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Familiar with Summa Bariatric Center - Akron?????

on 10/11/09 10:20 am

Is there anyone who had WLS through Summa Bariatric Center in Akron?  If so, which doctor?  Are you happy with them, the surgery, etc?  I would like to know more, if you care to share.  Thanx!

Julie W.
on 10/11/09 1:19 pm - OH
RNY on 11/30/09 with
Hello! I'm still pre-op but I will be having a RNY at the end of November or beginning of December with Dr. Zografakis. I just finished up the 6 months of supervised dieting required by my insurance with Dr. Wells. I also see Dr. Perkins once a month for counceling/therapy. So far I'm pretty happy with everything and I haven't heard any complaints from anyone about ANY of the doctors in their practice.

If you type in the name of the doctor in the search bar at the top, you can get to their homepage and there is a lot of patient reviews that you can read through and look at other patient's profiles. If you have any questions feel free to ask! or come to one of the support groups (the next one is October 28th).  

on 10/11/09 1:40 pm
Julie...Thanx so much for the reply.  Im glad to hear from someone who is going through Summa and especially with Dr. Z.  That is who my Primary Care suggested for my surgery.  I met with him already (very light hearted individual).  I did meet with Dr. Wells also.  I haven't heard of a Dr. Perkins.  I just met with Dr. Wells last week.  When did you start your sessions with Dr. Perkins?  Is this something I'll need to schedule?

Also, thanx for the heads-up regarding the "search" bar.  I will definitely use it.  Prior to surgery, do you have to be on a specialized diet?  Are you getting nervous?  If you don't mind me asking, who is your insurance carrier?  Sorry for all the questions?  Thanx!
Julie W.
on 10/11/09 3:49 pm - OH
RNY on 11/30/09 with
Dr. Perkins is the name of the psychologist that will do your psych eval. After I had mine, she decided it would be beneficial for me to continue to see her for a couple months prior to having the surgery. She's super nice and very easy to talk to and has specialized in bariatric care issues for several years. The office pretty much schedules everything for you, so it'll show up on one of your "patient itenarary" papers you get in the mail.

As for the diet, I did the 6 months with Dr. Wells and it was basically just a low-calorie diet. I didn't really measure or count anything- I just tried to watch what I was eating. Basically whatever kind of diet I could do to lose weight. I only lost 11 lbs in my 6 months but my insurance company (Medical Mutual) only required that I didn't GAIN any weight during the supervised diet. I was approved by my insurance on Friday (they cover 100% of the surgery) and I'm suppose to find out my date on Monday. I have to do 6 weeks of optifast prior to the sugery so I'll be starting that within the next couple weeks.

As for being nervous... I think I'm more excited than anything. I've had those 6 months to question and doubt and research everything that I could and I feel well prepared and trust Dr. Z. I'm just ready to get the whole thing over with so I can start my new life!!!

on 10/11/09 9:24 pm - North Canton, OH
RNY on 10/20/09 with
I am scheduled for surgery with Dr Dan on the 20th. I can not say enough good things about this office. I feel completely prepared and felt like they were there everytime I needed anything. I also had to do 6 months with Dr Wells due to my insurance (cigna). The hardest part has been the 4 weeks of optifast but once you know why they require it, it makes sense.

I had gone to Barix and St V's previously to inquire about the surgery but just was not comfortable at all.

Good luck with your decision!
Julie W.
on 10/11/09 9:48 pm - OH
RNY on 11/30/09 with
Speaking of Optifast.. what flavors/kinds to do "recommend" and which are the ones to stay away from? Did you get to try samples before you had to buy everything? I'm just nevous I'm going to have to buy my 6 weeks worth of Optifast at one time and then I'm going to get home and hate one of the flavors or something!! 

on 10/13/09 9:38 am - North Canton, OH
RNY on 10/20/09 with
My first order was one of every flavor. I did not like the vanilla or the strawberry at all. Or the yogurt covered bar. I have stuck with the chocolate shakes, the peanut butter/chocolate bar and the tomato soup. I did get the chicken soup this last order but prefer the tomato. It was nice to get something different.

You can add seasoning and no sugar flavorings to the products. i added italian spices to the soup and added raspberrry flavoring to the shakes to change things up a bit.

Good luck w/ your Optifast!
on 10/13/09 6:10 am
Good luck with your progression Stixx!  I would appreciate it if you could keep with this thread and share your recovery and experience with me and others who are going through Summa.  What was your favorite Optifast flavor?

