DANVILLE -- Is it better for an obese individual to have weight loss surgery before a total knee replacement? Christopher Still (right), D.O., director of Geisinger’s Obesity Institute, is leading a study involving research teams at five of the nation’s more prominent medical centers to find out.
“It’s an important question. By performing weight loss surgery before total knee replacement surgery, individuals may have a faster recovery and, for some individuals, the need for knee surgery may be delayed or even eliminated,” explains Dr. Still.
To find the answer, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. has awarded Geisinger $4.7 million. The grant funds a multi-year clinical study that will involve a collaboration between Geisinger’s Obesity Institute, Orthopedic Institute, and Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery Department. In addition, Geisinger will partner with clinical research teams at Cleveland Clinic-Florida, Stanford University, New York University, and the University of Virginia. The study, known as the SWIFT Trial, is expected to begin enrolling patients in December. “This is the first controlled study that will investigate the health outcomes of undergoing weight loss surgery before total knee replacement surgery,” explains Dr. Still, the principal investigator. Geisinger co-principal investigators include Dr. Michael Suk, Director of Geisinger’s Orthopedics Institute, and Dr. Anthony Petrick, Director of Geisinger’s Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery Department.
“Obese individuals are more likely to require knee replacement decades before an individual of normal weight because extra weight adds wear and tear on the joint,” notes Dr. Still. “And as the percentage of obese individuals increases, more people are candidates for total knee replacement surgery.”
“The biggest goal of this trial is to come up with a new approach that allows us to make total knee replacement safer and more successful for our patients,” adds Dr. Still.
If you think you may be a candidate for the trial, talk to your doctor.
The study is funded by Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. grant #26695.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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