The first bariatric surgery was performed recently at Gwinnett Medical Center – Duluth and in Gwinnett County . The surgery was performed by Robert Richard, MD.
Robert Richard, MD, FACS, is the medical director of the program and a board-certified surgeon who has performed bariatric procedures for more than a decade. He came to GMC-Duluth in January to develop the Center for Surgical Weight Management program. The program is the first and only bariatrics program in Gwinnett County. The program also relies on sister programs at GMC-Duluth to maximize the continuum of care for the whole person, such as the Center for Sleep Disorders, the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center and more.
“Obesity is a disease that causes several other co-morbidities that we have to treat in their early stages (i.e. sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure) The goal of bariatric surgery is to prevent these diseases,” said Dr. Richard. “The side effect is being thin, but it is not our sole motive for these patients. Better health is our main goal – being thin is a benefit for their quality of life.”
Studies show that bariatric surgical procedures can result in significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and a reduction in mortality. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions.