Dr. Charles Diggiss, FRCS. Obesity (Bariatric) Surgeon:
One of the most respected names in bariatric surgery in The Bahamas, Dr. Charles Diggiss is a pioneer in Laparoscopy in General Surgery and an eminent surgeon who is respected and highly regarded in The Bahamas, and beyond.
Dr. Diggiss undertook medical studies at the University of the West Indies and, thereafter his graduate training in General Surgery featured emergency and trauma surgery.
Deciding to broaden his horizons and expand his knowledge, he went to Scotland as a part of the West of Scotland post-graduate training program in Surgery.
After success with the final fellowship in Surgery with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, Scotland, he returned to The Bahamas. Later in life he completed the Physician Executive Business Program at the University of Southern California and obtained a Master’s Degree in Medical Management.
Dr. Diggiss’ career took off when he became Director of the Emergency Room at the Princess Margaret Hospital, a non-profit publicly funded hospital in Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas. He also worked there in emergency and trauma surgery. In 1989, interested in expanding the health care capabilities of his community, he went into private practice at Doctors Hospital, the largest private hospital in all the Bahamas, where he developed its emergency room. It was there that he became interested in the future of surgery in his country and specifically in the potential of laparoscopy.
In 1993, Dr. Diggiss introduced laparoscopy to Doctors Hospital, opening the doors to the many advantages that this technology brings to general surgery. In 1997, he was contacted by the President of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) and invited to become the first surgeon able to perform lap-band surgery in The Bahamas. He received training under Prof. Mitiku Belachew in Belgium and together they performed the very first lap-band surgery in The Bahamas in 1997. Dr Diggiss has since extended laparoscopy in General Surgery to many advanced applications.
Dr. Diggiss is also President and CEO of The MedNet Group, a full-service Healthcare Practice and Business Management organization throughout The Bahamas.
Dr. Diggiss’ vision and initiative led him to develop a weight management program that would complement the lap-band surgery. Doctors Hospital and Bahamas Medical Center have become centers for the performance of his weight loss surgery. After training and extensive experience in Laparoscopic gastric sleeve and gastric plication Dr. Diggiss is able to offer his patients their choice, as indicated and appropriate, of three – LapBand, gastric plication (GCP) and gastric sleeve – restrictive bariatric procedures.
“Preparing the right patient for the selected procedure while focusing on the overall improvement in their health is paramount”, says Dr. Diggiss.
“Patients must be optimized for surgery to reduce complications. It is imperative that all that can be done in the preparation and throughout the procedure to ensure a ‘safe’ experience, is done!” continues Diggiss. Dr. Diggiss notes that ‘the post-operative compliance with follow-up is ‘challenging’ for many patients, ‘so programs have to put resources into keeping track of their patients progress……failure to get to the desired weight loss and failure to sustain the weight loss are disappointments for the patient, program and surgeon!’ Long term sustained weight loss and reduced burden of obesity related diseases comes with sustained lifestyle changes.
What is long-term success?
Dr. Diggiss has a clear, unambiguous definition for weight loss success. His programs are designed to help patients achieve and sustain a clearly set Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of obesity for most people. Calculating BMI is one of the best methods for assessing whether a person is overweight or obese.
Dr. Diggiss achieves this goal with his patients not only through his knowledge and experience, but also through his personal investment with each patient. His personal involvement is the key to success for many of his patients. His approach is very personal, making each patient understand that they are an individual and not a number. When Dr. Diggiss decides to accept a patient, his objective is to provide a 100% successful solution for that patient! He shares the journey with each of his patients. This approach requires important follow-up visits spending the time and energy with patients to help them to understand how success is attained in their journey, despite episodic ‘failures’.
Perhaps nobody can say it better than Dr. Diggiss himself, “A patient’s success is my success. A patient’s failure is equally my failure.”
Most notably, Dr Diggiss recalls the case of a patient who weighed nearly 500 pounds. The non-surgical weight loss program succeeded in bringing her weight down to 400 pounds. Gastric plication (LGCP) assisted her to lose weight further down now to almost 300 pounds!! While her journey continues, she is still losing weight in a stable manner.
The most gratifying part of Dr. Diggiss’ job is to bring a higher quality of life to patients struggling with obesity. Not only does obesity pose increased health risks including that of early death, but these risks are compounded with the social stigma of poor body image and low self-esteem! Dr Diggiss delights in witnessing the improvement in body image in patients as they go through their journey of sustained weight loss. Seeing some patients 2 or 3 years after surgery with a much more attractive and confident self-image is gratifying. On occasion as necessary, plastic surgery to remove excess skinfolds is performed for optimal body image results.
International patients that want to receive treatment from Dr. Diggiss including one of the Laparoscopic gastric restrictive procedures need to be aware that they have to be fit enough to tolerate a procedure performed under general anesthesia and, healthy enough to tolerate traveling. Adult patients (with stable chronic obesity-related conditions) with BMI 35 – 60: (~200 – 500 pounds) are welcomed to find out if they qualify to become a part of the program.
Contact Dr. Charles Diggiss for weight loss solutions in The Bahamas.