Highly-experienced bariatric surgeon Julie Kim, MD, FACS, was appointed the new chief of Tufts Medical Center’s Weight and Wellness Center (WWC) in 2012. One of the largest and most innovative surgical and medical weight-loss programs in New England, surgeons at the WWC have performed laparoscopic surgeries on more than 4,000 patients to date.
Kim, who previously served as the Center’s co-director and as division chief of bariatric surgery, and her team of surgeons including Sajani Shah, MD, FACS and Michael Tarnoff, MD, FACS are pleased to work with referring physicians on consultations and referrals for primary and revisional surgery. The WWC surgeons have extensive experience and are leaders in laparoscopic and minimally-invasive surgical techniques. They are highly respected throughout the country as leaders within their field.
“I very much enjoy working with our patients and the physicians who refer them,” said Kim who has been at Tufts Medical Center since 2003. “The field of weight-loss surgery is evolving rapidly and one of the exciting parts of my work is making sure our patients can take advantage of advances in the field as quickly as possible.”
As a national “Center of Excellence” as designated by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), the society’s highest level of accreditation, Tufts MC’s Weight and Wellness Center offers its patients both surgical and non-surgical weight loss options. It boasts a full support team including behavioral therapists, nutritionists, physicians, physician assistants and nurses, all exclusively dedicated to nutritional and obesity-related issues to help patients achieve safe, effective and long-lasting results.
Surgical options at the WWC include gastric bypass, gastric banding, and vertical sleeve gastrectomy – a newer operation that is endorsed by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the American Medical Association (see sidebar). All surgeries are done laparoscopically, resulting in a faster, safer recovery with less chance of infection and no large scars.
Medical weight loss is another option available for patients at Tufts Medical Center. Medical weight loss at the WWC includes four major program components– Behavioral (development of coping skills, exercise readiness, general problem-solving strategies), nutritional (better food choices, individualized meal plans), physical activity (increasing the amount of daily physical activity, individually tailored activity plans), and pharmacological (medications prescribed to help with appetite control, supervised meal-replacement program).
Over the past year, Tufts Medical Center has continued to grow its Weight and Wellness Center program by bringing its services to its affiliate hospitals. Patients can now begin their weight loss journey closer to home as our surgeons are providing direct care for patients at MetroWest Medical Center and Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and are conducting informational sessions and a post-operative support group at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth.