Obesity is a complex disease that affects the body in many ways and is much more serious than simply a cosmetic concern. When a person’s weight is higher than what is considered healthy for his or her weight, he or she is considered obese. This can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, extreme joint pain, sleep apnea and even infertility.  Patients experiencing any of these issues as a result of excessive weight and who meet certain criteria, may be candidates for bariatric surgery.

Board certified bariatric and general surgeon Amy Johnson, MD, FACS, leads the experienced team at the Center for Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC), and is the only bariatric surgeon in Eastern Kentucky to perform Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass and Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch procedures.

Often, one of the biggest reasons patients postpone or decline having bariatric surgery is the fear of a lengthy recovery time. However, at PMC, most bariatric procedures are done using a minimally invasive approach, which typically provides patients with better outcomes and shorter recovery times. Dr. Johnson performs most weight loss surgery procedures laparoscopically, but also uses the advanced, robotic-assisted da Vinci Xi Surgical System.

“The da Vinci is a special tool that uses a robotic platform that allows me to see three-dimensionally during surgery and have greater maneuverability,” said Dr. Johnson. “Having advanced equipment like the da Vinci here at PMC is wonderful for both the surgeons who use it and the patients in our region.”

Qualifying bariatric patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery have small incisions rather than large openings but offer the same benefits as traditional surgery.  Other benefits associated with minimally invasive bariatric procedures include shorter hospital stays, less scarring, a lower risk of infection and less blood loss during surgery.  In addition, many bariatric patients experience an expedited recovery and a quicker return to normal activities.

To learn more about bariatric procedures performed at Pikeville Medical Center, please visit the Center for Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery page at pikevillehospital.org, call (606) 430-2207 or scan the code provided below.