Category Archives: Bariatric Surgery
When dealing with excess weight and obesity, you may avoid taking photos and videos on vacations or family get-togethers. You may even dislike looking in the mirror. However, doing so can be a great way to jumpstart your weight loss and keep yourself motivated as you begin to lose weight.
Before bariatric surgery, many patients recall the moment that they looked at a recent photo of themselves. Some declare that they didn’t even recognize themselves. They looked older and larger than they believed themselves to be. However, that stark realization finally allows many patients to come to terms with where they are and where they need to go. It is often when they realize that they can’t do it by themselves. There’s just too much weight to lose.
But even after surgery, photos and journaling play a big part in success. We suggest taking pictures of yourself every few weeks during the first six months to a year after surgery, and after that time, taking a photo once every 2 to 3 months helps see your longer-term progress. Journaling your progress is also a great way not only to lose more weight but to remind yourself of how far you’ve come, especially when you’re feeling down or unmotivated.
One of the most common reasons our patients consider bariatric surgery is that they want to be around for their kids or grandkids. This is a great reason to get healthy and a noble goal for getting started on a weight loss program. However, a more profound and arguably even more important reason revolves around those same kids. Kids tend to mimic and follow the behaviors and habits that they see from their parents and grandparents.
So yes, while you may get to enjoy your kids more than you do now, you may also be saving them from severe metabolic disease later in life.
You may have come across intermittent fasting in your diet research. Intermittent fasting is one of the few dietary programs that isn’t a fad and has a basis in research and history. Humans have fasted out of necessity, religiously or for weight loss purposes, for hundreds if not thousands of years. Fasting has proven to be relatively successful in helping patients lose weight.
Depending on your circumstance, your bariatric surgeon may require that you participate in a low-calorie preoperative liver shrink diet, lasting anywhere from five days to two weeks, several weeks prior to surgery. This diet is very restrictive and like what you will experience in the liquid diet for the first week or so after surgery. And there is very good reason for this. When we perform bariatric surgery, we are visualizing the abdominal cavity and stomach. The liver is close by, and a larger, fattier liver means less visibility. As you can imagine, visibility is one of the most important components of a successful laparoscopic or robotic surgical procedure.
With our patients suffering from morbid or even extreme obesity, the safety and effectiveness of the bariatric procedure may be compromised without this preoperative diet.
How Do I Get Through This Diet?
Many patients look at the pre-op liver shrink diet with trepidation. How is it possible to eat just several hundred calories a day and keep my head on straight? To be sure it is daunting; but we first must remember that this is a necessity for a safer and more effective procedure. As such, it should be taken seriously.
Second, this pre-op diet gives you a glimpse into what you will experience in the first weeks after bariatric surgery. Remember, today you have all your faculties about you, but after surgery, you will be recovering from physical trauma, as well as some brain fog associated with the anesthesia and maybe a couple days of narcotic medication. Knowing what to expect now can help you be sure to follow the appropriate diet later.
Third, remember that the first two days are the hardest and it gets easier from there. You may have tried to fast before, and you’ll probably remember that you had a day or two of feeling downright terrible — hungry, headache and more. This is totally normal and usually subsides by day three. In fact, halfway through your first week, you should feel more energy and just feel better than you may have in a long time.
This is also a reminder of what a big decision you’ve made. You may have had your share of naysayers tell you that bariatric surgery is the easy way out. However, nothing could be further from the truth. This is the first glimpse of the challenges you will face as you lose weight and change your life. Nothing is easy, so be sure to redouble your efforts and follow your pre-op diet closely. It’ll serve to get you started on the right track.
Finally, remember that you are not alone. You can always contact us for guidance. Beyond our practice, which will be side-by-side with you throughout this journey, there are friends, family members and prior bariatric patients who can support you and cheer you on as you claim your new life.
One of the biggest hurdles to patients looking to have bariatric surgery involves preop testing. And while we would love to provide each patient with a quick way to push through to surgery, pre op testing plays an incredibly important role in the safety and effectiveness of the bariatric procedure. Cardiovascular and pulmonary testing helps ensure that the patient is suitable for surgery and that the anesthesia and trauma to the body from the surgical procedure doesn’t cause significant issues. Psychological testing is also used to make the patient aware of their responsibilities after surgery dash mostly that surgery is not a magic bullet dash and prepare them for what’s to come.
Most of our patients start their weight loss surgery process with a great deal of enthusiasm and motivation. But as they start navigating what can be up to six months of pre-operative preparation, they can become frustrated and ultimately drop out from the process. So, what can we do to keep that motivation level up and push through the pre-op process as quickly and efficiently as possible?
You are in an incredible place. You’ve done the research, met, and chosen a surgeon, feel comfortable with the staff and the support plan, and above all else, are putting yourself first for probably the first time in quite a while. You are ready to have bariatric surgery and are committed to whatever it takes to ensure the success of your procedure and the long-term results.
What many of us forget to add to our checklist are the very real conversations that need to be had with family and friends. Some of you have already done this, weighing their opinions and thoughts during the decision-making process. While some have family and friends who are solid sounding boards and cheerleaders for their life decisions, not everyone has that type of support system. Some actually have friends and family who have not only challenged their decision to undergo surgery but have probably even contributed to the negative feelings about themselves and led to the coping behaviors, like food, which medicated these tough relationships for years.
Most Americans are concerned about their health to some degree. And while there are certain diseases that rightly get plenty of attention, others, including those of the colon don’t get nearly as much press as they deserve. In fact, colon cancer is a leading killer of men and women in the United States, but it also represents one of the most preventable and treatable cancers. Unfortunately, however, many patients do not prioritize their colon health the way they should. Cancer is not the only concern when it comes to colon health. Several conditions that affect the colon can be disruptive, or in some cases, even life-threatening if left untreated. While gut health is often a sign of general health, there are certain foods we can eat and others to avoid to keep our guts as healthy as possible, even in our later years.
No surgery is 100% risk and consideration free and the gastric bypass is no different. In many cases, when we talk about the side effects of surgery, we focus on the decidedly negative ones. However, dumping syndrome is one of those very interesting side effects that, while very uncomfortable for the patient, may actually have some long term beneficial value. When we discussed dumping syndrome, we limit our discussion to the gastric bypass because of the way that the stomach is changed and. The outlets from the stomach into the small intestine, known as the stoma is removed and rebuilt during a bypass surgery. The new valve is not as efficient or as strong as the natural valve. This means that food and drink can enter into the more sensitive small intestines faster without being fully procesed in the stomach. This is known as rapid gastric emptying or dumping syndrome.
With today’s technology, you have virtually unlimited information at your fingertips. This can be a great resource, but it can also lead to the spread of misinformation. Bariatric surgery often falls victim to this reality. We are here today to shine some light on the truth about the bariatric journey and what you should be aware of when researching the procedures.
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.