Thanx! And Best Wishes!
on 10/13/09 9:42 am - North Canton, OH
RNY on 10/20/09 with
The chocolate peanut butter bar. Tastes like a regular granola to it!

Today was pretesting, ekg and chest x-ray. Nothing too major just the normal round of questioning. I am more concerned about all the things I need to complete at home and work than with the surgery itself.

Good luck w/ your journey!
on 10/13/09 8:54 am

Dr Z is awesome and so is everyone in the office. You are treated with the utmost respect and given great care in the hospital. Dr Z wouldn't have it any other way.

Make sure you write down questions you may have so you don't forget any and you are always welcom to come to the monthly support group meetings.

I had my surgery on July 1st and feel great, down 78 lbs. You do not have to buy all of your Optifast at once, just get a couple weeks worth until you see what you like.

Good luck with your journey, you will have no regrets.

Sagamore Hills, OH
I love doxies and gardening

on 10/16/09 5:37 am
Everyone mentions Optifast as a drink.  Do the doctors recommend drinking it?  What does it contain?  I already have protein drinks in the morning (mainly to avoid getting sleepy at work) and if the Optifast is for protein intake, would I still be able to keep the brand I am consuming?  Or does the Optifast have all kinds of nutrients in it?

Also, I received my paperwork for Dr. Perkins and the blood work prescriptions.  In the paperwork it has a form of a three-day food diary to bring in.  Did you fill that out just before your appointment?


Julie W.
on 10/16/09 2:16 pm - OH
RNY on 11/30/09 with
At Summa (and a few other hospitals) they require a diet of Optifast prior to surgery. At your initial consultation with the surgeon, he should have mentioned how long he needs you to do Optifast. For me, it's 6 weeks- for most people, it's only 2-4 weeks. Optifast comes in shakes, soups, and bars and you have to take 7 of them a day. It's not optional and it's the only brand they allow. The optifast is a 100% meal replacement so you aren't suppose to eat anything else (except for a couple jello cups that they allow).

You fill out the 3 day diet history prior to your appointment with Robin the nutritionist. You give the form to her for your nutritional consult. She is also the person that handles the optifast portion of the program and she'll talk to you about it during the consult.

Hope that helps!

on 10/21/09 11:42 am - OH
RNY on 12/02/09 with
I am also having my RNY at Summa wih Dr. Z and my surgery is scheduled for 12/2.  I can't wait!  I was approved in September but need to wait for a surgery date to work around my work schedule.  I am usually an Akron General girl, but after doing research and talking to a friend who had the lab-band with Dr. Z, I made my first appt.  To tell you the truth, I didn't think I would go through with it.  Everyone at Summa have been great.  My insurance didn't have many requirements but there is a lot of pre-op testing.  You have to have a open schedule to make all the appoitments.  I have been very pleased with the professionalism at Summa. 

Good Luck!
Rolling Stones Mom        
on 10/22/09 5:49 am
Hi Rollingstonemom!

I was considering the lap, but the bypass was recommended by Dr. Z.  Did Dr. Z suggest the lap band, or did you already have your mind set on it?  What made you decide to have the lap band?  In the meantime, good luck with your surgery!  I wish you the best!

on 10/22/09 5:11 am - Mogadore, OH
Revision on 07/31/13 with

I had lapband surgery in July 2008 with Dr. Z. He is an amazing person. I so highly recommend him. Over the past 16 months I have also had fill appointments with Dr. Dan. He is also a very caring and intelligent person. I find both of these surgeons to be  personally interested in your care and success. The support staff is also top notch. The Summa program really includes a lot to help you be a success.

I have a friend who had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. My experience is light years ahead of his. You are just a number there. They only look at the surgery as part of a profit center. If you want a personal touch and individual attention, Dr. Z. and the Summa program is for you.

If you want to know more, join us at our monthly support group on 10/28. There are usually 60-70 people present. I would say that the mix is 70% RNY and 30% band. The programs are different each month. The meeting also includes a 30 minute session where patients talk informally. Visitors are welcome. It is a great group of folks. 


Follow my journey to a happy, healthy, active life at 

on 10/22/09 5:56 am
Hi Tom!

