Birmingham Surgeons Perform Gastric Bypass Using Robot

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Friday, bariatric surgeons at St. Vincent’s East, Lee Schmitt, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Robert (Les) Miles, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Alabama Weight Loss Surgery, performed two gastric bypass surgeries using the da Vinci® Surgical System, also known as the “robot.” Dr. Schmitt and Dr. Miles will be the only bariatric surgeons in the state of Alabama routinely offering patients this minimally invasive option in gastric bypass surgery.

For the surgeon, the robot allows for better visualization by allowing him/her to control a camera with foot pedals. This allows the surgeon to obtain and control a tight 3D view of the surgical area.

Gastric bypasses are procedures for the treatment of clinically severe obesity. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and then constructs a “bypass” of some of the small intestine. The smaller stomach pouch restricts the amount of food the patient can comfortably eat, and the bypass decreases the number of nutrients and calories absorbed.

“This is just the latest example of our commitment to growing the robotic offerings at St. Vincent’s East,” said Todd Kennedy, chief executive officer at St. Vincent’s East. “Our surgeons wanted access to this highly advanced technology in their quest to offer the best outcomes possible for their patients.”

Dr. Miles was the first physician in Alabama to use the lap band in 2002. In 2008, Dr. Schmitt was Alabama’s first surgeon to use the REALIZE™ BAND and he performed the state’s first laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.

Dr. Schmitt and his partner Dr. Miles have performed more than 3,000 weight loss surgeries on patients from across Alabama. The comprehensive bariatric program they developed at St. Vincent's East includes a highly trained team of doctors, nurses, nutritionists and other specialists and has served as a model for dozens of new programs across the nation. For more information about Alabama Weight Loss Surgery, visit their website:

St. Vincent’s East ( is one of five facilities that comprise St. Vincent’s Health System. A member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest not-for-profit Catholic healthcare system, St. Vincent’s East is an acute-care, community-based facility providing inpatient, outpatient and outreach services to Birmingham and its surrounding communities.


for St. Vincent’s East
Bambi Bledsoe or Becci Hart, 205-803-0000

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Alabama

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Surgery  Health  Hospitals  Medical Devices