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Contact: Kristi Gooden, 615/284-5446 kristi.gooden@baptisthospital.com

BAPTIST HOSPITAL MAKES WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY MORE AFFORDABLE; EXTENDS DISCOUNT FOR SELF-PAY PATIENTS AND PERSONALIZED SERVICES

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - April 16, 2010 - To allow more patients the opportunity of affordable weight loss surgery, the Metabolic Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital has extended its discount for Lap-Band surgery for self-pay patients. The cost of the Lap-Band procedure has been reduced by 25 percent - from $16,100 to $12,000 - for self-pay patients only.

For self-pay patients, paying for weight loss surgery can weigh heavily on the final decision to undergo the procedure.

"We introduced this promotion late in the fall and it has been extremely popular for those patients who don't have insurance coverage for weight loss surgery and have to pay for the surgery on their own," said Dawn Gibson, manager of the Metabolic Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital. "With the state of the economy today, a 25 percent discount is attractive and we've had hundreds of inquiries and more than 40 patients take advantage of the surgery. Combined, these patients have lost more than 1,000 pounds over the past three months."

Some patients have traveled many miles to take advantage of the promotion, including Jason Minix of Scottsville, Ky., who has lost 67 pounds since his surgery on Dec. 28, 2009.

"I had tried everything to lose weight. I was familiar with Lap Band weight loss surgery as a possible option for me. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn't cover it. I heard about the discount for self-pay patients at Baptist Hospital and took advantage of it," said Minix. "It's worth it and I'm so glad I had the surgery. It was money well spent to improve my quality of life."

The Lap-Band discount includes the surgical procedure with no overnight stay or complications, as well as three months of Lap-Band adjustments.

In addition to the Lap-Band discount, the Metabolic Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital is focused on providing services to meet the individual needs of each patient. These services include expanded access to registered dietitians for nutritional consults and personalized recommendations on fitness options and goals, as patients navigate their new lifestyle modifications. The center recently added a psychiatric nurse practitioner who is available to all patients as they progress through their weight loss journey. In addition, financing options are available through CareCredit.

The Lap-Band, or laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, is a purely restrictive weight loss procedure that limits solid food intake by surgically inserting an inflatable band completely around the uppermost part of the stomach. This minimally-invasive and reversible procedure does not include cutting or stapling of the stomach and there is no bypassing of the intestines. Nearly all patients can go home the same day as the procedure.

Lap-Band restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at a meal. Any food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order allowing it to be fully absorbed into the body.

"The Lap-Band is a tool and one of the most common weight loss procedures done today. While it's not for everyone and does require lifestyle modifications, it's helping us successfully treat many patients," said Dr. Charles Morton, medical director of the Metabolic Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital. "These patients are investing in a healthier future."

Ideal candidates for Lap-Band surgery include patients who:

  • Are at least 100 pounds overweight or have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or at least a BMI of 35 with one or more obesity-related health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.
  • Are at least 18 to 65 years old.
  • Have made serious attempts to lose weight and have had only short-term success.
  • Are prepared to make substantial changes in eating habits and lifestyle.

The Metabolic Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital is one of the most comprehensive weight loss surgery programs in the country, providing patients with proven open and laparoscopic surgical options, such as Lap-Band, gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and duodenal switch, which correct metabolic deficiencies. The center and its surgeons are designated as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

For more information about the Lap-Band Wellness Stimulus Package, call (615) 284-2400 or visit www.baptistweightloss.com. The Metabolic Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital is located adjacent to the hospital in Medical Plaza I at 2021 Church Street, Suite 104, in Nashville, Tenn.

Baptist Hospital, located in Nashville, Tenn., is a member of Saint Thomas Health Services, a faith-based ministry with more than 6,500 associates serving Middle Tennessee. Saint Thomas Health Services' regional health system consists of four hospitals - Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville - and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics, cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices, the Center for Spinal Surgery, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. STHS is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.baptisthospital.com or www.sths.com.