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How top bariatric surgeon Fritz Jean-Pierre is using robotics to treat obesity

Dr. Jean Pierre (Photo courtesy of Wellstar)

Dr. Fritz Jean-Pierre is a bariatric surgeon who aims to give his patients a better quality of life. He received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University and completed his general surgery residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He then completed a fellowship through Morehouse School of Medicine with an emphasis on bariatric and metabolic surgery. After his fellowship, Pierre joined an Atlanta-based private practice. He has been at WellStar Kennestone Hospital since 2012, where he currently serves as director of bariatric surgery.

He has performed thousands of bariatric surgeries and adopted using robotics in the procedure early on, making him a key thought leader to the robotic bariatric surgery community.

Rolling out spoke with Pierre about obesity and the effects bariatric surgery can have on patients with a variety of health conditions.

How did you determine your career path?   

I chose to focus my career on bariatric surgery because I witnessed all of my grandmother’s health issues at a very young age. She was a very poorly controlled diabetic. She had renal failure, she lost her sight and eventually died of diabetes-related complications. When I discovered her diabetes was due to her underlying disease of obesity, I knew I wanted to make a difference.

How are you using technology to fuel medical care?

I have completed over 600 robotic bariatric surgeries and find that this technology can greatly assist in treating patients of all sizes and allows me to offer more complex procedures with greater confidence.

Can bariatric surgery be used to correct other health problems?   

Obesity is the leading cause of health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, sleep apnea, polycystic ovarian syndrome and osteoarthritis. I like to say obesity is the disease that will lead to the other diseases that can kill you. Bariatric surgery has been able to help improve these health conditions and, in some cases, has been found to result in the complete remission of these health conditions.

Is childhood obesity an epidemic in America?  

Yes. The rate of childhood obesity is growing by alarming rates. School-age children are receiving less time for physical activity in schools and limited physical activity at home. Today, children are absorbed in the world of social media and gaming. Evidence has demonstrated increased onset rates of early childhood obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

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