Christina Spina is a surgical physician assistant and program coordinator for the Bariatric Surgery Program at the University of California, San Francisco. She works directly with the bariatric surgeons to provide pre-operative surgical evaluations and immediate post-operative and long term follow-up care. She assists the bariatric surgeons in the operating room. Christina is also trained and certified in Lap Band port access and adjustment of gastric banding.
Christina guides patients in preparation for bariatric surgery, providing patient education about the surgical weight loss procedures, post-operative dietary restrictions and nutritional supplementation, and appropriate weight loss after surgery. She facilitates a bariatric support group at UCSF for both pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients and their families that meets on a monthly basis.
In 2011, Christina graduated from Touro University with Dual Masters degrees in Physician Assistant Studies and Public Health. She completed her clinical training at several hospitals and private practices with diverse patient populations throughout California.
Christina is board certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She is an active member of the California Academy of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
The story of James Dials', a gregarious 62-year-old limousine driver who weighed 400 lbs. and was down on his luck is riveting. “My life was very uncomfortable,” Dials said. “I was a diabetic and I injected insulin. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. I was on all kinds of medications.” That’s when he discovered the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Program, a Level 1 accredited center for weight-loss surgery by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network of the American College of Surgeons. “James had relatively advanced obesity,” says Stanley Rogers. M.D. , chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery and director of the Bariatric Surgery Center and Liver Tumor Ablation Program at UCSF Medical Center. “And we know that weight loss either with or without surgery can significantly impact those medical problems, and can make these medical problems called co-morbidities go away as weight loss occurs.” “I have all sorts of choices now,” he said. “It’s like a kid getting a new toy on Christmas. That’s how life is to me now. Everything is new in life now. I have more self-esteem and I care more about myself."