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Doctor Uses Innovative Techniques to Address Obesity Epidemic, Bariatric Surgery Complications

WOODLAND PARK, N.J., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Obesity is a health challenge that has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., with more than half of all adults classified as overweight, one in four categorized as obese and millions of Americans considered morbidly obese. The epidemic has profound health implications, causing more than 300,000 deaths in the U.S. annually and cutting the average lifespan of morbidly obese individuals by greater than 10 years. Long-term weight loss is extraordinarily difficult to achieve without intervention, and many opt for bariatric surgery.

But post-surgical complications and issues affect thousands of patients. Approximately 25-30% regain weight due to many reasons, including dysfunction of the stomach pouch that was created in the original surgery, and others contend with painful or dangerous complications, such as a fistula that can be a serious, difficult-to-address health issue. Dr. Sohail N. Shaikh, an interventional gastroenterologist, can help. Dr. Shaikh's New Jersey Advanced Gastroenterology practice provides a unique range of services, including pouch reduction surgery to help restore original pouch size and help stop post-surgical weight gain.

Dr. Shaikh also addresses post-bariatric surgery complications such as fistulas, ulcers and other issues that can develop after a procedure. These complications can cause weight gain, persistent pain, bleeding or dangerous leakage. Dr. Shaikh locates these defects and addresses them with advanced techniques to promote healing, eliminate leakage and reduce discomfort. Dr. Shaikh performs virtually all of these procedures endoscopically, without external cuts, so patients typically experience less post-operative discomfort and are at a much lower risk for complications. Because of the minimally invasive nature of these procedures, hospital stays are also greatly reduced, with many patients going home the same day.

In addition to addressing post-bariatric surgery issues, Dr. Shaikh is a key opinion leader in endoluminal advanced suturing procedures, including the advanced gastric sleeve technique, and one of only a few physicians in the world currently performing this innovative, minimally invasive bariatric surgery. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and has been a guest expert on health-related television programs, including "American Health Front."

Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Dr. Shaikh trained in upper endoscopy and colonoscopy during a Gastroenterology Fellowship in Northern New Jersey and then pursued advanced training in Bariatric and Developmental Endoscopy at Brigham and Women's Hospital during a fellowship with Harvard University. Dr. Shaikh also mastered complex procedures during an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at the University of Arizona and has received advanced training in endoluminal therapeutics.

"I've been very fortunate," said Dr. Shaikh. "It's a privilege to use advanced, minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to make a difference in the lives of those who have suffered because of weight…especially in patients who have complications after bariatric surgery. It is incredibly gratifying to help them achieve change and see life-altering results."

Dr. Shaikh was the first physician in New Jersey to perform endoscopic suturing cases, the first to repair esophageal fistulas via endoscopic techniques and the first to repair gastric pouches for mechanical defects of dilated gastric outlets and pouches as well as the first to endoscopically repair sleeve leaks and endoscopically remove an eroded gastric lap band.

"Over 30% of the U.S. population is affected by the obesity epidemic," Dr. Shaikh observed. "That number is expected to grow to 42% by 2030. But with intervention and advanced medical techniques, we can help patients fight obesity and live fuller, healthier lives."

Find out more about Dr. Shaikh and the New Jersey Advanced Gastroenterology practice at

About New Jersey Advanced Gastroenterology, LLC
New Jersey Advanced Gastroenterology, LLC, led by Sohail N. Shaikh, MD, uses advanced endoscopic procedures to provide multiple options for the bariatric patient, solutions that are specifically tailored to their individual needs. These minimally invasive techniques have several benefits over traditional surgery, including shorter recovery times with no external cuts, minimal to no blood loss and no re-routing of the existing anatomy. Dr. Shaikh's methodologies reduce the risk of infection and minimize other complications, with most patients discharged on a same-day basis. Learn more at

SOURCE New Jersey Advanced Gastroenterology, LLC