Bariatric surgery returns to Bridgeport Hospital

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bridgeport, CT (April 24, 2015) – After a nine-year absence, bariatric surgery is again being offered at Bridgeport Hospital, this time in cooperation with some of the state’s leading weight-loss surgeons from the Yale Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery Program.

About one-third of adults in the United States are considered obese, according to the most recently available statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“When overweight reaches the stage where it affects one’s health and causes or worsens certain health issues, it is considered ‘morbid’ or disease-causing obesity,” explains Andrew Duffy, MD, bariatric program director and one of four fellowship-trained minimally invasive bariatric surgeons on the program staff.

An individual with a body-mass index of 40 (or 35 with health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or obstructive sleep apnea) is considered to have morbid obesity. Weight-loss surgery is a method for alleviating this debilitating disease.

“Morbid obesity is a complex chronic disease and not simply a result of overeating,” says Dr. Duffy. “There are many contributing factors such as genetics, heredity, environment, and metabolic and eating disorders.”

“Dieting and exercise programs have a limited long-term effect in addressing morbid obesity, adds Fairfield-based Saber Ghiassi, MD, newly recruited to the bariatric surgery program. “Weight-loss surgery has been shown to be an effective treatment of morbid obesity. Together with required lifestyle changes, it can result in significant weight loss and health improvement.”

Those who qualify for surgery and commit to the long-term requirements complete a psychological evaluation and must be medically qualified for surgery. They also visit with dietitians and discuss next steps after surgery with staff. “In fact, our comprehensive program includes more than what’s required to be certified,” said Dr. Duffy.

Patients are seen in the new Yale Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery office at 2000 Post Road, Fairfield. For more information, call the office at 203.418.9520.

One of three minimally invasive surgeries is recommended, depending on the patient’s medical condition: gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or adjustable gastric banding. All are laparoscopic, meaning that a few small “keyhole” incisions are made in the abdomen so the surgeon can use a viewing scope and smaller, specialized instruments to complete the procedure.             

“Each of these procedures can result in significant weight loss and your surgeon will help you determine which is best for you,” says Dr. Duffy. “However, it's important to understand that medical interventions, including weight-loss surgery, should not be considered medical cures. Rather, they are attempts to reduce the effects of excessive weight and alleviate the serious physical, emotional and social consequences of the disease.”

To help potential patients and their families understand the latest advances in weight-loss surgery as well as the support services provided by Bridgeport Hospital, bariatric surgeons conduct free monthly seminars. For information or to register for one of the sessions, call 203.789.6237.


Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health System, is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 62 verified burn centers in the United States.

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.