Dr. Joshua Steiner discusses innovative new weight loss surgery program

Dr. Joshua Steiner

We recently spoke with Joshua P. Steiner, MD, FACS, FASMBS, about UK HealthCare’s new Weight Loss Surgery Program.

Dr. Steiner is director of the program, which will be headquartered at UK HealthCare’s Turfland campus. He is an experienced bariatric surgeon specializing in endoscopic and laparoscopic bariatric procedures, as well as minimally invasive approaches to treating gastroesophageal reflux disease.

How long have you been practicing weight loss surgery, and can you tell us a bit about UK HealthCare’s new program?

I've been in private practice in Lexington for the last 20 years. I have been recruited to head up the weight loss surgery program at UK HealthCare, and I'm the director of the program. I'll be joining the likes of master surgeons Dr. William Inabnet and Dr. Scott Roth, two experts in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery, and we will be heading up the most comprehensive, most experienced surgical team in the state. 

We have over 70 years of collective experience between the three of us. I, personally, have participated in approximately 7,000 cases and performed over 3,000 (procedures) myself. And, Dr. Inabnet and Dr. Roth are virtually the same.

We will be offering patients laparoscopic, sleeve gastrectomy, and laparoscopic gastric bypass procedures. We will also consider revisionary procedures for those who have had other procedures in the past. Most of our procedures are performed laparoscopically through small incisions. That enhances the patient's recovery and lowers their risk.

Our office will be located at the UK HealthCare Turfland campus. Parking is free and there is easy access from the parking lot to the office. Our program will be as cost effective as possible, and we will try to consolidate your visits if you're coming from outside of the Lexington area. We also will not have a program fee, which minimizes patient cost. And we will do everything we can to make your journey through our program as seamless as possible.

How can people begin their weight loss journey with UK HealthCare?

The first step for all patients will be to call the office themselves and let one of our office staff know that you're interested in joining the program. We will have an online introductory seminar that's available 24/7 for you to review, and will hopefully answer a lot of your weight loss surgery questions.

Obesity is a disease. In many cases, effective long-term treatment requires more than just diet and exercise. Sadly, most patients will fail a medically-supervised diet and we are here to help those patients who are seeking surgical options for weight loss.

Our staff includes a dieticians Amy Crist and Ciara Ferguson, who also serves as the program director, , Lauren Crockett, our nurse practitioner, Elizabeth McKinney, who will be our nurse coordinator, Brittney Sutherland, our surgery scheduler, and Suzanne White, our intake coordinator. You will meet all of these people during your time with our clinic, and we will also have psychiatric and psychological counseling available, pre-operative and post-operatively as needed.

Can you tell us some specifics about the procedures you will utilize in the program?

Throughout your journey with us, our mission is to help you live a healthier life. Health and wellness goals are different for every person, and we will do our best to strive to meet those in any manner possible.

The surgery options that I mentioned are the laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It is a procedure where we remove about 75 percent of your excess stomach, and it ends up looking like a sleeve. The smaller stomach reduces the amount of food that you can eat and causes hormonal changes that will help you with your weight loss. In addition to the pre-operative and post-operative dietary counseling, this procedure has become the most popular procedure worldwide.

The old gold standard, the laparoscopic gastric bypass, has been performed for over four decades. It is a combination of both restrictive and mildly malabsorption procedure whereupon we reduce the size of the stomach and create a small pouch, and then we bypass about one yard of small intestine. By bypassing the first portion of the stomach, this significantly increases a person's ability to correct and potentially resolve their diabetes, and gives them the weight loss that they desire.

The small pouch reduces the amount of food you can eat, as well as the mild malabsorption assist with your weight loss. It is imperative that with either of these operations, whether it be the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, or the laparoscopic gastric bypass, that you take your vitamins on a daily basis.

We will also be offering revisionary surgery. The revisions that we plan to perform in the future are conversions from an adjustable gastric gland to either a sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric bypass. We would discuss those with you at your first visit at the office.

There are many weight loss procedures that are available, but those are the only two that we will be performing currently. If you are looking for a procedure that is purely restrictive, the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is the procedure for you. It is slightly safer than the laparoscopic gastric bypass, and has no malabsorption issues depending on your medication requirements.

How can weight loss surgery improve long-term health outcomes?

So, when we talk about having bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery, this isn't an operation done just so you can have a great summer and look great in a bathing suit, or show off your muscles to your family. This is something that we perform in order to get you healthier. Patients with increased BMI, or overweight patients for that matter, are at risk for many obesity-related health conditions, which will be improved greatly or potentially resolved with bariatric surgery.

Comorbidity conditions or problems related to increased weight are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke sleep apnea, depression, and many others. There are increased risks of cancer and higher rates of both female and male cancers in the obese population, both in difficulty with detection and higher risk due to just the extra fat on someone's body. Weight loss surgery is far beyond looking good, it's feeling better and getting healthier.

The benefits of this procedure, in our opinion, far outweigh the risks and we will be happy to discuss every question you may have at your in-person or online visit.

If you are interested in pursuing weight loss surgery with our office, your next step would be to call your insurance company to verify that you have bariatric surgical coverage or weight loss surgery benefits. If you do, please call the office and set up an appointment, and you'll be set up a visit with our nurse practitioner.

My partners and I have a passion for weight loss surgery and we look forward to taking care of you.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the UK HealthCare Weight Loss Surgery Program, please call 859-562-1999.

This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

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