Queen’s Comprehensive Weight Management program opens Kaua‘i clinic

LIHU‘E — There was a Kaua‘i resident, diagnosed as diabetic, who used to carry around a cooler of insulin, not knowing when he would need it, said Valerie Kauhane, Registered Nurse and program coordinator for the Queen’s Medical Center Comprehensive Weight Management Program, Friday.

Following his bariatric surgery for weight loss, he became completely cured, not needing any insulin treatments, Kauhane said.

Kauhane was speaking at the first day of the QCWMP on Kaua‘i, Friday, operating out of the Queen’s Health Care Centers Kaua‘i Specialty Clinic located on the second floor of the Kuhio Medical Building across from the Walmart store.

“He’s just one of about three dozen Kaua‘i people who have participated in the program and had surgery,” Kauhane said. “Another one is planning to run the Half Marathon in the upcoming Kaua‘i Marathon (in early September).”

Dr. Cedric Lorenzo, the QCWMP director and one of two bariatric surgeons in the program, said there is a growing number of people who are morbid obese, and for those, the surgery gets put off because of the number of trips required to visit the Queen’s Medical Center on O‘ahu.

“In February 2010, we conducted interviews with a number of primary care physicians on Kaua‘i and inquired as to how we can improve collaboration and better serve Kaua‘i physicians and their patients,” Kauhane said in a letter to physicians introducing the QCWMP. “The overwhelming response was a request for a CWMP clinic on Kaua‘i to improve access for patients, reduce time off from work for off-island appointments, and decrease the frequency and cost of inter-island travel.”

This started the planning process for the opening, Friday.

“Now, the patient still needs to travel to O‘ahu for the surgery because all of the support facilities required for the operation is there,” Lorenzo said. “But all of the pre-op and post-op procedures once the surgery is done, is handled here on island. We bring the team to Kaua‘i once a month, on the fourth Friday.”

The QCWMP is a surgical weight loss program established in 2004 in response to the increasing incidence of morbid obesity and Type II diabetes mellitus in the state, the physicians letter states.

More than 700 bariatric and/or metabolic surgery procedures have been completed with 35 of those post-op surgery patients being residents of Kaua‘i.

In a report, Resolution of Obesity Related Co-morbidities one year following bariatric surgery, of the 14 procedures relating to diabetes, none showed no change, while 14 percent showed improvement and 86 percent had their diabetes resolved.

Of the 20 procedures for obstructive sleep apnea, again none showed no change while seven percent had improvement on the problem and 93 percent were resolved.

Hypertension treatments showed similar results, 10 percent having improvement and 90 percent had the ailment resolved.

Entry point into the QCWMP is attendance at an information session which was previously held quarterly on Kaua‘i. This improves to monthly, coinciding with the team’s visit.

Scheduling is handled through the Queen’s Medical Center Honolulu office at (808) 537-7547 and a monthly support group will be held following clinic and is open to all pre-op and post-op patients working with the program, Kauhane said.

The Queen’s CWMP utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to prepare patients for the major lifestyle changes required following weight loss surgery, the physician’s letter states.

The team of a dietitian, bariatrician and health psychologist are part of the team including the surgeon and registered nurse and visit Kaua‘i on the fourth Friday of the month.

Call 1-808-538-9011 or visit www.queens.org for more information.

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