Our bariatric team, headed by specially trained surgeon and medical director Amir Heydari, MD, includes physicians, nurses, psychotherapists, exercise physiologists and dietitians who have a singular interest in the problems caused by morbid obesity. The team combines a surgical approach with mental health support, nutritional education and physical activity to enhance weight loss. We work together to provide you quality care, genuine respect, passionate caring and a joyful spirit.
Amir J. Heydari, MD, FACS
Dr. Amir Heydari is passionate in his belief that the disease of obesity and the alarming rise in individuals who are overweight demand the attention of the community, as well as the expertise of medical specialists to treat this serious health condition from both a surgical and non-surgical approach.
Dr. Heydari is a practicing board-certified, general, bariatric, oncologic and laparoscopic surgeon. He has held privileges for the last 13 years at Centegra Hospital – McHenry and Centegra Hospital – Woodstock. He has served in a variety of medical staff positions, including medical staff president and the Chairman of Department of Surgery.
Dr. Heydari received his Medical Doctor degree from the University of Colorado Health Science Center in 1990 while holding the position of Class President for three consecutive years. He completed his internship and General Surgical Residency at the University of Iowa, Hospitals and Clinics, where he served as Chief Administrative Resident in 1995. While at the University of Iowa, he trained under Dr. Edward E. Mason, the father of bariatric surgery and pioneer of operations such as Gastric Bypass and Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG). Included among his many awards are the two he is most proud of: The Edward E. Mason Award and Teacher of the Year Award.
Dr. Heydari has dedicated a great part of his practice to minimally invasive weight loss (bariatric) surgeries and care of overweight patients. Due to his commitment and strong conviction toward winning the battle against obesity, he has expanded his bariatric surgical practice to include a medically managed weight loss program, BMI Weight Busters, Inc. His desire and vision is to cater to the individual needs of any person who wishes to live a healthier life.
Additional Memberships Include:
- Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
- American Society of Bariatric Surgeons
- American Society of Bariatric Physicians
- American Medical Association
- McHenry County Medical Society
- Laparoendoscopic Society
Susie Dirkx, RN, BS, CNOR, Bariatric Coordinator
Susie has been a part of the Weight-Loss Surgery program since 2002 when she was the Team Leader at Centegra Hospital – McHenry. For the past three years, Susie has been the Bariatric Coordinator and brings together all facets of patient care starting with the informational sessions, classes, screening, hospital visits, post-op care and ongoing support through our wonderful and dynamic support group. Being a weight-loss patient herself, Susie can truly walk in the shoes of the patient.
“I consider it a privilege to be a part of the wonderful transformation to new health and happiness that our patients undergo.” ~Susie Dirkx
Sarah Buytendorp, RD, LDN, Outpatient Dietitian
You will meet Sarah along the weight loss journey on several occasions. Before surgery for nutrition screening and education regarding diet and lifestyle-related changes necessary for success after surgery. After surgery, you will meet with Sarah for follow-up appointments to discuss any nutrition-related questions you may have.
- Pre-surgical nutrition screening
- Pre-surgical education classes
- Post-surgical nutrition follow-up at Weeks 1 and 6, Months 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and yearly
Sarah’s philosophy of care:
“As a dietitian, I believe that successful weight management after bariatric surgery comes from being prepared for the necessary diet and lifestyle changes prior to surgery. My role is to help you identify the changes in diet you need to make and to provide the information and ideas to put those changes into place.”
Shira Greenfield, LCPC Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Shira participates in the pre-op class covering topics such as readiness for change and emotional eating. She also participates in the support group several times a year providing information and emotional support .
“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin