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UNC Lenoir Health Care Performs First Weight Loss Surgery

Posted On: March 15 2017

In January of 2017, UNC Lenoir Health Care launched a new service line for weight management.  The service includes medical and surgical options for weight loss and each component comes with medical supervision, nutrition counseling, and lifestyle counseling. The program is led by Dr. Charles Moore and Dr. Joel Rose.  Moore specializes in advanced laparoscopic surgery and bariatric surgery. He attended Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for his medical degree and completed his residency there as well. Moore is Board Certified by the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.  Rose specializes in advanced gastrointestinal, minimally invasive and bariatric surgery.  He attended the University of Connecticut School Of Medicine, and completed his surgical residency at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. He completed a bariatric fellowship program at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Rose is board certified by the American College of Surgery.

Obesity is associated with a 50-100% increased risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals.  There is a greater risk of several cancers as well as diabetes and hypertension for obese people.  Medical options include a comprehensive, physician-monitored weight loss program called Optifast, for patients who prefer a non-surgical method of weight loss. The 12-week Optifast Program offers 4-5 weeks of nutritionally dense full meal replacements to initiate weight loss.  Patients are seen for weekly one-on-one coaching sessions with a registered dietitian and bimonthly visits with a physician.  Patients are provided with personalized guidance from an exercise specialist and are offered health coaching sessions as well as bimonthly group support sessions.  Lifelong support and guidance is available after the 12 week program completion.  We also offer weight management medical nutrition therapy with a dietitian for patients that are interested in other ways to lose or manage their weight.

For patients who prefer and are found appropriate for a surgical remedy, bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective and durable treatment for morbid obesity.  The mortality rate with bariatric surgery is about 0.1% less than gallbladder (0.7%) and hip replacement (0.93%) surgery.  The clinical evidence shows risks of morbid obesity outweigh risks of bariatric surgery and patients may lose as much as 60% of excess weight six months after surgery, and 77% of excess weight as early as 12 months after surgery.

UNC Lenoir Health Care spent the last 18-24 months researching the possibility of bringing a weight loss program to this area and found it to be a needed service in eastern North Carolina.  This program was designed to offer participants the highest level of success potential through coaching and medical monitoring.  There is substantial, long-term physician supervision that is unusual in weight loss programs.  Patients of the UNC Lenoir Health Care Weight Loss Program can expect to be followed by their physician for the rest of their lives.


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