Join us on Wednesday, January 24th at 6:30pm for our first ever virtual support group through our new VHPGO app! Rebecca Erdman RD/LD will discuss strategies on successful goal setting towards achieving your healthy weight. This will be a great way to start off the new year!
In order to participate you must have an active VHPGO membership. You can learn more or sign up at LoseWeightCincy/VHPGO
Any active VHPGO membership will work, but the best value is definitely the $99/year flat access.
VHPGO will also give you the ability to do virtual visits with our dietitians right on your phone, which will greatly reduce your office wait times!
You can also attend the support group live, at the usual place in our Cincinnati office (10475 Reading Road).
We are excited about this new technology and would like to encourage everyone to participate. We are offering this at our cost with no markup as I feel strongly that it will improve weight loss outcomes!
Announcing our new, state-of-the-art platform for remote/online support with JourneyLite Physicians!
We are happy to announce our new partnership with Virtual Health Partners! The VHPGO platform allows us to do so much more to help patients get to their goal weight and stay there. Our dietitians can set goals, monitor weight loss, and see how active you are being. Have an appointment with a dietitian but the weather’s bad? With VHPGO it’s no problem you can do it on your phone right from home!
Easily accessible on your smart phone with the VHPGO app, anywhere you go you can always be in touch. Online support groups, physician virtual visits, and an online library of hundreds of useful videos, the VHPGO platform gives our patients the edge they need to succeed!
Here is a sample screenshot with some of the options you can choose from on the Enhanced Package:
Sample options from MyVirtualHP enhanced package.
At an amazingly affordable price of around $13/month for flat access, VHPGO is going to revolutionize the way we interace and support our patients!
Dr. Tracy Pitt is a weight loss surgeon JourneyLite Surgery Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He trained at the Cleveland Clinic and has dedicated his career to helping patients lose weight and improve their health. In the not-so-distant past this meant big operations, big incisions, long hospital stays, and potentially high risk. Now, however, there are many new developments in the field of weight loss procedures that could be real game-changers in the field.
“Many of my patients are interested in losing weight but they don’t want to have surgery” Pitt says. “Diets have failed over and over in the past and they need a more powerful option to succeed.” For decades, gastric bypass was the gold standard, and still is in many circles. But there are two camps who are looking for non-surgical options: those who don’t have enough weight to lose to justify full-on surgery, and those who qualify for surgery but their fears of being cut on outweigh the benefits of bariatric surgery.
Dr. Pitt says “The risk of weight loss surgery has really come way down in the last decade. It’s now no more risky than gallbladder surgery. But the more options we have in our arsenal, the more effective we can be at treating the disease of obesity.” He feels that obesity treatments might be more successful if patients were treated at a lower BMI, intervening earlier rather than waiting for the scale to climb high enough to require gastric bypass.
Dr. Pitt has always been interested in minimally invasive techniques, so much that his entire fellowship was dedicated to minimally invasive surgery. So it was only natural for him to take an interest in weight loss procedures that could be done without surgery altogether. “First we had the gastric balloon” says Pitt, “but many patients are looking to a more permanent tool,” referring to the fact that gastric balloons must be removed after they’ve been in for 6 months. When a new procedure called the Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty, or ESG, came on the horizon, Dr. Pitt scheduled himself for a training course almost immediately.
The ESG procedure uses an endoscopic “sewing machine” called the Overstitch (Apollo Endosurgery) with which Dr. Pitt has extensive experience already. Sutures are placed inside the patients stomach to reduce the gastric volume, while they are under anesthesia. One study has shown that after patients have the ESG, they require 59% fewer calories to achieve maximum fullness. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, early results have been promising. Patients can typically have this procedure done on an outpatient basis and be back to work in about a week.
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty-ESG
Dr. Pitt performed the first ESG in the state of Ohio in August of 2017 at JourneyLite, and he already has dozens more patients who are scheduled for consultations. “The field of weight loss surgery is always evolving towards less invasive procedures” says Dr. Pitt, “and this new option can offer patients a much more durable tool to control their weight than any of the non-surgical methods we have seen in the past.” His first patient, a 35-year-old female with a BMI around 31, wanted to lose weight for two reasons: to improve her health and prevent future disease such as diabetes, and to look and feel her best for her wedding 6 months down the road. “This is the perfect kind of patient for an ESG” says Pitt, “one with a lower BMI who is motivated to make lasting changes in both diet and lifestyle.”