As my reply with Rollingstonemom above....what made you decide to go with the lap band vs the bypass?  Did Dr. Z recommend one over the other to you?  At what time is the support group meeting and where is it?  I would like to come and listen.  I began my supervised diet program.  I initially was wanting the lap band, but was swayed to the bypass.  I feel that I'm still teetering.

Also, I noticed you've lost alot of weight....CONGRATS!  Are you diligent with your diet and exercise?


on 10/22/09 7:15 am, edited 10/22/09 7:17 am - Mogadore, OH
Revision on 07/31/13 with

I believe that Dr. Z. has a definite preference for RNY. I think he sees it as the more proven path and the path that leads to more success.

I had decided that I wanted Lapband for a variety of reasons. I had a heart attack and triple bypass 3 years prior to surgery. My personal physician felt that Lapband was a safer route for me. On my initial consult with Dr. Z. he mentioned that RNY would lead to a high weight loss. We actually spent a lot of time chatting about this. Together we looked at the pros and cons. It came down to the fact that the typical RNY person loses 60-70% or excess body weight while the Lapband patient loses 40-50%. Applying that to my weight, Dr. Z. said I would maybe lose 15 pounds more with RNY. My health would not be altered with those 15 pounds. So, he agreed that Lapband was the safest route for me. He also cautioned that Lapband patients need to be more focused on their diet and MUST exercise for success. I left that meeting pleased and happy to see the surgeon was interested in a dialogue with me. I am so certain now that this was the correct solution for me.

I actually have lost 58% of my excess body weight. I have beaten the typical results. I think I could do better and still struggle to keep the weight loss going. I would love to be under 180 and closer to 175. My health is so much better and I am so much happier. More importantly, I am very happy with my weight and diet.
  I do pretty much follow the diet. With Lapband, as I suspect with RNY, you just can't eat a lot. I really have altered my grocery shopping and food I keep in the house. I am sure you are reading posts and see that WLS involves commitment from you for it to be a success. It is true tht it is easier to cheat with Lapband. Luckily, I am not a snacker.

Actually, I now exercise daily. I think that it is key for success. As you lose weight, exercise becomes much easier. I started 30 minutes each work day on a treadmill at the start of my 6 week Optifast pre-op diet and have been doing it ever since. It is now routine. I found a real love in bicycling and routinely bike 25-30 miles a weekend. I love it. I would have never dreamed that I would be doing this 2 years ago.
  I have posts in my personal blog, , that detail my journey. Feel free to read them. They show times of frustration and times of joy. Looking back, I think it was a valuable tool for me to use.

I posted the details of the support group in another post here. Come to the meeting. You can float between the RNY and band groups during the open discussion and learn a lot. People are also willing to chat with you after or even another time. It is truly a good support group.

Best of luck in making your choice and the surgery that comes after. Just remember, this is a TOOL and not a SOLUTION. You have to commit yourself to change and transform yourself for this to be a long term success.


Follow my journey to a happy, healthy, active life at 

on 10/22/09 1:49 pm

So glad to hear of your rare success!  I know what you mean when exercise becomes a routine.  I call it the "runners high".  I am not patting myself on the back, otherwise I wouldn't be here...but I have exercised and I do eat right (high protein, low carb--no sugar, no pasta, no white anything), but the weight will not come off.  I've had tests after tests with all kinds of endocronologists only to find out that I have a "very slow metabolism".  I burn 22% less calories (just by breathing) vs the average person.  An example of my exercise...I worked out for 6 months with a personal trainer--3 x per week.  On two days of that week, I would do the eliptical for 45 mins and a pretty good clip and on two of the days from the 30 min weight lifting with the trainer, I would go to step aerobics (I LOVE IT!) for 45 more minutes.  In the matter of 6 months....I GAINED 6 lbs.!!!  I've heard muscle gain, etc.  Well, my clothes didn't fit any better.  They were screaming at me!  So, I just gave up!  I simply gave up!  I told Dr. Z when I see the scale moving to the LEFT instead of to the RIGHT, then I plan to go back to my routine of exercising because of the expected incentive.  That's when he recommended the bypass. you can tell, I am very discouraged right now and I want the weight to come off and I am more than willing to get it off and keep it off!  Let the force be with me-----nanooo nanooo and all that! LOL
on 10/22/09 11:08 am - OH


on 10/22/09 1:36 pm

Sounds like you are very pleased.  Which surgery did you go or bypass?  Also, how are you feeling now?  Are you still mentally and physically satisfied with the results so far?

Take care...