The Philosophy of Care at Our Bariatric Surgery Center

At Swedish Medical Center our Bariatric Care Program is centered around the patient, focusing on their goals. Our trusted, board-certified bariatric surgeon, Dr. Richard Tillquist, is known for his minimally invasive surgical techniques that lead to faster recovery times. “We provide unique comprehensive individualized care plan for each patient to give them the best chance of becoming active and healthy again,” says Dr. Tillquist.

In the video above, you’ll learn more information about Swedish Medical Center’s Bariatric Care program. At Swedish, we have an entire team that is dedicated to providing service to our bariatric patients. Additionally, the support groups at Swedish Medical Center are free for bariatric patients, before and after surgery, and we encourage patients to talk to other patients who have had different procedures. This process will help ensure that patients have chosen the right procedure for them. Our team will then help guide each patient through this process.

Every month, patients will be weighed and we’ll consult with them in regards to the medications that they’re taking, their eating habits and whether or not they’re following the program correctly. This helps us pick up on subtle signs of other issues that may arise as patients go through the weight loss.

Swedish Medical Center also offers free bariatric seminars to men and women who are interested in learning more about bariatric surgery. During the seminar you’ll learn more information about:

  • Qualifying for surgery.
  • What you can expect.
  • Details about surgery options.
  • Our bariatric surgeon.
  • Insurance/payment.

For more information about bariatric surgery in the Denver area, contact http://www.Swedish Medical Center by visiting or by calling (303) 788-5000.


Take Me to Swedish

It was a relaxed evening of sewing for Sandra Arreola.  At seventy-one years old, her favorite pastime was rarely interrupted. There may have been an occasional, brief conversation with her husband Phillip or a quick pause to answer the phone but this evening something interrupted Sandra that was unexpected. “As I was sewing, my arm all of a sudden wouldn’t move, my leg then wouldn’t move and as I opened my mouth to call out for my husband who was in the other room, I couldn’t talk,” explains Sandra.

In that moment, Sandra knew exactly what was happening to her; she was having a stroke. “I heard this groaning from Sandra’s room so I decided to go check on her. I went into the room and immediately called 9-1-1,” says Phillip Arreola, Sandra’s husband.  “One neighbor of mine who is a nurse told me to tell the paramedics to take Sandra to Swedish. She assured me, Swedish had the best stroke care in the state,” explains Phillip.

Sandra was cared for by Dr. Chris Fanale and his team. “Everyone was just wonderful at Swedish!” says Sandra. “He was very knowledgeable and his team was ready for me when I got there,” she explains. “It is through the collaboration among physicians, nurses, therapists and staff at Swedish Medical Center that such great patient outcomes can happen. We strive every day to take the very best care of all of our stroke patients,” says Dr. Chris Fanale, HealthONE Stroke and CO-DOC Medical Director.

Sandra’s door to needle time was 34 minutes. Door to needle time is the total amount of time it takes to assess the patient, transport the patient to CT, identify stroke, and initiate aggressive clot busting treatment. She also suffered no paralysis and had no major side effects. She was back at home within the week. “It was miraculous, I’m so glad I had the paramedics take her to Swedish, they really do have the best stroke team,” says Phillip.

Home Away from Home

“I was never worried! I knew I’d be taken care of and taken care of well.”

Jennifer Keep never expected that a routine visit to the doctor would entirely change the next six weeks of her life. Jennifer was pregnant with her second child and for the most part her pregnancy was going well. She prepared to have a natural birth by mid-wife as she did with her first child and was expecting to hit her due date with no interruptions. However, that day at the doctor’s office changed everything in her plans.

During her visit, doctors found that she was suffering from placenta previa, a complication that puts a pregnant woman at high-risk for bleeding. “I was pretty scared because I didn’t know what could happen,” says Jennifer.  With such a complication Jennifer was also told that she’d have to stay at the hospital on bed-rest until her baby was born. “I had to figure out what to do with work, it was really hard for my family,” explains Jennifer.


As life quickly turned upside down in a matter of minutes, she says the staff at Swedish was prepared to make the transition as smooth as possible. “I didn’t have to worry about a thing!  They took great care of me,” she explains.  Jennifer quickly became a “resident” at Swedish as she would describe it and settled into her new home away from home. “It was a lot like being at home but better! I didn’t have to worry about my next meal, I didn’t have to worry about my care, it was great,” she says. “I was always taken care of.”


Jennifer was monitored three times a day for an hour at a time. “I got to know all the nurses quite well,” she explains. “They embraced me like family. I could walk around the unit a little at a time and I also got the chance to make friends with other expecting mothers in my unit. It was nice to have others to talk too.”


After several weeks into her stay at Swedish, baby Audrey was born by c-section on February 26th weighing in at 4lbs. 13oz. a month a half earlier than expected. “Everybody was so well trained. My delivery went really well,” says Jennifer. Audrey stayed in the NICU for several days and Jennifer says the care for her daughter was an even bigger comfort during her stay. “They were great with Audrey, I felt I could leave at any point and she would always be in good hands.”


Jennifer couldn’t be more thankful to have had such a great staff of medical professionals by her bedside day in and day out. “I just came, stayed a while and had a baby. I would recommend Swedish to anyone! It’s such a good hospital. They have a plan for everything; my care here was absolutely wonderful!”


Concussion Warning Signs

Concussions are potentially severe brain injuries that are caused by trauma to the skull. In the United States, sports-related concussions are extremely common, affecting more than 300,000 American athletes annually according to the University of Pittsburgh Brain Trauma Research Center.

By watching the video above, you can learn more about the symptoms of concussions. You can also find out when parents should consider seeking professional medical help for an injured child.

