be effective.  Vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium along with reducing the risk of numerous co-morbidities such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.  Examine your vitamins and calcium supplements carefully to determine the amount you are already taking and then supplement accordingly.  We screen in the scheduled blood work for vitamin D.  We see a great deal of deficiencies of Vitamin D, so please review your intake.

Call the office with any questions.

Emotional Eating

Carol Crawford, LPC, NCC, Psychotherapist/Counselor, recent guest speaker at our support group is offering sessions for emotional eating.  There is a fee for this service and you can get details by calling 412-749-1747.  Don’t sabotage your hard work………get help!!


We all know the importance of this component.  If you’re having difficulty starting a program or keeping one, call Signature Rehab.  If you were at our support group when Chad Vorderbreggen spoke and shared his expertise, you may have been motivated to incorporate exercise in your weight loss journey.  Call Chad and let him help you get started.  He’s informative, enthusiastic and motivating.   Now get going!!! Call 412-749-7178 for details of the program Hope Bariatrics and Signature Rehab share with your good health in mind.

Insurance Considerations

For those who are researching bariatric surgery or those already in our program, remember these important lifestyle changes insurance companies are looking for to approve your surgery.   DO NOT GAIN WEIGHT on your 3 or 6 month diet visits with your PCP or your surgery may be denied by the insurance company.  Also, they are looking for changes in your eating habits and that you’re making good food choices.  Use this phase to begin your healthy, successful weight loss journey.  Please call the office with any questions. 

Pre-Surgery Classes

If you’re planning to attend a pre-surgery nutrition class review, please call the office to verify time and date prior to attending. 

My weight issues started when I was going into my teenage years. When I got married and had two wonderful children my weight became even more out of control. Having two children and a lifelong battle with food, I finally decided that it was time to get my life and weight under control. I decided that it was time for me to under go gastric by-pass surgery. The morning I went in for my surgery I was not even a bit scared. I knew I was doing the right thing for myself. That's right FOR MYSELF! I weighed 263 lbs. that morning. 9 1/2 months later I weighed 138 lbs. I have gone from a size 22/24 to a size 4/6. Everyday is a challenge!! Some may think it was the easy way out. Those are the people who don't know what it is like to live on the other side of the scale. I would like to think I could be an inspiration to those who have had a life long battle with their weight, because I know what it is like on the other side. I no longer live on a diet. I live on what I now call "life". I said good-bye to my 20's and hello to the thin person that I have always wanted to be. Thank you Dr. Felix and your wonderfull staff. You gave me my life back. Sincerely, Cindy

- Cindy

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