Dr. Pitt is optomistic about the future of ESG, but acknowledges that long-term studies need to be done before doctors can truly know how this will fit into the treatment of obesity. “Until we have those results” Pitt says, “we have to select the best patients who are most likely to be successful with an ESG and are aware of the fact that this is a new procedure that is not yet time-tested.”
For more information on Dr. Tracy Pitt, the ESG, and JourneyLite, visit JourneyLite.com
I am happy to announce that The Center for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery and Metabolic Weight Loss Centers have merged into one company, doing business as JourneyLite Physicians!
Many of you may not have even realized that that there were two companies (one for surgical, and one for medical weight loss and products). This stems from way back in the day when we had a gym at the Cincinnati location. This will greatly simplify things as surgical patients will no longer have to do 2 transactions if purchasing any product.
Same great team, just a different name that supports our strong affiliation with JourneyLite Surgery Center!
The first SIPS procedure in Cincinnati was performed by Dr. Steve Udelhofen at JourneyLite! SIPS stands for Stomach Intestinal Pylorus Sparing, and is a new procedure based on the traditional duodenal switch. The advantage of the SIPS is that the risk is lower as there is only one connection that needs to be made between the GI tract rather than two in the traditional DS, as seen below.
Standard Duodenal Switch
SIPS Procedure or Loop Duodenal Switch
The SIPS procedure is also known as the Loop Duodenal Switch (LDS) and you can see why in the above image. The labels “A” and “C” in the image represent the connection between the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine, and a “loop” of the intestine much farther downstream. This results in much fewer calories being absorbed than the patient actually consumes. The term “pylorus sparing” refers to the fact that the pylorus remains intact, and the connection that is made (A to C) is between intestine and intestine rather than stomach and intestine as in a gastric bypass. This reduces the risk of dumping syndrome and ulcers.
Since the first part of a SIPS procedure is actually a gastric sleeve, it can be a great option for sleeve patients who still need to lose more weight. It is also the procedure of choice among many surgeons for high-BMI patients as many studies show duodenal switch offers the most weight loss, best resolution of diabetes, and lowest chance of long-term weight regain.
The SIPS procedure is done laparoscopically through 5 tiny incisions, takes about 90 minutes, and patients can typically go home in 24 hours. Back to work is generally 2 weeks for non-lifting jobs, and diet is advanced slowly over a period of 4 weeks to solid food.
As the SIPS procedure involves bypassing a significant amount of small intestine, patients must commit to life-long vitamin supplements and yearly lab work to check vitamin levels.
Stretta procedure: First in Cincinnati was done by Dr. Tracy Pitt on Friday, October 28th at JourneyLite!
Dr. Tracy Pitt performing 1st Stretta procedure in Cincinnati at JourneyLite.
Stretta is a technology that allows physicians to deliver thermal energy to the muscular layer of the bottom part of the esophagus and upper stomach. This energy causes these muscle areas to tighten up, which reduces the amount of acid that refluxes up into the esophagus. The end result is that patients have less heartburn symptoms without the need for surgery, and most of the time without need for medications as well.
A recent study by Dr. Mark Noar, who has done thousands of Strettas, showed patients still had markedly reduced hearturn/GERD symptoms even 10 years after this procedure!
The first patient, a 67-year old male, has taken medication for reflux most of his adult life. At times in a single day he would take Prilosec, Pepcid, and Gaviscon and still have breakthrough GERD symptoms. He hopes to be rid of the need for these medications altogether as recent studies show an increased incidence of cardiovascular events, kidney disease, and other serious issues with long-term use.
A thirty minute endoscopic procedure under general anesthesia, complications related to the Stretta procedure are very uncommon. Most patients are able to go back to work the next day. A liquid diet is recommended with a gradual transition to solid food over a few days, during which time acid-reducing medications such as PPI’s (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid) and H2 blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet) are weaned.
Congratulations to Dr. Pitt and the staff at JourneyLite for breaking new ground!
Click to schedule a Stretta/GERD consultation!
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pitt or Dr. Udelhofen to learn more about your GERD treatment options, click here!