Bariatric surgery may be the best solution for you. We can help.
While exercise and eating right are the best ways to lose weight, we know this doesn’t always work for individuals who are morbidly obese. Bariatric surgery is an option for some people who are obese and have health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and sleep apnea. Weight loss can lessen the impact of these and other associated health conditions.
Surgery normally generates more weight loss than medical treatment. This means that surgery is also more likely to help with health conditions linked to obesity.
Talk with your doctor. Ask questions and share your concerns. Together, you can decide the right treatment for your needs.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgeons perform several different weight-loss procedures. The type of bariatric surgery that works best for you will depend on several factors, including your general health, your medical needs and your personal preference. At ECU Health Medical Center, one of these options may be your best solution.
Also called a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, this surgery reduces the amount of food you can eat at one time. It also reduces the number of calories and nutrients you can absorb from the foods you eat. Your surgeon separates part of the stomach to create a small pouch that is attached to part of your small intestine. This pouch holds less food, making you feel full faster. Since food bypasses the rest of the stomach and upper part of your small intestine, you absorb fewer calories and nutrients.
This surgery, also called gastric sleeve, removes up to 85 percent of the stomach. The surgery turns the stomach into a narrow tube that looks like a sleeve. Since the sleeve holds much less food, you feel full faster. Your stomach also produces less of the main hormone that causes hunger.
Planning for Bariatric Surgery
Work with your physician to determine which surgery is the best option for you. Set appropriate weight loss goals. No weight loss procedure will cause loss of 100 percent of your excess weight. Even so, health issues such as high blood pressure should improve, and you may be able to reduce the amount of medicine you need.
This criteria for surgery is important for best results:
- BMI > 40
- BMI > 35 with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnea. What’s my BMI?
- Able to pass medical clearance
- Willing to undergo extensive pre-op assessment and counseling
- Insurance coverage for weight loss procedures
What are the Risks?
All surgery has risks. Yours may vary according to your general health, your age, the type of surgery you’ll have and the amount of weight you want or need to lose. Talk with your physician about your personal risks.
Risks of bariatric surgery include:
- Bowel blockage (intestinal blockage)
- Blood clots in the legs that may travel to the lungs or heart
- Heart attack
- Need for follow-up surgery
- Gallstones (a delayed complication)
- Nutritional problems (a delayed complication)
- Mental health problems after the procedure
- Weight regain
The Post-Surgery Diet
You will receive instructions on how to adapt to your new diet after your surgery. Your provider or nutritionist will offer additional guidance about your diet. You’ll need to adopt good habits like choosing healthy foods and not skipping meals. Your provider or nutritionist may also need to screen for low levels of certain nutrients.
Managing Your Health After Surgery
Work with your health care team to stay healthy and keep track of your health status, especially as you lose weight quickly in the first six months after surgery. Weight-loss tends to peak approximately one year after surgery.
Bariatric Surgery Support Group
Medical, emotional and moral support are all important after weight-loss surgery to sustain your weight-loss and renew healthy habits. Explore resources from ECU Health to help your journey in the short-term and for the long run.