Swedish Opening Bariatric Surgery Program

Swedish Opening Bariatric Surgery Program

SEATTLE, March 7, 2007 – Swedish today announced it has recruited, Ross McMahon, M.D., from Duke University to be medical director of the new Swedish Weight Loss Surgery Program, one of the most comprehensive weight loss surgery centers in the country.

An experienced bariatric surgeon, Dr. McMahon took part in many of the early laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypasses while at Duke University, and prior to that helped expand the Minimally Invasive Surgery Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

"The Pacific Northwest region is experiencing a tremendous growth in the number of residents with morbid obesity. In 1985, less than 10 percent of Washington state residents were morbidly obese, whereas today more than 20 percent fit into that category," said Dr. McMahon. "Bariatric surgery has undergone tremendous growth over the past few years due to the rapid rise in obesity rates and Swedish is looking to lead the charge locally by providing a very effective approach to addressing morbid obesity."

The Swedish Weight Loss Surgery Program will offer two types of bariatric surgeries – the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and the Adjustable Gastric Band (or Lap Band) surgery. The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery is the most frequently performed weight loss procedure in the United States. It involves creating a small pouch from the original stomach, thereby limiting food intake. The Lap Band is a purely restrictive procedure that limits solid food intake by surgically inserting an inflatable band completely around the uppermost part of the stomach.

A comprehensive and multi-disciplinary program, patients will begin the Swedish Weight Loss Surgery Program with an exhaustive assessment and preparation phase including physical and psychological assessments. Patient education is at the heart of the Swedish program. The program's experienced team will include nurses, nutritionists and psychologists, all dedicated to ensuring that surgery is the best choice for patients. The program will provide patients the support they need before, during and long after their procedure as they return for follow-up for years after the surgery with their progress and outcome extensively monitored.

To qualify for surgery, patients must be defined as morbidly obese – approximately 100 pounds or more above their ideal body weight – have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 40, or greater than 35 with serious health complications, and have repeatedly failed at non-surgical methods of weight loss, such as diet and exercise.

To contact the Swedish Weight Loss Surgery Program, call 206-215-2090.


Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard – a freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiac care, oncology, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org

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