Weight-loss surgery (bariatric surgery) is an excellent option for people unable to break the weight-gain cycle with diet or exercise. A lot of my patients have struggled to keep weight off and are now facing serious medical issues. Studies show weight-loss surgery is as safe as gallbladder surgery. The risks of not having the surgery are higher due to health conditions caused by obesity.
Bariatric surgery can improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce health risks associated with heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis.
If you are overweight and can’t seem to shed pounds with traditional diet and exercise, here are a few bariatric surgeries to look into:
- Gastric bypass. I create a small stomach pouch that makes the patient feel fuller after meals. I then rearrange the normal flow of food and fluid to prevent calories from being absorbed.
- Gastric sleeve. With about 80 percent of the stomach removed, the patient naturally eats less at each meal. The “hunger hormone” linked to overeating called Ghrelin is also eliminated, according to a study from the National Library of Medicine.
- The gastric band. I put a silicon device shaped like a band around the top part of the stomach. When it is filled, the band restricts the amount of food and fluid a person can eat or drink.
Having surgery close to home is important. Long-distance travel can impair a patient’s ability to make regular, necessary postoperative doctor’s visits. It’s important to maintain a close relationship with your surgeon a year or longer after surgery.
Also, the best results after surgery come when patients follow the dietary and exercise guidelines their bariatric team has developed for them preoperatively. The bariatric surgeon you pick should work closely with a nutrition counselor and other healthcare providers from your community to help you develop the healthy habits needed to stay on track and achieve weight-loss goals both before and after surgery.
A seminar is a great way to learn more. Information about Nuvance Health bariatric seminars, support groups and surgical services is available here or you can reach my office at 845-871-4275 (TTY: 800-421-1220).
Dr. Brian Binetti is a general and bariatric surgeon in Kingston and Rhinebeck and the director of metabolic and weight loss surgery at Nuvance Health’s Northern Dutchess Hospital. The hospital is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.