Dr. Alan Wittgrove, Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgeon

Meet the Father of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery

Dr. Alan WittgroveDr. Alan Wittgrove, our program Medical Director, is known as the father of laparoscopic gastric bypass: he performed the first laparoscopic gastric bypass in the world as primary surgeon in 1993. This was performed right here in San Diego, California. Dr. Wittgrove was board certified in 1981 and re-certified in 1992. He served 10 years in the Navy and has been doing bariatric surgery since he set up his private practice in San Diego in 1986. Since the mid 1990’s he has been doing essentially only bariatric surgery in the setting of a multi-disciplinary team approach. Dr. Wittgrove was the President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in 2003 – 2204 and our program director, Tracy Martinez RN, CBN, was the first elected Chairperson of the Allied Health Section (now Integrative Health Section) of the ASMBS (served for three years) and now serves as the Co-chair of the Allied Health Section of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity. Our program has very significant experience from all aspects of care!

Dr. Wittgrove and Wittgrove Bariatric Center have significant experience in Bariatric Surgery on the Adolescent Patient and Revision Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Wittgrove was a primary investigator for the LapBand System. He currently performs Laparoscopic Gastric Banding operations with the Ethicon band. We have added sections on all of these specialties through the tabs above.

A 2009 addition to our clinic is our Medical Weight Loss Program. Surgery is a powerful tool but it is not for everyone. Some insurance programs require a medical program before surgery can be considered. Millions of individuals suffer from “Obesity” (BMI less than 35) and surgery is not an option for them at this time. Many in this category need help and so we offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, medical program. Call the office to ask about this aspect of our program.

Few programs have evaluated their long-term outcomes as Dr. Wittgrove has. In fact, few programs have outcomes for longer than even a couple of years. In Bariatric Surgery, we know that results at one or two years are nice to know but the real important numbers are those at five years and longer. We have added our program’s data, which has been reported / published in peer reviewed journals and presented at annual society conferences. Since we believe outcomes and longer term results are important, we have added a section on some questions we think you should ask of your bariatric surgeon.

Wittgrove Bariatric Surgery Center is a Center of Excellence

Center of ExcellenceIn 2005 Wittgrove Bariatric Center along with Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla was awarded the designation of “Center of Excellence” (COE) by the SRC / ASMBS. This certification was initiated by the Surgical Review Corporation and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery to better insure quality in bariatric surgery. The COE designation by this independent review corporation is based on the programs components, outcomes and statistics, as well as a site visit to validate the program’s data.

Achieving surgical "Center of Excellence" designation is a great honor. Bear in mind that some insurance companies have adopted use of the term "Center of Excellence" which often carries a meaning based on provider contracts and not site validation. The importance of the SRC / ASMBS Center of Excellence is that it was endorsed by the federal government in its Medicare National Coverage Determination (NCD). This document was issued in February 2006 and proclaimed that Medicare patients could ONLY be operated on in ASMBS (or ACS) Centers of Excellence. See the Government Department of Health and Human Services website and publication describing these details. Search Section 100.1.B "Nationally Covered Indications."

IRB Approval for Research

WBC is proud to report our IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval for the study of the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass for the Primary Treatment of Diabetes Type 2. This is a very significant medical step! We have known for years that the Gastric Bypass works metabolically within days to treat or “cure” DM type 2.  This dramatic effect is metabolic and not related to the weight loss.  Does it have the same miraculous effect on diabetics who are not morbidly obese?  Our institution, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, has allowed us the opportunity to study that very question.

We are now able to offer the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass to Type 2 Diabetics who are not 100 pounds over their ideal body weight.  This is very exciting since only a very few institutions throughout the country have attained such a protocol.

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On Gastric Bypass and Laparoscopic Gastric
Banding Procedures

What Patients Need to Know

What does `laparoscopic` mean? Why is this different or better than open surgery? Does `bariatric` simply mean medical surgical weight loss? What is the difference between `Lap-Band` and a `gastric bypass`?

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View Our Informative Online Video on Gastric Bypass Surgery Now

This will give you a sense of what we discuss in preparation for attending our live seminar on gastric bypass procedures.

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