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Stony Brook University Hospital Opens New Bariatric Surgery Inpatient Unit
Dedicated unit enhances resources available to bariatric patients

Participating in a recent ribbon-cutting for Stony Brook University Hospital’s inpatient bariatric rooms are, left to right: Catherine Tuppo, PT, MS Program Coordinator, Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center; Kathryn Cottell, MS, RD Dietician, Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center; Genna Hymowitz, PhD, Psychologist, Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center; Carol Gomes, MS, FACHE, CPHQ, Director of Operations Stony Brook Medicine; Patricia Friedman, Administative Assistant, Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center; Aurora Pryor, MD, Professor and Chief of Surgery, Director, Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center; Todd Rosengart, MD, Professor and Chairman Department of Surgery, Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery; Josephine Connolly-Schoonen, PhD, RD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Executive Director, Nutrition Division Stony Brook Medicine; and Donna Keehner-Nowak, Associate Director of Nursing, Perioperative, Surgical and Perinatal Services
STONY BROOK, N.Y., July 31, 2012 –The Stony Brook Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center at Stony Brook University Hospital has opened a dedicated patient unit located on the hospital’s ninth floor designed to accommodate the unique needs of the bariatric patient population. As it nears its first anniversary, Stony Brook Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center currently has 400 patients enrolled. The new Unit was created to accommodate the rapidly growing program.
 
According to Aurora Pryor, MD, Professor and Chief of General Surgery at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center at Stony Brook Medicine, the bariatric unit is an added and important resource to her team of bariatric surgeons who perform advanced, minimally invasive weight loss surgery in 10 state-of-the-art operating rooms.
 
The new private bariatric inpatient rooms are furnished with special beds and chairs for the comfort of larger patients. These spacious accommodations are designed to provide patients with more room to get up and start walking, allowing for a quicker recovery time. Glass-tiled bathrooms are spa-like in design and equipped with larger showers and high-quality, safety-conscious grab bars and fixtures. The rooms also have lift systems and air-inflated hover mats for safe and easy transfer to a bed or stretcher.  
 
“Patients are excited by our comprehensive medical and surgical programs within our center and the array of procedures we can do laparoscopically,” said Dr. Pryor. The new unit reflects Stony Brook’s commitment to helping bariatric surgery patients feel comfortable, recover faster, experience a smoother stay and receive the highest quality care.”
 
Gastric bypass patient Kathleen Johnson is a typical example. Johnson, age 46, is a critical care emergency medical technician and Port Jefferson’s volunteer ambulance chief. She had her first weight loss surgery 12 years ago at another facility when she was 365 pounds. Multiple complications, severe infections, additional open surgeries and lengthy hospitalizations over the next decade left her in chronic pain and struggling with obesity again, when she was referred to Dr. Pryor.
 
“Because of all the problems I had with my weight loss surgery before, I developed a great deal of internal scar tissue that was causing severe pain,” Johnson said. “Equally important, I needed help with my weight. In all honesty, I thought I was going to have to have another large, open surgery. I didn’t believe Dr. Pryor could remove the scar tissue as well re-do my gastric bypass using just a laparoscope and a couple of tiny incisions. Not only did she do so successfully, but soon afterward I was pain-free for the first time in years.”
 
Johnson, whose surgery at Stony Brook was performed on Feb. 7, is now just 14 pounds from her goal weight. She is working and volunteering 60 to 80 hours a week, and in her spare time, walking her neighborhood in Mount Sinai, camping with her friends and enjoying time with her extended family. “I credit the programs and people at Stony Brook,” she said.
 
Stony Brook's new private bariatric inpatient rooms are furnished with special beds and chairs for the comfort of larger patients. These spacious accommodations are designed to provide patients with more room to get up and start walking, allowing for a quicker recovery time.
Another addition to the program will occur on Aug. 1, when bariatric surgeon Dana Telem, MD, joins the Stony Brook Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center. Dr. Telem will enhance a multidisciplinary team that includes anesthesiologists, diabetes specialists/endocrinologists, dietitians/nutritionists, gastrointestinal specialists, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, physician assistants, plastic surgeons, program coordinators, psychologists and sleep specialists.
 
Learn more about Stony Brook’s Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center by watching an online webinar at bariatrics.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/webinar. Or join the program’s physicians and staff at a free community seminar held regularly. Call HealthConnect at (631) 444-4000 to register.
 
For more information about the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center call Catherine Tuppo, Program Coordinator, at (631) 444-BARI (2274).
 
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About Stony Brook University Hospital:
Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) is Long Island’s premier academic medical center. With 597 beds, SBUH serves as the region’s only tertiary care center and Level 1 Trauma Center, and is home to the Stony Brook Heart Institute, Stony Brook Cancer Center, Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital, Stony Brook Neurosciences Institute, and Stony Brook Digestive Disorders Institute. SBUH also encompasses Suffolk County’s only Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center, state-designated AIDS Center, state-designated Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, state-designated Burn Center, the Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, and Kidney Transplant Center. It is home of the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

© Stony Brook University 2012