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Offering More Choices for Weight Loss; Directed by National Leader in Bariatrics

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STONY BROOK, NY, June 16, 2016 — Today, Stony Brook Medicine celebrated the opening of our new Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center at Nicolls Professional Park on South Howell Avenue in Centereach, NY.

The new, custom-designed, 2,850-square-foot facility will accommodate the growing practice of our Bariatric, Foregut, and Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery Division.

With the opening of the center, the team welcomed our newly promoted bariatric and gastrointestinal surgeon Andrew T. Bates, MD, and two new members of the center's multidisciplinary team, bariatric medicine specialist Alice Greene, MD, and dietitian Megan Bennett, RD.

"We're pleased to offer patients a facility created specifically for their needs, as well as programs and services delivered by leaders in the field," says the center's director, Aurora D. Pryor, MD, professor of surgery and chief of bariatric, foregut, and advanced gastrointestinal surgery. "Whether you're struggling to lose 30 pounds, 50 pounds, 100 pounds, or more, we have the strategies you need to achieve a healthy weight."

This new center will enable more patients in the region to access this gem of a service in a "one stop" clinical environment that is attractive, uplifting, and efficient.

Patients can expect a full comprehensive weight loss care center including pre- and post-surgical care and medical management, diet and nutritional counseling, fitness and exercise coaching, cognitive behavioral therapy and mental health support, and group educational seminars.

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Dr. Aurora D. Pryor, Chief of Bariatric, Foregut, and Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Weigh Loss Center

The team at the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center offers the best in advanced surgical and non-surgical weight loss procedures and treatment.

"Stony Brook Medicine has one of the top Bariatric Surgery Units in the country, led by Dr. Aurora Pryor who is a national authority in the area of bariatrics and a spectacular surgeon," says Mark A. Talamini, MD, professor and chairman of surgery and chief of surgical services at Stony Brook Medicine.

"This new center will enable more patients in the region to access this gem of a service in a 'one stop' clinical environment that is attractive, uplifting, and efficient, and offers the most advanced treatments in weight loss surgery."

Among the newest advances available is the Orbera gastric balloon. FDA-approved in 2015, the Orbera procedure is geared to patients seeking to lose 30 to 50 pounds. [Read about new Obalon balloon, just FDA approved in September with Dr. Pryor's help.]

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The Obera procedure is a non-surgical procedure that involves a balloon placed in the patient's stomach endoscopically and filled with saline solution. Removed after six months, the balloon makes portion control easier. A 12-month customized diet and exercise program help ensure that new habits stick.

"There's no incision, no downtime and minimal risk," says Dr. Pryor. The device has had 20 years of successful use internationally. It is not currently covered by most insurance plans.

"There are many reasons to seek a healthy weight, and at Stony Brook, equally as many tools to help you reach your goals," says Dr. Pryor. Procedures offered at Stony Brook include sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, duodenal switch, revisional surgeries, intragastric balloon, V-bloc vagus nerve stimulator, and other novel devices.

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A healthy weight means better health overall. "With weight loss, many health problems improve or disappear," says Dr. Pryor, "including type 2 diabetes; high blood pressure; joint pain; high cholesterol; sleep apnea; depression; gout; pancreatitis; infertility; sexual health issues; and for women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)."

Research has proven that bariatric surgery patients also have a lower risk for stroke, cancer, and pregnancy complications. And then there are the personal and lifestyle benefits — looking better, feeling better, and having more energy to devote to work, fun, and family.

Our Bariatric, Foregut, and Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery Division's success is reflected in its outcomes — which are among the best nationally — and in its national accreditation.

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Stony Brook has earned the highest level of accreditation for the broadest range of procedures and patients through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), the only accreditation program recognized by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

MBSAQIP accreditation demonstrates our Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center's commitment to delivering the highest-quality care for bariatric surgery patients.

To earn MBSAQIP accreditation, Stony Brook University Hospital met the essential criteria that ensure its ability to support a bariatric surgical care program and measure up to the institutional performance requirements outlined by the MBSAQIP accreditation standards.

The Stony Brook Medicine Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center was the first MBSAQIP-accredited comprehensive bariatric center in our community.

In the United States, more than 15 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. At present, weight loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity. Therefore, the American College of Surgeons believes it is of utmost importance to extend its quality initiatives to accrediting bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist the public in identifying those facilities that provide optimal surgical care for patients who undergo this surgical procedure.

Learn more about the Stony Brook Medicine Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center. For consultations/appointments with our bariatric specialists, please call 631-444-2274.