Author: CJ Peters
Dr. Husain Abbas, FACS
Everybody knows that there is a surge of cases in Florida, but these tend to be in the younger population. We have not seen an increase in hospitalization. We do everything that needs to be done to make sure that our patients are protected.
- The first thing that we do is we’ve limited the number of visitors – specifically unnecessary visitors. And even when patients come in, we are trying to limit who actually comes and who doesn’t.
- Universal mask wearing. Everybody must wear a mask. The mask is really not for me. This mask does not protect me, but I’d like to think that by wearing this mask, I am protecting others. That has been adopted at our hospital here in Jacksonville.
- Everybody gets tested for COVID-19. I myself and my group have been very liberal with testing everybody. We would rather know if somebody’s positive because they may be asymptomatic and of course we can just delay the surgery.
So, all of these factors have been put in place because we truly believe it’s extremely important not to delay something (bariatric surgery, other general surgical procedures) that could give patients such a tremendous benefit.
If we do feel that perhaps the risks are starting to go up and we start seeing increasing hospitalizations, we will be the first to tell our patients. Just like we did not too long ago. We, in fact, stopped all elective cases until we figure out what exactly is this virus what it does…how does it affect patients? We stopped all elective surgery for six weeks.
What I can tell you is if I was a patient, or if I had a family member, I would happily bring them here because I do believe we’re doing everything possible to ensure the safety, which is the number one priority of our patients. And, of course, the second is delivering excellent care and getting the patient in the hospital and out of the hospital in a timely but efficient fashion.
Transcript (slightly edited for ease of reading)
Jenny: Just talking about bariatric surgery. Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?
Dr. Abbas: Generally speaking, anybody that has a BMI greater than 35. And the way you calculate your BMI is… Everybody has a smartphone now – just type in your height and type in your weight in a BMI calculator and you’ll actually get your BMI. So, BMI greater than 35 with a medical condition such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia which is elevated cholesterol or hypertension or if somebody has a BMI of 40. So, again, if you just type in BMI calculator in your Google search, you’ll find it. It is your weight relative to your height. So, BMI stands for the Body Mass Index.
So those are the patients who are actually on our candidates for bariatric surgery.
Full Transcript, Slightly Edited for Ease of Reading
News4JAX – During this time of uncertainty, with COVID-19, it’s no surprise people are dealing with much added stress. Unfortunately, that can cause health problems, including hemorrhoid flare-ups. According to Harvard Health, more than 75% of people, ages 45 and older, have had hemorrhoids with symptoms like rectal pain, itching and bleeding after a bowel movement. Joining me now with more, is Dr. Alex Crean from Memorial Hospital. Dr. Crean, thank you so much for joining us this morning
Dr. Crean – Good morning Zack thank you for having me.
Hernias do not always present with obvious signs or symptoms and many patients will live for decades, or even their entire lives not knowing they have a hernia. Because of the relatively low risk of strangulation, we do not actively screen for asymptomatic hernias and only consider hernia surgery once they become symptomatic.
However, symptomatic hernia may cause interference with lifestyle pursuits and this is the best indication for corrective surgery. Interestingly, the relationship between the size of the hernia and the pain that it causes is not linear. In other words, small hernias may be very painful while large hernias may not be. So, whether or not a patient should have surgery is more a result of the kind of hernia and its symptoms versus its size.
In the forefront of virtually every patient’s mind, when they are about to undergo bariatric surgery, is whether it will be successful and they will lose a significant amount of weight. The short answer is that the vast majority of patients do very well and approximately 80% of patients will meet their long-term weight loss goals. While this success rate is far greater than the 5-or-so percent success rate of diet and exercise alone, many patients are still concerned about whether they will become one of the 20% who do not succeed. But let’s explore what success actually means.
First and foremost, the name “weight loss surgery” is not fully accurate or reflective of success after the procedure. Bariatric surgery is not about weight loss – losing weight is simply a very tangible and wonderful side effect. Our main goal is to improve or eliminate the diseases associated with morbid obesity. These are ultimately the causes of early death, significant lifestyle impairment, and serious emotional problems. And while most patients see and feel some of these downsides, there are many more that silently exist in the background. Type II diabetes, certain forms of cancer, heart disease, an increased risk of stroke, joint degradation, and many, many more may not be readily seen or felt on a day-to-day basis.
Bariatric surgery is a last resort
One of the comments we hear most often from our patients is that they simply waited too long to have bariatric surgery and they wish they would have done it sooner. Thinking back on the months and years when they were unable to tie their shoes, play with their kids or grandkids, fit into a carnival ride or airplane seat can be discouraging, as these are all things that they may be able to do now, often just six months to a year after surgery. It can be difficult to reconcile the fact that so many years were lost to this preventable and curable disease of obesity. Unfortunately, this is the case for most of our patients because they believed that bariatric surgery was the last resort. They spent years and thousands of dollars trying diets, supervised medical weight loss programs, and even pills to help them lose weight. But for most, the weight simply came back– sometimes even more so than before. This cycle is hard to break because, simply put, weight loss surgery has been branded as a last resort.