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Home > Archive-Old > Blog > 2011 > 06 > page > 2

New Guidelines for Patients Considering Weight Loss Surgery

On June 7, 2011 | At 8:36 am

Peter T. Hallowell, MD, a surgeon and the director of the bariatric program at UVA, contributed this post.

Obesity has become an epidemic in America.

More than a third of Americans are obese, meaning their weight could be hurting their health. Obesity increases the risk for chronic health conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

For most people who are obese, or simply overweight, the first step toward weight loss should be a healthy diet and exercise. But some severely overweight people may find that diet and exercise are not enough. For these people, gastric banding might be an option.

Weight-Loss Surgery: New Possibilities

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has broadened the eligibility guidelines for a surgical procedure called gastric banding that can help obese people who have tried to lose weight and failed.

How have the FDA recommendations changed?
Previously, the FDA recommended the procedure for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or those with a BMI of 35 or above with a serious weight-related medical condition. (BMI is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight.)

Now, after reviewing the safety and effectiveness of gastric banding, the FDA has relaxed the guidelines, opening the surgery to people who have:

  • A BMI of 30 to 34
  • A minimum of 30 pounds to lose
  • A serious weight-related condition

What is Gastric Banding?

This minimally invasive procedure installs a silicone band around the top portion of the stomach. This limits the amount of food you can consume, so you feel full faster.

Filed under : Digestive,Surgery | By
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A Mid-Flight Rescue by a UVA Nurse

On June 6, 2011 | At 1:04 pm
Jacque Griffin, RN

Jacque Griffin, RN

A 51-year-old man boards a plane with his wife for a well-deserved vacation. One hour later, his wife is yelling for a doctor. Miraculously, a trained nurse comes to the rescue and resuscitates the man to the cheers of passengers.

Sounds perfect for the big screen or a soap opera, right?

Only this time, it’s not made for the movies. It’s real, and Jacque Griffin, RN, director of Clinical Operations at UVA’s Transitional Care Hospital, is the humble heroine.

“I did what anyone else would do, and I am so grateful that I was there,” she said.

“I have to say, the experience really is nothing like what you would think it’s like. The space is very small. No one knows how to help you. It was hard. It was really hard,” said Griffin.


Filed under : Nursing,The People of UVA | By
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Caring for Our Patients: It’s the Little Things

On June 2, 2011 | At 9:06 am
Caring for our patients

Chief Nursing Officer Lorna Facteau, RN, presents Fritz Angle, MD, and Debbie Romano, RN, with balloons for their efforts in caring for a young patient.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can mean so much: a warm smile, taking a few extra seconds, holding a door. They may seem small, but they can make a difference.

Snow for One Pediatric Patient

For one nurse, going the extra mile meant venturing outside last year to get a bowl of snow for a pediatric cancer patient.

“It was just something that I did,” says Donna Conley, RN. “It was a cancer patient who had just had surgery and he couldn’t go outside. His mom said that he loves snow. It put a smile on his face. It was nice to be able to do that for him. He was two and he passed about a month later. I think sometimes nurses do way more than what people see. Sometimes it’s the little things that you do that make a difference.”

Comforting a Young Boy Through a Test

A few months ago, a team from interventional radiology, a procedure-based unit, was recognized for their efforts to comfort a patient during a diagnostic test for Cushing’s Disease.

The mother of the patient wrote this: “The care that James* received was extraordinary. Dr. [John] Angle was personable, confident and trustworthy. [The other team members] demonstrated that rare combination of stellar expertise, compassion and humor. I have never felt so comfortable entrusting my son to someone else’s care as I did that day. They were not only wonderfully attentive to him, but they also obviously had a terrific working relationship with each other, which created an atmosphere of warmth, calm and professionalism. The way that team members interact with each other has as much impact on the quality of patient care as the direct care of the patient.”

Staff members like these have been recognized for going the extra mile to make a visit to UVA a little more comfortable for our patients and their families.

*Name changed to protect patient confidentiality

Filed under : Patient Stories,The People of UVA | By
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4 Steps to Sun Safety for Your Kids

On June 1, 2011 | At 1:11 pm

Young girl using sunscreen
“Sunscreen time!”

“I don’t want it!”
Sound familiar? Getting kids, whether toddlers or teenagers, to stand still long enough for you to adequately cover them with sunscreen can be a daunting task. But it’s a crucial one; children get most of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18. And since that exposure is the main cause of skin cancer – the number one cancer in the United States – your efforts now play an incredibly important part of your child’s future health.

Sunburns Aren’t Safe

For those of us who were children 20 to 40 years ago, it may be surprising to learn that sunburns aren’t just uncomfortable or a source of wrinkles; they can put your child at risk of:

  • Skin cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

In fact, just two or more blistering sunburns increase a child’s skin cancer risk. What to do?