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Published on August 24, 2011

Mercy Bariatrics Program Expands to Mercy Suburban and Nazareth Hospitals

Modeled after the award-winning program at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Mercy Bariatrics gives patients a new lease on life

Conshohocken, PA - After nearly 500 successful surgeries since 2007, Mercy Bariatrics, the award-winning weight loss surgery program at Mercy Health System, has announced an expansion to Mercy Suburban Hospital in East Norriton, Pa. and Nazareth Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia. The Bariatric program started at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa., where it is designated as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®, a Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery and an Institute of Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility – one of only a handful of hospitals in the Philadelphia area to achieve these prestigious designations that recognize the program’s consistency in delivering safe, effective, evidence-based care.

The Mercy Bariatrics program has one of the most experienced teams in the region and is one of the region’s leaders in number of surgeries performed each year. The board-certified surgeons are trained in the latest advances in bariatric surgery, including gastric banding, gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and revisional surgery. The team also includes dietitians, physical therapists, sleep specialists, nurses and clinicians specially trained to address the needs of bariatric patients.

“Bariatric surgery at Mercy is a critical component of a patient’s weight loss journey, providing the initial step to motivate and educate them for a healthier way of life,” said Mercy Bariatrics Clinical Director Prashanth Ramachandra, MD. 

The program provides comprehensive services and evaluations to respond to the multi-faceted challenges of obesity that includes an array of preoperative assessments and counseling, nutritional services, exercise programs and support groups.

According to Keith Allen Kreitz, MD, board-certified general and bariatric surgeon at Mercy Suburban Hospital, “Nearly every patient undergoes surgery using minimally invasive techniques to result in the best possible outcomes and a rapid recovery time. Long-term follow-up and personalized care is provided by our experienced staff to ensure continued success.”

Studies have shown that weight loss surgery and its related lifestyle changes extend lives and may reverse obesity-related health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. In a report published in the Archives of Surgery, researchers say eight out of ten patients could stop taking their diabetes medications following a gastric bypass operation. And according to The New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. study indicated that gastric bypass procedures can prevent death from cancer up to 60 percent.

Katrina Turtu of Harleysville, Pa., can attest to the benefits of weight loss surgery. Insulin-resistant, pre-diabetic and diagnosed with Gastro paresis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, she knew she had to make a drastic lifestyle change. After gastric bypass surgery in September 2009, which helped her lose 136 pounds, all of those complications are under control, if not completely resolved. “Today I have no death sentence. I stand here living the life I always wanted, always dreamed of, and always knew I was capable of living," she said.

“With stories like Katrina’s and more studies surfacing about the positive results from bariatric surgery, hopefully more people struggling with obesity will consider these weight loss options before they show signs of a life-threatening disease,” said Brendan O’Connell, MD, board-certified general and bariatric surgeon at Nazareth Hospital and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

Mercy Bariatrics recently launched a new mobile phone compatible website at, which features videos, testimonials, recipes, a BMI calculator, patient resources, an enewsletter and complete details regarding the program. An iPhone and Android app that gives information about Mercy Bariatrics, shows virtual results of a bariatric surgery on patient pictures, as well as provides information on procedures and the ability to schedule a consultation, will be available by the end of August. To request an appointment, visit or call 1.855.LESS.YOU.

Media Contact

Ann D’Antonio
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Mercy Health System
100 W. Elm Street
Suite 100
Conshohocken, PA 19428

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