If you suspect that you or your child may have a concussion, the professionals of Swedish Medical Center are available to answer your medical questions, so call us today at (303) 788-5000. Our hospital is the region’s referral center for neurotrauma and is a recognized leader in the treatment of neurological conditions.

What is a Concussion?

“Believe it or not, many (if not most) concussions are preventable. Precautions like wearing a helmet or buckling up can decrease your risk of concussion injury.”—Phyllis Uribe, Swedish Trauma Supervisor. 

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results in the temporary loss of normal brain function. Concussions can be caused by a fall or blow to the head that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth. Although most concussions may be considered relatively minor brain injuries, these events can cause long-term changes in the way that the brain functions and may require treatment at a hospital.

The symptoms of concussion are normally categorized into four groups, depending on how they affect brain function.

  • Thinking/Remembering: These symptoms can include difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering new information. Some sufferers also feel as if their thinking process has slowed down.
  • Physical: Depending on the area of the brain affected by the concussion, patients can experience a variety of physical symptoms. Headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue can all occur as the result of concussion. Victims of concussion may also experience sensory difficulties such as light sensitivity and blurry vision.
  • Emotional/Mood: Concussions can also affect a person’s mood by causing irritability, sadness, stress, anxiety or nervousness.
  • Sleep: After a concussion, a victim can have difficulties maintaining healthy sleep patterns. Some sleep more than usual, while others do not sleep enough or have issues falling asleep.

Normally, the symptoms of concussion only occur briefly and resolve completely after a short time. In some cases, however, the symptoms require a much longer recovery period. Some symptoms may also appear long after the injury occurred.

In rare cases, a concussion can lead to serious and life-threatening symptoms that require immediate attention from a hospital’s emergency department. Some of the severe danger signs of concussions include seizures or convulsions, a worsening of symptoms, loss of consciousness, an inability to be woken up, slurred speech and decreased coordination.

The Level I Trauma Center at Swedish Medical Center is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to provide expert care to you and your loved ones when every second counts. Contact our staff today by calling (303) 788-5000 for more information about our comprehensive medical services.

A Look at How High Blood Pressure Affects the Body

“It is often called the “silent killer” because many people experience no symptoms with high blood pressure.”— Dr. Lee MacDonald, Swedish Interventional Cardiologist

High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries reaches an unhealthy level. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, hypertension can lead to other serious medical conditions such as kidney disease, heart failure and blindness. If you are interested in seeking treatment for hypertension, visit Swedish Medical Center. Our hospital is home to one of the leading heart care centers in Denver.

The arteries are composed of muscle and semi-flexible tissue that allows for a certain amount of stretching when blood flows through. If these vessels are continuously stretched beyond their healthy limit by the forces of high blood pressure, a variety of issues can occur.

  • Vascular weakness: Continuous stress on the arteries eventually causes weaknesses to occur in certain parts of the vessels, making them more prone to tears. Aneurysms and strokes are both caused by ruptured vessels.
  • Vascular scarring: Overstretching can lead to micro-tears in the vessel wall that heal over and form patches of scar tissue. This scar tissue acts like a net by trapping blood cells, cholesterol, plaques and other debris that travel through the bloodstream. This leads to a narrowing of the arteries and possible blockage.
  • Increased stress on the heart: As the arteries get narrower and narrower, the heart must work harder to push blood to the rest of the body. This compounds the problem and further weakens the circulatory system.
  • Tissue and organ damage: When the arteries become blocked and narrowed, less blood is able to reach organs and peripheral tissues. Without enough of the oxygen and nutrients that are carried in blood, these tissues become damaged.

By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you can help to reduce your risk for vascular injury and cardiovascular disease. “Getting your blood pressure checked is a simple and potentially lifesaving one minute test that everyone should have done on a routine basis,” explains Dr. Lee MacDonald.

If you have questions about maintaining healthy blood pressure and preventing heart disease, call the heart specialists of Swedish Medical Center today at (303) 788-5000.

No One Dies Alone Program Brings Comfort During Time of Grief

“Mom’s greatest wish was to go back to her volunteer days. To know that a volunteer was by her bed side is so amazing.”

January 6th, 2011 was a hard day for Nancy Lauth. Her 86-year old mother, Eileen, was taken to Swedish Medical Center after suffering a severe stroke. “She had already gone into a coma by the time I arrived at the hospital,” explains Nancy.  Living hours away, Nancy‘s stay had to be cut short so she could tend to her horses. Not wanting to leave her mother alone, she called on the No One Dies Alone program to assist her. “It was a waiting game, I needed someone there to be with her, it was just such a relief if I didn’t get back in time that she wouldn’t be alone,” says Nancy.

The No One Dies Alone program was brought to Swedish in 2010. NODA is a group made up of volunteers who are notified when someone is alone and near the end of life. “It speaks to our humanity to have somebody there to connect with a person during their last minutes on earth; it’s just amazing,” says program chair, Nan Morgan.

Volunteer Karin Ostlund was called in to be with Eileen. “I’m honored that I can sit in for families that can’t be there by their bedside,” explains Karin.  Once Nancy left the hospital for the night, Karin sat with Eileen and read to her for several hours. “It made me feel good knowing she wasn’t alone,” says Karin.

Later that evening, Eileen passed away with Karin at her side. Eileen had been a volunteer herself at Swedish for more than 30 years. “Mom’s greatest wish was to go back to her volunteer days. To know that a volunteer was by her bed side is so amazing,” says Nancy who received the chance to say her goodbyes before leaving that night.  Karin says it’s a privilege to help people during a time of need. The Lauth family couldn’t have been more grateful for NODA. “The program helped us both through it, I’m so thankful we had this option,” says Nancy.