Siuh’s comprehensive weight loss center provides a variety of minimally invasive surgical techniques to help patients achieve a healthier lifestyle

BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN • PHOTOS BY AMESSE PHOTOGRAPHY

According to Dr. Angela Glasnapp, there is much about obesity that is misunderstood.
“Obesity is a disease and people who suffer from it are continually told that diet and exercise is the cure,” said the doctor. While an overall lifestyle change is necessary to battle this disease, according to the doctor, there are many patients who need the added treatment that surgical intervention provides. She explained that weight loss by way of bariatric surgery is not a shortcut; it’s not the lazy person’s solution, and it’s not an instantaneous thin.

Instead, it is often a necessary lifesaving tool which aids in a healthy transformation, allowing patients suffering from obesity to take their lives back.

For Dr. Glasnapp, who has specialized in bariatric and minimally invasive general surgery for the past ten years, the misconceptions about obesity are disheartening. Focusing her practice on laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, gastric band removal, revisional bariatric surgery, and nonsurgical treatment for obesity, she has centered much of her career on coaching patients through the process and reaffirming its legitimacy. Recently named director of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive General Surgery at Staten Island University Hospital, she hopes to bring a stronger awareness of surgical weight loss options to the borough.

“Staten Island University Hospital has a strong bariatric program already in place, and it is our intention to grow that program and create a better understanding of the concierge services that are offered here,” said Dr. Glasnapp. “We have a vested interest in each and every one of our patients and their families. We hold their hand through the entire process because we understand that this is a life changing event.”

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Earning her degree from New York Medical College in Westchester, Dr. Glasnapp completed her general surgery residency at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center before proceeding to a minimally invasive surgery fellowship at New York Medical College. She is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and worked at a busy private practice in New Jersey for a decade, performing a spectrum of bariatric, anti-reflux, and minimally invasive general surgical procedures. In her new role at SIUH, Dr. Glasnapp joins a Comprehensive Weight Loss Center team that has seen approximately 3,000 bariatric cases over the past 20 years.

The formula for success that has helped the hospital exceed national norms? A strong dedication to patient support and follow up.

“Bariatric surgery helps patients get to a level playing field on their weight loss journey, but patients need to take ownership of the fact that they are battling a disease and continuously work to keep themselves on that level playing field. Lifestyle changes and follow up are key here at SIUH we provide all of the tools that patients need to succeed.”

Using a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that looks at all aspects of patient health and well-being before, during, and after surgery, the SIUH Comprehensive Weight Loss Center team includes specialists in nutrition, surgery, psychiatry, internal and pulmonary medicine, cardiology, anesthesia, rehabilitation, and social work.

The Comprehensive Weight Loss Center at SIUH is certified by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This means that the program has passed a rigorous review process proving it meets the standards necessary to provide safe and high quality care for its bariatric surgery patients. A team member is always available to answer questions regarding diet and pre and postoperative issues. Lifelong follow up, including diet and exercise counseling, behavioral counseling, and support groups is also part of the process.

“Post-operative care is just as important as pre-operative care,” explained Dr. Glasnapp. “A strong doctor/patient relationship is paramount to a patient’s long term success because the doctor needs to continually check in on their patients’ progress, making sure they are receiving all of the nutritional and psychological help that is needed during this monumental time in their lives.”

Consultations with plastic surgeons are also arranged for those patients interested in removing excess skin left behind by their weight loss.

“The most gratifying part of this field is that there is no goal too small. I’ve had patients who are motivated to sit on an airplane or in a movie theater again. Other patients commit to this surgery because they want to be physically able to get on the floor and play with their children and grandchildren again. To be able to help them meet those goals is so absolutely rewarding for me as a physician.”

And according to the doctor, the industry’s understanding of obesity and its treatment with bariatric procedures which have improved greatly over the past several years will only continue to advance in the future.

“We have learned so much more about obesity as a disease itself and that has helped us to tailor treatment options accordingly,” Dr. Glasnapp concluded. “This is a lifelong disease but with the right approach and a steady commitment to a healthier lifestyle, our patients are seeing wonderful outcomes.”

Comprehensive Weight Loss Center at Staten Island University Hospital
256C Mason Avenue, Third Floor / 718.226.1300
siuh.northwell.edu/surgery/bariatric surgery