Did you know that there are more and more patients seeking bariatric surgery for more than just weight loss?
Across the board, bariatric surgery has been found to decrease or eliminate, in some cases, some of our most common health problems. For patients undergoing bariatric surgery:
As surgeries become more complex, patients will not only lose more weight but will experience a greater improvement in their health problems. For example, there is a well published study comparing gastric bypass to sleeve gastrectomy for control of diabetes. A bypass (which is more complex than a sleeve) has been shown to be more effective at controlling diabetes and patients going into remission compared to a sleeve gastrectomy.
Prior to your surgery, patients undergo an exercise stress test. Don’t worry, we use a bike not a treadmill! This helps our patients with bad joints or backs. With any surgery there are surgical risks, the surgical risk IS THE SAME for all of the bariatric surgeries performed by Dr. Hodges. For patients undergoing bariatric surgery, there is:
Dr. Hodges works with each patient individually to determine who is the best surgical candidate. She also works with you to find the best surgical option based on your past medical history, prior surgeries and, of course, your comfort level.
Generally, if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more, then you are a candidate for weight loss surgery. However, if you have certain health problems such as significant diabetes mellitus or GERD and your BMI is at least 30, then you may also be a candidate.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy has recently become the most frequently performed weight loss surgery. The sleeve gastrectomy utilizes restriction to limit caloric intake. This is initially aided by a change in the signals which control the hunger drive. Most patients will feel little hunger for the first one to two years following surgery. Unlike the gastric bypass, all calories and nutrients consumed are absorbed in the same manner as before surgery.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass is the “gold standard” for bariatric surgery. The surgery has seen many innovations since it was first performed over 30 years ago. Like the sleeve, this procedure uses restriction to limit caloric intake. Patients have the added benefit of malabsorption from small bowel rearrangement. This provides more overall and long term weight loss compared to a sleeve. However, patients are on the same vitamin and protein regimen as sleeve patients.
The duodenal switch results in the largest amount of weight loss with the least risk for weight re-gain. As one of the earliest procedures developed for weight loss, it was originally two surgeries that were performed through large abdominal incisions. It is now performed laparoscopically in a single stage. The “DS” combines restriction from a sleeve and malabsorption from small bowel rearrangement. It is this mechanism that results in additional weight loss and greatly limits weight re-gain.
Dr. Hodges highly recommends patients attend monthly support group meetings. The meetings are led by Dr. Collins Hodges, both a licensed clinical psychologist and someone who has had bariatric surgery himself. The support groups are offered on the first Monday of every month from 6:30pm – 7:15pm CST via an online GoToMeeting. The meetings are open to the public, and there is no charge to attend.