Losing Weight with Orbera

With our fast-paced lives, losing weight can be easier said than done. Between keeping up with busy work schedules, children’s activities and daily housework, eating healthy and exercising can become an obstacle and challenge.

This illustration shows how Orbera is placed in the stomach.

This illustration shows how Orbera is placed in the stomach.

That’s where a new weight-loss procedure at the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, comes in. It’s called Orbera, and Lexington Medical Center is the first hospital in the Southeast to offer it.

“Orbera is ideal for people who are 25 to 60 pounds overweight, and who need a jump start to begin to lose weight and improve their health,” said Marc Antonetti, MD, FACS, surgeon with the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center.

Orbera is a soft, silicone balloon with saline that’s designed to fit comfortably in your stomach. Its volume and shape are meant to take up space in the stomach, which encourages portion control by making you feel full and giving you the edge to finally lose weight.

This video shows how it works.

Doctors place Orbera in the stomach through a simple, non-surgical, outpatient procedure completed under sedation. There is no incision and patients can go home the same day. In fact, the FDA-approved procedure only takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Orbera is a tool that will remain in place for six months. During that time, patients receive comprehensive education from clinicians and dietitians at the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center about healthy eating, including information about nutritious foods, portion size and meal planning. They are monitored on a routine basis.

The South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center physicians: Marc C. Antonetti, MD, FACS; S. Gray Hughes, MD, FACS; Glen F. Strickland, MD, FACS

The South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center physicians: Marc C. Antonetti, MD, FACS; S. Gray Hughes, MD, FACS; Glen F. Strickland, MD, FACS

“About 60 percent of the United States population is a candidate for this procedure – because they need to lose between 25 and 60 pounds,” said Dr. Antonetti. “Our goal is to reach out to teach people about appropriate nutrition and prevent them from becoming morbidly obese.”

In addition to making patients feel full and causing weight loss, Orbera will condition patients to eat smaller meals and require less food. After six months, the balloon is removed. By that time, patients have established healthy lifestyle choices to continue to lose weight and keep it off.

Losing weight is important for cardiovascular and overall health. There are many options available at Lexington Medical Center.

For more information about Orbera, visit SCObesity.com.

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery for Skin Cancer

South Carolina has an above average rate of skin cancer. Using tanning beds and not wearing sunscreen outdoors are leading causes. In this story for WIS-TV, Dr. Todd Lefkowitz of Lexington Plastic Surgery introduces us to one of his patients, who needed extensive reconstructive plastic surgery on her face after a diagnosis of skin cancer.


Thank you to WIS-TV and news anchor Dawndy Mercer-Plank for helping us to bring attention to this important health topic.

Howdy, Partner! Call for Partners Program Applications

Do you know an extraordinary high school student who is interested in a health care career? Applications for Lexington Medical Center’s 2016 Partners Program will be accepted from now through February 7. For more than 25 years, this intensive summer internship program has allowed the best and brightest Lexington County high school students to explore jobs in the health care industry. Many of them have returned to work at Lexington Medical Center after completing their education.

2015 Partners Program participants

2015 Partners Program participants

The Partners Program introduces students to a career in health care. During a three-week session, students will rotate through three clinical areas in the mornings, participating in real world, career experiences by helping with bed making, checking vital signs, stocking supplies and general duties while being supervised by a mentor. In the afternoon, there are field trips to medical facilities around the Midlands.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation also supports the program by providing educational materials and supplies to each participant, and offers a rising senior from each Lexington County high school and one rising senior from home/private schools with a $1,000 book scholarship for their freshman year of college.

More than 100 students apply for the Partners Program each year. Approximately 60 students are selected after a screening process with a written application and an interview with a panel of hospital staff members.

Students can find more information about the Partners Program and download the application by visiting LexMed.com/Careers, clicking on “Cultures” and then “Work Study.”