University of South Florida

USF Health, Tampa General bariatric team work together to create successful outcomes for patients

Those living with extreme obesity can achieve and maintain long-term weight loss through bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery.

Everyone at the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center works together as a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary team to create successful outcomes for patients. The team is comprised of bariatric experts across multiple specialties that includes surgeons, endocrinologists, bariatricians, registered nurses, psychologists, and dietitians – all in a single location.

“All of our physicians, from surgeons to medical doctors, are board-certified, and the surgeons have passed all the qualifications within the United States. So we have the top physicians and that is the kind of care we are going to deliver,” said Christopher DuCoin, MD, MPH, FACS, associate professor, chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, and vice chair of the Department of Surgery in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, as well as director of the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center.

There is no patient the program will not see, he said, and no patient is ever turned away. Bariatric surgery patients are provided pre-and post-operative care. Physical, pharmaceutical, and psychological support is also provided to help improve a patient’s weight and lifestyle. For patients with serious medical issues, non-surgical weight loss programs are also offered.

The goal of the program is to provide patients with a variety of resources to help them lose weight in a long-term, meaningful manner.

“We are in the business of providing care to patients until they reach the best versions of themselves,” Dr. DuCoin said. “We want our patients to feel like they have found their home, that they have found a group of people invested in their health and want to take care of them.”

The TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center is also one of the most active academic-based centers in Florida for bariatric robotic surgery. The routine use of robotics in bariatric surgery is extremely safe, and non-invasive, offering patients a quick recovery.

The TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center has been long considered a leader in the Tampa Bay area and across Florida. It was the first in the nation to be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations in 2005 and, in 2007, the program received a Bariatric Center of Excellence from the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery.

“It is understandable that there is a fear around surgery, especially a surgery you are choosing to do,” Dr. DuCoin said. “One of the nice things about the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center is that it was one of the first accredited bariatric programs in Florida, and we recently passed our fifth accreditation over a 12-year period. To the patient out there who is thinking about this, just come to the information session, let us help you, we’re going to walk you through this process and help you get to the best version of yourself.”

For more information about the bariatrics services provided by TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center, email or call (813) 844-7473.

Story and video by Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications and Marketing


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