SOURCE: Heart of America Bariatrics

August 21, 2012 06:01 ET

Popular St. Louis Bariatric Surgeons Say Gastric Sleeve Procedures Are on the Rise

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 2012) - St. Louis bariatric surgeons Dr. Van Wagner and Dr. Jay Snow report a significant increase in the number of gastric sleeve procedures in the recent past. Confirmed by reports from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), Drs. Wagner and Snow say the procedure has become a widely popular solution for severe obesity across the country through the increase of patient awareness. The gastric sleeve is quickly being recognized as one of the most successful options for patients who require significant weight loss.

Since 2009, Dr. Wagner and Dr. Snow say their weight loss surgery practice, Heart of America Bariatrics, has seen gastric sleeve procedures rise in demand by over 200%, now representing 50% of their total surgical volume. They say the recent growth in demand is likely a result of a number of factors, including increased patient education and innovative developments in the techniques and technology associated with the procedure.

"More and more patients are requesting the gastric sleeve as an alternative to either the gastric band or the gastric bypass. I feel this is from patients who take it upon themselves to learn about the different options and the risks and benefits of each," says Dr. Wagner.

The Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed by removing a portion of the stomach, leaving behind a small sleeve that remains connected to the small intestine and does not require any intestinal rerouting. The advanced laparoscopic surgeons at Heart of America Bariatrics use tiny incisions and high-tech instruments to reduce the effective size of the stomach. This minimally invasive approach decreases pain and gets patients out of the hospital and back to their normal activities quicker than the traditional open approach. Dr. Wagner is the only surgeon in the St. Louis area using the PULS® technique, which has a significant advance of maximal cosmetic appearance. The single umbilical incision usually heals to the point that the scar retracts into the depths of the umbilicus and the scar cannot be seen. Dr. Wagner says as the hospital stay is usually about one day and patients typically return to work within a week of having the procedure.

As the popularity of weight loss surgery continues to increase, so does the need to consult with a properly trained, board-certified bariatric surgeon. The surgeons urge patients to weigh the gravity of a decision to undergo weight loss surgery and to research thoroughly all options before choosing a practice or procedure. Dr. Snow says that because bariatric surgery is a life-long commitment, patients should be ready to make a significant change to their lifestyle and nutritional habits. He adds that patients that do so can make a significant improvement to their life without the burdens of obesity, and says the staff members at Heart of America Bariatrics are dedicated to making sure patients achieve the highest quality results.

About Van L. Wagner, MD

Dr. Van Wagner graduated from New York Medical College and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Throughout his career, Dr. Wagner has performed more than 1200 gastric banding procedures, 600 gastric bypass procedures, and over 100 laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies. Over 500 of Dr. Wagner's cases have been performed using the PULS® single incision approach.

About Jay M. Snow, MD

A graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Dr. Jay Snow completed his general surgery residency at the University of Oklahoma and a yearlong fellowship in bariatric surgery at the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery. He is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. Dr. Snow has delivered numerous lectures at conferences nationwide and also supports non-profit organizations such as Project Haiti, teaching laparoscopy to surgical residents in Pignon, Haiti.

Both Dr. Wagner and Dr. Snow are scheduling new patients in the office, so call now to schedule your consultation.

Located at 10007 Kennerly Road in St. Louis, MO, Heart of America Bariatrics can be reached at (314) 776-7112. It can also be contacted online via the website or

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