Dr. Michael Thomas, a partner with The Surgical Specialists of Louisiana and Mississippi, was named one of the 3 surgeons in the State of Louisiana to perform weight loss surgery on Heads Up! participants.
The “Heads Up” program is a five-year pilot program started by the Office of Group Benefits, the insurer for all Louisiana State Employees. Members enrolled in OGB’s PPO or HMO plan may be eligible to participate in the OGB weight loss program being conducted by Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. Heads Up! explores two options for members who are severely overweight and suffering with weight-related health problems.
The Intensive Medical Treatment component uses meal replacements and strategies designed to change eating habits and increased physical activity to aid in weight loss. The Bariatric Surgery Options involve surgically altering the stomach to cause weight loss. The study will test the effectiveness of these two weight loss methods to inform the OGB about ways to better manage the health problems caused by obesity.
Dr. Thomas performs either the laparoscopic gastric band or the laparoscopic gastric bypass on the surgical patients. He follows his patients closely during their post-operative phase to assess their overall health, resolution of co-morbidities and weight loss. The patients return to Pennington six months post-operatively and then annually for up to five years.
Dr. Thomas is a national proctor who teaches and credentials other surgeons for both the laparoscopic gastric bypass and banding procedures and was a lead site investigator for the initial incisionless weight loss procedure registry. Dr. Thomas was recently named as one of the Best Doctors in America (Registered Trademark) for 2013 and is a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.