Bariatric surgeon has a passion for creating a better life for patients.
Dr. Mark Kent’s interest in bariatrics was first sparked when he noticed a need for it.
“Americans kept getting bigger and bigger. I felt an obligation to help them because I knew I could,” says Dr. Kent, a general and bariatric surgeon with Central Florida Health Medical Group in The Villages.
He treats gallbladders, hernias, skin, spleens, hemorrhoids and other ailments, but he specializes in a newer operation called the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which simply shrinks the stomach so the patient doesn’t eat as much, Dr. Kent says.
He’s had great success with that procedure.
“It’s become one of the more rewarding parts of my career because you see patients a year later after surgery and they’ve lost 75 pounds or so, their knees no longer hurt, they have eliminated the need for blood pressure medication and their diabetes is much better managed, if not cured,” Dr. Kent says. “They have a whole new life.”
Since attending medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and Mayo Graduate School, Dr. Kent has been practicing in bariatrics for almost 25 years. When he started, bariatric surgery procedures were performed using a large incision; now most of these procedures are performed laparoscopically.
“Antibiotics have improved, so the number of infections has been lowered, and instruments in the operating room have gotten better so they’re more user-friendly and dependable,” he says. “A number of advancements have also been made in the field of anesthesia resulting in patients experiencing less nausea post-surgery. These advancements, when combined with additional patient access to health and wellness education, translate into improved long-term clinical outcomes.”
Dr. Kent recently relocated to Central Florida from Nashville, Tennessee, where he had excellent results treating more than 500 weight-loss cases.
“I chose Central Florida due to the fact that I recognized the need for this service to be offered locally, without patient having to leave their community to get the high-quality weight loss surgery they deserve,” he says.
Before surgery, Dr. Kent helps patients prepare to take better care of themselves during an intensive six-month period that also involves a team of mental health professionals, dietitians and exercise therapists.
“This multi-disciplinary approach is designed to help our patients change their entire lifestyle, not just undergo surgery and hope they achieve their weight-loss goals,” he says. “Surgery is only one tool to help my patients help themselves.”
Dr. Kent selected a career as a physician because he wanted to help people and, years later, he still enjoys what he does for a living.
“It feels good to assist others in their journey to significantly improve the quality of their life,” he says. “At the end of the day, that is why I do what I do.”
Central Florida Health // 1451 El Camino Real, The Villages // 352.751.8000 // cfhmg.org