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2006 Press Releases
New Morton Plant Mease Surgeons Using Latest Minimally Invasive Weight Loss Surgery to Advance Care of Obese Patients
07/11/2006

CLEARWATER, Fla., (July 5, 2006) - The National Institutes of Health calls obesity an epidemic. Many times diet and exercise are not enough. For those who are morbidly obese, weight loss surgery is an option. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is advancing its Obesity Wellness Program with the addition of two physicians who perform bariatric surgery – Richard S. Gordon, M.D., FRCSC and John-Paul Gonzalvo, D.O., FACS.

“Together doctors Gordon and Gonzalvo have performed more than 100 gastric bypass surgeries. Their experience and expertise complement the Morton Plant Mease Obesity Wellness Program, giving obese patients the surgical option to help them lose weight in addition to lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet,” said Philip K. Beauchamp, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Morton Plant Mease Health Care.

According to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), the number of bariatric surgical procedures increased from about 16,000 in the early 1990s to more than 103,000 in 2003. Bariatric surgery is surgery to the stomach and/or intestines to help an obese patient lose weight. It is typically performed on patients who have a body mass index (BMI) above 40 or a BMI above 35 for patients with other health problems including heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Dr. Gordon and Dr. Gonzalvo perform laparoscopic and open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgeries, as well as laparoscopic adjustable banding – a procedure that involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach pouch and slowing the passage of food from stomach to intestine. Lap Band surgery is minimally invasive, is reversible and enables patients to recover more quickly with less pain.

Dr. Gordon received his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. His general surgery residency was spent at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He has completed a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, Florida. Dr. Gordon is board certified in general surgery and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Gonzalvo is a native of Tampa Bay who graduated from Amherst College and completed medical school at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His surgical residency was completed at the University of South Florida. Dr. Gonzalvo completed a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, Florida. He is board certified in general surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

The addition of doctors Gordon and Gonzalvo round out a team of Morton Plant Mease bariatric surgeons that includes Theodore R. Small, M.D. The physicians are part of the Morton Plant Mease Obesity Wellness Program – a three-phase program that promotes reducing weight through exercise and fitness monitoring before, after and even in lieu of bariatric surgery.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 419-4471 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 468-7586 Pager

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