Dr. Gandsas and his staff are really concerned about their patient well being. I had my surgery on January 2, 2013 at the Anne Arundel Medical Center and I would recommend Dr. Gandsas to anybody that is interested on having a bariatric procedure done. He has really good bedside manners besides being an awesome surgeon.Jan. 28, 2013
I'm not sure if I can offer a biased review, I'm a Kennedy employee. The nursing staff was great, and I'm saying this as a nurse. It is a teaching hospital so expect to be examined 5 times before you actually meet with the attending who doesn't examine you (how else will they learn). Overall I had a great experience.Aug. 20, 2012
It was hard to rate my experience with stars because there is a wide range of nursing care quality there from very poor to excellent. About 75% of the staff I encountered were very caring and professional but overworked. However, my room was behind the nurses station, and I heard many unprofessional conversations. I also received repeated conflicting information for many things such as how often to use the incentive spirometer (anywhere from 6 times a day to 10 times an hour - big difference), how much I should be drinking, and what to expect from a test.
They also are proud of their walking program and I wish I had understood what that meant. They want you up and walking right away. I was fine with that because I understood the importance; however, they are extreme about it. The first night, I had a very bad reaction to anesthesia and wasn't able to walk. I wanted to do what they recommended. I repeatedly tried to walk but ended up falling on the floor dry heaving. I was absolutely made to feel lazy and was told that I wasn't embracing my new healthy lifestyle about 18 hours after my surgery.
I started to walk hourly throughout the day and even in the middle of the night when I was awake (1am and 4am). I was told it wasn't enough. Regrettably, I took myself off of my pain medication intentionally because I wasn't measuring up to the walking expectations and I had difficulty with dizziness while walking on the medication. Finally, when I asked what specifically the walking expectations were, I was told that you are expected to walk continuously unless you have a good reason not to; and sleep was not a reason.
There LITERALLY is a competition to see how much they can get you to walk and it has been written about as a point of pride online. My surgical experience was individual and shouldn't have been part of a competition.
Of course, this is only my experience. Other people may have more success. If I hadn't had any problems with the anesthesia and pain medications and had been able to keep up with the walking expectations, I'm sure my stay would have felt very different. I think the expectations were unreasonable though and I wasn't handled as an individual. My husband wants to have the surgery too. It's a shame. We liked the doctor but will never go back to the hospital.
I had a RNY gastric performed by Dr. Neff in Aug. of 2008. I have begun having horrible twisting pains in my intestinal area and I called Dr. Neff's office because I believed since he performed my surgery he would be familiar with any symptoms like this. I was passed to 2 people, and basically brushed off. I was told to go to my primary physician. They didn't even say they would leave a message for Dr. Neff to call me. I don't see what a primary physician can do for something that in all probability is related to my bypass surgery. I am highly disappointed in the office and Dr. Neff. This is my opinion. I have no idea what others may have experienced.April 21, 2012
My first impression of Dr. Balsama was a bit bittersweet, I had an appointment (my first appointment) and on the way to my appointment I received a call that Dr. Balsama was tied up at the hospital and that my appointment had to be rescheduled, I understand being unavailable it was just I was so excited to get started on my journey, I had left work early to go to the appointment but I felt it must have been meant to be. I was worried that my next appointment would be handled the same way and fortunately that appointment went uneventfully. I finally was able to meet with his surgical coordinator and also Dr. Balsama himself, I did not have many questions as I had my mind made up that I would have RNY surgery, I was given an extensive list of "THINGS TO DO" for insurance purposes before we could proceed. I have a wonderful primary care physician so getting referrals for everything that was needed was not an issue [Surgical Release from the following: PCP, Gynecologist, Pulmonologist, Cardiac, Psych] Also Labwork, Chest Rads, Upper GI & last but not least 12 weeks medically supervised weight loss program. When all of the above were done and I realized that I had NO co-mobidities I decided that the Gastric Sleeve was going to be best for me, I had my follow-up with Dr. Balsama and he agreed, we set a date for surgery, I still had to finish my weight loss program and then submit that information, the hardest part of the process was the 2 1/2 week wait for insurance approval.
Dr. Balsama is an amazing surgeon. I would highly recommend him, without question. My incisions are the most unbelievable, they are so beautiful there are no staples, there were no drains, the largest incision was about 2 inches, everyone who has seen them has remarked the same they cannot believe how beautiful they are.
I am not going to address any negatives vs. positive experiences. To each his/her own. Something I may not have found "professional" may not mean the same to another person. You have to take the good and the bad with any situation, the positives of Dr. Balsama far outweigh any negatives there could possibly be. The Kennedy Bariatric Program is wonderful, I was treated like a queen while in the hospital, the nurses, cna's, therapists etc all were right there and readily available if I happened to need anything.
Dr Neff and his team want your experience to be the BEST. The nurses on the floor we excellent and well trained to help a bariatric patient. My personal recommendation is to only use Kennedy from this point forward!!!Jan. 13, 2012
Doctor Balsama is great. I have had no issues since being released from the hospital. However, I did have severely low blood pressure and he and his team ran every test under the sun to make sure I would be ok.Dec. 28, 2011
An amazing surgeon. He has a wonderful bedside manner & follow thru with his patients. He and the rest of the staff at his office are always willing to help even when you feel likt the biggest thorn in their side!Dec. 14, 2011
i consider myself very lucky for finding kennedy health system and Dr Balsama to do my vertical sleeve surgery. I, originally coming from a large city, felt that if i ever did decide to do something about my weight problem i would have to travel into philadelphia to get the patient care and expertise that i wanted and needed. I went to many seminars and many different dr's, but i never felt comfortable enough to make the "biggest decision" of my life. That all changed the day i walked into Dr Balsama's office. I not only felt comfortable with the Dr and his vast knowledge, but when i heard about the whole kennedy program, it became a " no brainer". That was 14 months ago and close to 200 lbs. The kennedy program is truly unsurpassed. everyone from the Dr's to the bariatric coordinator, to the nutritionists, and the entire nursing staff is there for us 24/7, for as long as we need them. i still attend every support group that is held each month. I get so much out of them, and i try to give back to all those who are thinking about having the surgery. I thank god that i did not go to the "big city" to have my surgery, i truly believe in my heart that i would not have done as well as i have without the Kennedy Group. Please do not hesitate to use kenndy healthsystem for your bariatric needs, you will not regret it!!'Oct. 31, 2011