Live a Better, Healthier Life in 2016

Tift Regional Medical Center can help

Many use the New Year as a gateway to personal transformation.  It could mean making a resolution to eat better, exercise more or to get a chronic condition under control. It could mean dropping a bad habit like smoking or finding more balance between work and family.

The New Year can be an investment for personal change.  It comes with its own contemplation, motivation and collective momentum.  How are you going to use that capital this year? How can it encourage you to revitalize yourself and optimize your health?

“Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton offers services that can assist those who want to look and feel better in the New Year,” said Chris Efaw, Tift Regional Health System’s Vice President, Outreach and Development.  “These programs are designed to help patients face health challenges with confidence and to set realistic goals.”

Medical weight loss and Lap-Band surgery.     Losing weight can be difficult, especially when you feel like you’ve tried everything. The TRMC Weight Loss Center provides effective methods that help shed the pounds.

“With a team of clinical professionals, TRMC offers both medical weight loss programs and Lap-Band surgery designed to guide and support you every step of the way,” said Efaw.

With TRMC’s medically-supervised weight loss program located at Affinity Clinic in Tifton, Dr. James Graham and nurse practitioner Dawn Floyd work with patients to assess their current level of health and then design a plan to assist them in reaching their goal weight.  HealthWise meal replacement plans and supervised modified diet plans are available with clinic consultations, B12/B complex injections and office visits to monitor weight, blood pressure and urinary ketoses as well as review progress and provide support.

TRMC is also offering a safe and effective treatment for obese adult patients who have been unsuccessful with non-surgical weight reduction alternatives.  General and bariatric surgeon Dr. Christopher Smith is trained and experienced in Lap-Band procedures—safe, minimally invasive and adjustable weight loss surgeries. This gastric banding system serves as a tool to control hunger by limiting food consumption and creating an earlier feeling of fullness without the high risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with gastric bypass.

Dr. Smith holds a clinic at the Tift Regional Weight Loss Center, located at the TRMC West Campus. He performs surgical procedures at the TRMC Surgery Center.   For more information on the TRMC Weight Loss Center, visit or call 229-391-4100.

Find relief from acid reflux without pills.  General and bariatric surgeon Dr. Christopher Smith has also recently begun performing a new procedure at TRMC to assist in reducing the effects acid reflux.  This new procedure, called the LINX System, is able to provide relief for patients who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as heartburn or acid reflux. The side effects of GERD are caused by a weak muscle in the esophagus (called the esophageal sphincter) that allows acid and bile to splash up from the stomach into the esophagus. This often causes injury to the lining of the esophagus and causes symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat, or cough. Millions of adults in the U.S. suffer from GERD.

Most GERD sufferers attempt to alleviate the side effects of GERD by taking over the counter or prescription medications, but medications cannot address the underlying issue of the weak esophageal sphincter muscle. The new LINX system offered by Dr. Smith at TRMC is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The beads are connected by titanium wires. The LINX System is implanted around the weak esophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads keeps the weak esophageal sphincter closed to help prevent reflux. Swallowing forces separate the beads temporarily to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach.

“The outpatient procedure itself takes approximately one hour and patients are generally able to go home within one day,” said Dr. Smith.   

The benefits of having the LINX procedure include no alteration to the stomach, reduction of gas and bloating, in addition to preserving the ability to belch and vomit if needed. Patients report reduction in acid exposure to the esophagus, improvement in heartburn and regurgitation symptoms, and a reduction or elimination of GERD medications. For more information on the LINX System or to learn on how schedule an evaluation, call 229-353-2263.

Cosmetic surgery and skin laser resurfacing.  Are you considering plastic or reconstructive surgery? Go no further than Tifton for advanced cosmetic procedures, reconstructive surgery and skin laser resurfacing. Derron Spikes, M.D. and the team at Allure Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are available to develop an individualized treatment plan that will help refine, rejuvenate and enhance the way you look and feel.

Services offered by Dr. Spikes include cosmetic surgery for the face, breast and body; breast, skin cancer, burn and wound reconstructive surgery; laser skin resurfacing to reduce facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes, acne scars and pre-malignant lesions; Botox and dermal filler injections; chemical peels; Obagi skin care products; Latisse growth treatment for eye lashes; and, breast reduction.

