Category Archives: Bariatric Surgery
In the mid 2000s, a novel approach to weight loss surgery was developed in the form of adjustable gastric banding. The first product to market was a band known as the Lap-Band and shortly after the Realize Band came in as competition. The gastric band was both new and very promising because it gave patients and adjustable and removable option that did not require permanent adjustment of the G.I. system. In essence, the band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach and tightened to form two stomach chambers. The smaller, upper chamber was the new receptacle for food and the band slowed the passage of food from the upper to the stomach. Patients would be limited in the amount they could eat, would feel full longer and ultimately lose weight.
Eventually this pandemic will be over and we all will feel comfortable eating out again. Food is a big part of life, and when you suddenly have to micromanage what you put in your mouth, it can become a bit overwhelming. One of the many lifestyle changes following bariatric surgery is to commit to eating a healthy diet. This goes beyond your own kitchen meals to what you eat at a restaurant.
BMI is used as the definitive measure of a person’s weight in relation to their height. While not perfect, it does offer more concrete measurement guidance for those looking to lose weight or have weight loss surgery than any prior tool. In this blog post we explore some of the pitfalls of the BMI and why it shouldn’t be the only factor you look at when measuring your candidacy for surgery or weight loss success.
We’ve all done it. Taking comfort in food. And we all know that comfort food is rarely the healthiest for us. Ice cream, bread, cake, fried foods…the list goes on. Emotional eating is something that virtually everyone indulges in during their lifetime. For bariatric surgery patients, emotional eating can represent an even greater challenge. Why? After bariatric surgery we “deprive” our bodies and mind of the foods that we may have liked or loved most before surgery. Typically, the foods that created our obesity problem are the same one that we crave. The body no longer has those familiar foods to enjoy.
Hello, this is Dr. Abbas and I just wanted to touch base with some of our patients and prospective patients because recently the ASMBS which is the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery put out a statement which essentially has been something that we’ve known for a long time. It’s of course composed of a very large number of bariatric surgeons and non-surgeons who specialize in metabolic surgery. Essentially the problem has been labeling. Calling bariatric surgery “purely elective” is… probably not very true.
For many decades, the gastric bypass has been the gold standard in resolution of many of the diseases associated with morbid obesity, as well as being the benchmark by which we measure the weight loss potential of any bariatric surgery. However, the nature of the gastric bypass, and to a lesser degree, the gastric sleeve, meant that many patients experienced a number of uncomfortable postoperative realities including dumping syndrome, potential for nutritional deficiencies, and some shorter-term complications such as leaks in the staple line.
Transcript (slightly edited for ease of reading)
Jenny: Just talking about bariatric surgery. Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?
Dr. Abbas: Generally speaking, anybody that has a BMI greater than 35. And the way you calculate your BMI is… Everybody has a smartphone now – just type in your height and type in your weight in a BMI calculator and you’ll actually get your BMI. So, BMI greater than 35 with a medical condition such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia which is elevated cholesterol or hypertension or if somebody has a BMI of 40. So, again, if you just type in BMI calculator in your Google search, you’ll find it. It is your weight relative to your height. So, BMI stands for the Body Mass Index.
So those are the patients who are actually on our candidates for bariatric surgery.
The obesity trend continues to rise in the United States with exceptionally severe consequences. Along with the exponential rise in obesity over the past several decades, we have seen a commensurate rise in type-2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, esophageal cancer and the incidence or worsening of many other cancers including breast, uterine and prostate. Unfortunately, the standard advice on how to lose weight, diet and exercise, begins to lose effectiveness once the patient becomes obese. Indeed, only about 5 to 10% of all of these patients are able to lose weight and maintain that weight loss over the long-term using diet and exercise alone. For those other 90 to 95% of patients, life can continue with yo-yo dieting, binge eating and a great deal of frustration that goes along with it. Similarly, weight loss pills are merely temporary solutions that will allow patients to regain the weight once the pill is no longer being taken.
General thinking on coronavirus has shifted from prevention to mitigation of disease spread. Virtually every country in the world and every state in the US will be affected to some degree. This is no surprise as the world has become smaller and global travel and commerce is easier than ever before.
While we have all heard and should follow CDC recommendations about washing hands, not touching our face and selectively self-quarantining and calling appropriate medical professionals if we believe we may have been infected, there are some additional tips that we, as metabolic surgical experts can offer to further reduce risk, both in bariatric and non-bariatric patient populations.
By Hussain Abbas, MD, FACS, Minimally Invasive Surgeon at Memorial Advanced Surgery
One of the very common question that I hear from my patients when I ask what delayed them in coming in and seeing me for their excess weight is: “Everybody’s telling me surgery is the easy route out.”