As we head into the New Year, many people put losing weight at the top of their resolution list. It’s the perfect time to start fresh, set your goals for the year and put those objectives into motion.
Years of living with the complications of obesity often lead people to consider having weight loss surgery, known as bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery can be a lifesaver for people who are considered obese. You might ask, “What is bariatric surgery?” The term includes various types of procedures aimed at restricting food intake and/or causing food to pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract without being fully absorbed or digested. Along with weight loss, bariatric surgery provides many other benefits.
At San Ramon Regional Medical Center, our bariatric team can help you find the solutions to reduce your health risks and your waistline. We offer several types of weight loss surgery. Each type has advantages and considerations. Your medical team will review each procedure to help determine the best solution for you.
“Your personal weight loss journey might look different from others. You may already know exactly what you want to do, or you may be on the fence and interested in learning more,” said Dr. Aileen Murphy, General and Bariatric Surgeon at San Ramon Regional Medical Center. “Wherever you are in the process, or if you have any questions along the way, our team is here to help you.”
Steps to Weight Loss Surgery
· Ask around. Reaching out to a friend or a relative who’s had weight loss surgery is a great place to start. You may also want to attend seminars and educational events to hear advice, tips and personal testimonials.
· Do your research. Learn from credible online sources, such as the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons’ website. You can also check out the Services page on our website to learn more about weight loss surgery.
· Talk to your doctor. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss your weight, your individual health risks, and if surgery is right for you.
· Choose a surgeon or hospital. Insurance may limit your choice of surgeon or hospital, so start there to understand your options. Our team can help you through the process of getting pre-authorized for your procedure.
· Pre-surgery process. An important part of the weight loss surgery journey is the pre-surgery program, which usually consists of a supervised weight loss attempt that can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on your program’s guidelines. After this process, you will then have a pre-operative appointment to go over any last-minute details before surgery.
· Have your surgery. If it’s right for you, you’ll move forward with the surgery and on to a healthier you.
Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
The primary benefit of bariatric surgery is obvious: weight loss. However, the surgery may also help:
· Achieve more consistent results than lifestyle counseling and prescriptions.
· Improve overall quality of life.
· Reduce or eliminate other health conditions that often accompany obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels and joint problems.
· Reduce need or dosage for medications that address obesity-related conditions. (Please be sure to talk with your doctor(s) before making changes in medications).
· Increase ability to participate in physical activities.
· Increase self-esteem and desire for social interaction while decreasing stress and/or depression symptoms.
Getting Started on Your Journey
“Once you reach a certain weight, calorie restriction and an exercise regimen may not achieve adequate results for a healthier lifestyle,” said Dr. Murphy. “Bariatric surgery is a tool that helps your efforts turn into a reality.”
Weight loss can be hard and frustrating. We are here to help. If you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery, our San Ramon Regional Medical Center team can assist you in reaching your goals.
For help finding a bariatric surgeon, please head to our website to find a physician near you or call (855) 780-4263.
Weight loss surgery is generally designed for those with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious co-morbidities. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Lap Band® is also FDA-approved for weight loss surgery in people with a BMI of 30 to 35 who have at least one obesity-related condition. Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like many types of surgery, it does have risks. Consult with your physician about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery.