Is Bariatric Surgery Right for Me?
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a life-long struggle for some. In certain cases, people are unable to lose the weight necessary to be healthy. Your physician may suggest considering medical or surgical weight loss programs.
When dieting isn’t enough or you have additional health concerns that make exercise impossible, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
Adults who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or higher are considered obese. Higher weight adults may also have compounding conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or movement difficulties.
Types of Bariatric Surgeries
Bariatric surgery is a commitment to a new lifestyle. There are many types of bariatric surgery, however the two most successful are gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.
At Beebe, our bariatric surgery team provides health and nutrition counseling, support, and information on the lifestyle changes necessary to keep the weight off following surgery.
The two types of bariatric surgery performed at Beebe are:
- Gastric bypass surgery requires reducing the size of the stomach and rerouting the intestines to change the digestive track. Gastric bypass assists with weight loss by limiting food intake and reducing calories that are absorbed after eating.
- Vertical sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of the stomach to 30 percent of its original capacity. Because there is no rerouting of the intestines, it is less extreme than the gastric bypass. In addition to limiting the amount of food you are able to eat, the sleeve also offers excellent appetite suppression. This procedure does not require any implanted devices.
After Weight Loss Surgery
Patients who have completed the pre-surgery program of changing their diet, adding exercise, and attending regular updates with their physician, are extremely ready to be successful following surgery.
During the pre-surgery time period, they attend classes where the group discusses emotional issues and provides support for what to expect after surgery. Counseling sessions are also often recommended as our weight can play a big role in how we see ourselves and how we engage with the world around us.
The minimally invasive bariatric surgery does require some recuperation, however patients are often back to living their lives in a matter of weeks. Common side effects from weight loss surgery include nausea, diarrhea, bloating, or dizziness. As your body becomes accustomed to the new you, many of these symptoms dissipate.
Michael Sofronski, MD, is a board certified general surgeon who practices bariatric surgery. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He completed his residency in general surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and completed a clinical preceptorship in bariatric surgery at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Sofronski is with Beebe General and Bariatric Surgery & Wellness Center at Bayview Medical Drive, Lewes.