Dr. Alan Wittgrove
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgeon
Meet the Father of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery
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 is board certified in general surgery and is a fellow of the American Society of Metabolic
and Bariatric Surgery. 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 – 2004. Tracy Martinez RN, BSN, CBN, is our program director. She oversees all aspects of our
program and our multidisciplinary team who provide support before and after surgery. She is dedicated to
help every patient optimize their health and well being. Tracy was the first elected president of Integrated
Health Section of the ASMBS from 2000 – 2004 . She is currently the co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Care
Committee. In addition Tracy is a proud to serve on the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). The OAC is a
nonprofit organization dedicated to help individuals affected by excess weight-related health conditions
through education and advocacy. 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
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.