About MBS | MBS Difference | Our Team | Resources | FAQs | Contact Us 
 
Go Home
Go To Success Stories
Go To About Obesity
Go To Bariatric Solutions
Go To Your Surgery Path
Go To Lighten Your Life Community
Go To Seminars
Go To News & Articles
 
Raymond F. Georgen, M.D.
 
<< Surgical Staff
 
Interviewer: Tell me about your interest in helping morbidly obese patients through bariatric surgery.

Dr. Georgen: Unfortunately, what's been happening across our country is that the disease of morbid obesity has become more and more prevalent. Fortunately, with the advancements in medicine and surgery, more effective operations are out there for the control of this disease.

One of the reasons we have become very active in bariatric surgery is that we have to deal with the aftermath of this disease. We have to treat the significant co-morbidities such as reflux disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, joint problems and higher incidences of cancer. All of these medical diseases cause problems which we commonly deal with in our surgical practice.

The root cause of many of these problems is morbid obesity.

It's our feeling that, if we can treat the root cause of these problems, we can perhaps cure them, or improve them dramatically.

With that in mind, Dr. Wasco and I have been making available to patients throughout Northeastern Wisconsin, the most current and effective operations for the treatment of this disease.

Interviewer: Tell me what you enjoy most about Midwest Bariatric Solutions.

Dr. Georgen: There are many things that we deal with in our general surgical practice that we can treat partially or we never know if we improved it 100 percent.

With bariatric patients, we know that if we get a significant amount of weight off these individuals, their entire lives will change.

There's no happier day of the week than when we have bariatric office on Fridays. We see people back in post-operative follow-up as they get further out from their surgery date. They've lost the weight and their lives have changed. They're able to wear that new dress or those new pants that are much smaller. Many are able to play with their children or grandchildren and run with them.

As far as I know, we only go through this life once and if you can go through it with a better quality of life, it's going to be a better life.

Interviewer: What are the differences in taking care of morbidly obese patients compared to your other surgical patients?

Dr. Georgen: Unlike a lot of the surgeries we do, this is semi-elective. I say semi-elective because if we don't get this morbid obesity turned around, all kinds of other major medical issues are going to occur. But unlike someone who comes in with a gunshot wound to the chest or a car accident, a bariatric surgery patient ultimately chooses to have the procedure.

Even though it's elective surgery, the weight issue needs to be addressed and turned around and that's why we do it.

By and large, a morbidly obese patient will die between 10 and 15 years earlier than a normal weighted individual.

One of the things you realize quickly as a surgeon who takes care of people with this disease is that there are many, many associated medical problems and these people are often times very ill.

Their tissues are worse than they may look when you may see them and you can never underestimate how potentially ill they can get.

We are very focused on detail with these types of patients.

One of the biggest differences with bariatric surgery is that it's a voyage. It's not as if you come in and have your gallbladder removed and then we see you in a week or two and that's it. The bariatric patients are long-term follow-ups because they have to learn to use the tool that we give them.

Just like when you buy a new appliance at the store and you need servicing, we have to be available for the patient's follow-up needs.

That's different than a lot of other types of surgery and we make that commitment to following our patients very closely afterwards.

At times it can be very difficult. Dr. Wasco and I often times will tell our bariatric patients that they'll have a love/hate relationship with us. There's a lot of hate up front and a lot more love down the road! That's a lot different from other surgical patients.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to consider bariatric surgery?

Dr. Georgen: Information gathering is very important. You really need to read up on things. You need to know what medical conditions that you may or may not have. Look critically at your ability to lose weight on your own in terms of dieting. There are people out there who can do it on their own with dieting. But, statistically, people who reach BMI's of over 35, their chances of losing a significant amount of weight and, more importantly, keeping that weight off, is unfortunately, quite dismal.

Once you have that recognition that you have this disease of morbid obesity, then it's a matter of seeking out a competent program that not only has high-quality surgeons, but also offers support in terms of psychological and nutritional counseling as well as support groups afterwards which is such a key element.

People need to choose hospitals that are used to taking care of morbidly obese patients.

One thing is that when people come to us, we don't see the people who've won, we don't see the people who have been successful with dieting - they don't need the surgery. Everybody who comes to see us has maybe won short-term and lost weight and then promptly regained it, or has never been able to lose weight at all.

Our goal is to make everyone a winner. Nobody wants to lose again. This is a huge commitment when you make the decision to have bariatric surgery, so you need to go to a place where you have that type of infrastructure. We feel that we do. It's a dynamic process. We continue to want to improve our process and we listen to our patients and try to do things that make their voyage more pleasurable.

Interviewer: How do you differentiate yourself from other bariatric practices?

Dr. Georgen: It really comes down to the little things. Attention to detail. Providing the whole support that a bariatric patient needs. It's not just the surgery. Just like a tool in your hardware set - if you don't use it right, you're not going to be effective. And the same thing is true with your operation - if you don't use it correctly, you're not going to get the best utilization of the tool. We provide that service for people.

We also have an owner's manual for every bariatric patient after their operation. Everything we have in our owner's manual is in there for a reason. It's designed to make people successful.

We don't want people to lose again.

Interviewer: Do you have anything else to add?

Dr. Georgen: What we bring to the table is a complete program, with surgeons that are devoted to the care and treatment of people with the disease of morbid obesity.

A key point is that we don't do only bariatric surgery. We run the trauma center here at Theda Clark. That experience allows us to be capable of handling any situation, in the event that there are any problems, which is critically important.
"As far as I know, we only go through this life once and if you can go through it with a better quality of life, it's going to be a better life."
"One of the things you realize quickly as a surgeon who takes care of people with this disease is that there are many, many associated medical problems and these people are often times very ill."
"One of the biggest differences with bariatric surgery is that it's a voyage."
"Our goal is to make everyone a winner. Nobody wants to lose again."
 
<< Surgical Staff