Adam Goldstein, D.O., F.A.C.S.
"Getting It Right" is Surgeon's Hallmark
Dr. Adam Goldstein knows that patients often swap opinions about their physicians with family and friends. So how would he like to be described by his patients?
"The bottom line is that I am committed to doing this operation the right way," he said. "I won't do it any other way."
New York-born Adam Goldstein, D.O., F.A.C.S., exhibited his passion for getting things right as a student at Cornell University and the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he achieved honors in 23 separate courses, placing him in the top five percent of his graduating class.
He took his surgical training seriously as well, earning the Resident Achievement Award in Laparoscopic Surgery from the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.
In his surgical practice, Dr. Goldstein uses facts and experience to build his approach. For example, while he performed gastric bypass surgery in northern New Jersey before moving to this area, he now uses the reversible Lap BandŽ exclusively. Learn about the gastric band surgery in detail.
"I decided that the risk of (gastric) bypass surgery outweighed the benefit," he said. "I can achieve comparable results with the band and not subject the patient to the increased risk of complications, higher mortality rate, and rearrangement of the GI tract, associated with the gastric bypass procedure." See how he compares gastric band with gastric bypass.
As Dr. Goldstein was becoming a general surgeon and learning how to perform surgeries through small holes (laparoscopy) and with robotics, a national trend was developing that helped shape his surgical career: obesity in the United States was creating an upward spiral in bariatric surgery. From 1998 to 2004, the total number of surgeries increased nine times, from 13,386 to 121,055, according to federal statistics, and the upward trend has accelerated.
A certified general surgeon with strong credentials in laparoscopic and robotic procedures, Dr. Goldstein moved his practice from Northern to Southern New Jersey back in 2005. He now includes bariatric surgery as a major piece of his workload.
Restricting his bariatric caseload to gastric band patients only, Dr. Goldstein adheres to a follow-up practices that differ from those of other gastric band surgeons. Some physicians do follow-up adjustments to the band in their office, injecting into an abdominal port a saline solution that can tighten the band.
But when he adjusts the band, Dr. Goldstein requires the patient to drink barium and undergo fluoroscopy. Why? One reason is that he was trained that way by a surgeon who had been involved in trials that led to approval of the Lap Band for use in the United States.
And more importantly, he views this procedure as the right way to treat the patient. Quite simply, he said, imaging should be done "so you can see what you're doing." And without imaging, he said, "you have no idea how tight the band is, or whether it is slipping out of position."
While the payment he receives for sitting in an x-ray suite one morning a week to do these adjustments is far less than he could earn doing, for example, one gall bladder removal during the same time period, "I'm doing this because it's the way it should be done," he said.
Equally rigorous is the screening process he established for all surgery candidates, beginning with the free lecture and Q&A session he presents on a regular basis and an eight-page questionnaire required of potential patients. Learn about the screening process in detail. Because his lecture explains in full the requirements patients must meet, he rejects a very small percentage of applicants once they are evaluated in the office. Those who do not meet the criteria typically do not bother making an appointment.
But a growing frustration is the role of insurance companies who sometimes reject a patient who meets all the medical criteria for surgery.
"It gets more difficult each year. Unfortunately 30 percent of this country is either overweight or obese and the demand for both (gastric) bypass and the band is very high. Obviously insurance companies don't want to pay for 100 million weight loss operations so they create certain criteria for approval and each company has its own unique requirements," he said.
"This person may be on 12 medications and that person may be on two medications but the person who is on two medications has the right plan so they have the surgery. From the surgeon's perspective it is frustrating."
But the frustrations are far outweighed by the successes his patients experience and the personal satisfaction he experiences when the positive results are achieved. View his report on benefits to the patient and rewards for the surgeon.
For more information about Dr. Goldstein, visit www.drgoldstein.com.
To contact Dr. Goldstein or questions about the bariatric surgery program at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, call 1-888-LOURDES (568-7337).