New Rush Center for Obesity and Bariatric Surgery opens

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Being overweight or obese isn't a cosmetic problem. These conditions greatly raise your risk for other health problems including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers and other chronic issues.

The new Rush Center for Obesity and Bariatric Surgery at Rush University Medical Center offers the latest minimally invasive surgical procedures, comprehensive non-surgical approaches, support programs and research for the treatment of obesity.

Patients will be cared for by a team that includes surgeons, endocrinologists, nurses, dieticians and psychologists led by Dr. Alfonso Torquati, who was recently appointed as the section chief of metabolic and bariatric surgery and as director of the Rush Center for Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery.

Torquati brings to Chicago more than 20 years of experience at Duke University and Vanderbilt University, where he developed an international reputation as a leader in bariatric and foregut surgery and obesity research.

"Bariatric surgery is a highly effective, long-term treatment for morbid obesity," said Torquati. "The majority of people who have bariatric surgery are able to lose excess weight and keep it off according to research we have conducted."

"People who have bariatric surgery lower their risk of dying from obesity-related conditions compared to severely obese people who do not have surgery," said Torquati.

The center offersa full range of bariatric surgical procedures using minimally invasive techniques that allow careful selection of treatment based on individual patient circumstances. Surgical procedures include:
-Laparoscopic gastrectomy: removal of part of the stomach
-Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding: placement of an adjustable band around the upper portion of your stomach
-Gastric bypass: creation of a small pouch from the upper stomach that is connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing much the of the digestive tract
-Duodenal switch: combination of gastric bypass and intestinal bypass
-Revision surgery: correction of problems that led to complications or weight gain after a previous bariatric procedure.

Joining Torquati's team is Dr. Philip Omotosho, a surgeon and assistant professor in the department of general surgery, section of metabolic and bariatric surgery.

Omotosho brings five years of experience from Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, where he was an attending surgeon and assistant professor.

Omotosho is a leader in his field who has served national roles in professional societies, published in peer-reviewed journals and conducted significant research.

"As the new premiere center for obesity and bariatric surgery for Chicago and the Midwest, our focus will be to successfully treat patients, improve their quality of life and continue making strides in obesity research," said Torquati.

The surgeons at the new Rush Center for Obesity and Bariatric Surgery have performed more than 2,000 bariatric procedures. Research indicates that experienced surgeons have better outcomes and lower complication rates.

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