Allure Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is located in Tifton at 907 East 18th Street, Suite 340. Call 229-391-3600 to make an appointment.   Visit for more information.   

Non-surgical laser treatment for varicose veins.  Radiologist Carl Stalvey, M.D. is now offering a non-surgical laser procedure at Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) to treat varicose veins.  If you are one of more than 25 million Americans who suffer from varicose veins, you may benefit from this treatment that’s safe, virtually painless and requires little-to-no downtime.

“Varicose veins can be unsightly, uncomfortable and a symptom of vein disease,” said Dr. Stalvey.  “The VenaCure EVLT laser vein treatment procedure utilizes laser energy to achieve proven results without the discomfort and lengthy recovery experienced through surgical options.  The entire procedure takes about an hour at Tift Regional Medical Center, and depending on the severity of the condition, may be covered by insurance.”

Talk to your provider today.  A referral from a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant is required.   For more information, visit or call the TRMC Radiology Department at 229- 353-6966.   

Asthma patients can breathe easier with Bronchial Thermoplasty.  Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) and the pulmonologists with Affinity Clinic in Tifton now offer Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT), a minimally-invasive bronchoscopic procedure that delivers thermal energy to the airway wall in a precisely controlled manner in order to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle (ASM).  This helps reduce attacks in adult patients with severe asthma and is shown to improve asthma-related quality of life for people living with the disease.

“Prior to the BT procedure, doctors had only pharmaceutical medications to offer their severe asthma patients temporary relief from asthma symptoms,” said Sandy Wells, RRT, RCP, TRMC Director of Respiratory Therapy.   “We now can offer this first-of-its-kind procedure to provide severe asthma patients with a safe, long-lasting and proven treatment option to help reduce asthma attacks.”

In a national clinical study, Wells said 79 percent of patients treated with BT saw a significant improvement in their asthma-related quality of life.

“Asthma patients have become accustomed to avoiding the many environmental triggers that increase their risks of having an asthma attack, such as staying indoors during pollen or cold weather seasons, avoiding perfume and cigarette smoke, avoiding exercise or any type of exertion or stress,” said Wells. “People with severe asthma can miss work, school, and even avoid traveling due to the effects of the disease. In addition, adults whose severe asthma symptoms persist despite taking the maximum tolerated medications are at risk of suffering life-threatening asthma attacks requiring immediate treatment at an emergency room.”

Wells added that the Bronchial Thermoplasty procedure is not a substitute for pharmaceutical medication as prescribed by a doctor. It works along with pharmaceuticals to provide less risk of asthma attacks and its complications for those suffering from severe asthma.

A physician referral is required for the Bronchial Thermoplasty procedure. For more information, visit or call 229- 353-7526.   Learn more about TRMC pulmonologists at

Get non-healing wounds under control.  Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) has teamed with the Healogics network to introduce a new outpatient wound care and hyperbaric clinic with medical director and wound care specialist Kent Burton, M.D.  Providing additional support and care for patients is Langston Cleveland, M.D.   Located at Tifton Physicians Center (adjacent to Tift Regional Medical Center), the Tift Regional Wound Care & Hyperbaric Clinic provides comprehensive treatment for non-healing wounds.

Dr. Burton stated that likely candidates for treatment at the new center are those suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, radiation injuries to soft tissue and bone, compromised skin grafts and flaps, and wounds that haven’t healed within 30 days.   Patients can be referred by a healthcare provider, but self-referred patients are also accepted.   “We will work closely with a patient’s primary care provider, surgeon or specialist in evaluation and treatment,” said Dr. Burton.

The Tift Regional Wound Care & Hyperbaric Clinic is located at Tifton Physicians Center, 907 E. 18th Street, Suite 140, Tifton.  For more information, visit or call 353-HEAL (4325).

Look and feel your best

New services offered by Tift Regional Medical Center to help you take charge of your health

  • Medical weight loss clinic
  • Lap-Band weight loss surgery
  • LINX system for acid reflux relief
  • Cosmetic surgery and skin laser resurfacing
  • Laser therapy for varicose veins
  • Bronchial Thermoplasty to help reduce severe attacks for adult asthma patients
  • Wound care & hyperbaric clinic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s