If you’re considering bariatric surgery, it’s important to understand that it isn’t merely the first or last step in overcoming obesity and the health issues associated with it. This is about making a major lifestyle change.
In the short term after surgery, you’ll feel satisfied with less food and start to see positive changes in your body, weight and overall health. Diet and exercise are critical to the process—and success.
We’ll help you create a customized nutrition and exercise plan. Your full commitment to both, as well as new daily habits and mindset, will be the biggest factors in losing weight and keeping it off for good.
Regardless of which surgical option you and your doctor choose, our team will be with you every step of the way.
What is bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery, also referred to as weight-loss surgery, refers to procedures that lead to weight loss by restriction (of how much food you can eat at a given time), malabsorption (limiting the calories absorbed into your blood stream after a meal), or a combination of both.
The types of bariatric surgery we perform at the Emerson Hospital Center for Weight Loss are:
These procedures are designed to create or mimic (in the case of the gastric band) a smaller stomach so you feel satisfied with less food. Some of these procedures also may affect the hormones that regulate hunger.
How do you determine which type of surgery to perform? What would you recommend for me?
This is a very personal decision. Sometimes, a patient’s medical problems won’t allow them to have a certain procedure, or may even preclude them from having surgery altogether. Most patients, however, can choose the surgical option they prefer. We’ll present the options available—then leave it up to you to decide.
What’s the difference between laparoscopic surgery and an open procedure?
Open surgery involves the surgeon creating a long incision to open the abdomen and operate with “traditional” medical instruments.
Laparoscopic, or minimally invasive surgery, is an approach that allows the surgeon to perform the same procedure using several small incisions, a fiber-optic camera, video monitor and long-handled instruments.
At the Center for Weight Loss, we can perform almost all procedures using minimally invasive surgical techniques, which lowers infection and hernia rates, speeds recovery time and improves the cosmetic effect.
How successful is bariatric surgery?
Studies show that all types of bariatric surgery and weight loss can effectively improve and resolve many comorbid conditions. Research has shown substantial improvements in type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma and other associated medical problems.
Generally, these procedures will also help with the pain associated with joint disease in the back, hips or knees that’s common in those suffering from obesity. If there’s significant damage to the joints, however, taking weight off probably won’t completely eliminate the pain. If you need joint replacement surgery, though, orthopedic surgeons are more likely to consider such a procedure after significant weight loss because the new joints will be much more durable.
Can I lose too much weight?
It is rare for patients to lose too much weight after any of these procedures.
Will I regain weight over time?
Some bariatric surgical patients will regain weight after initially losing a significant amount after the procedure. In general, it is a relatively small amount of weight compared to what was lost. We have a number of methods to deal with weight regain issues and are always here to help.
Will I need surgery to remove excess skin after bariatric surgery?
Patients vary greatly in how much of a problem they have with excess skin after substantial weight loss. Exercise can lessen these effects, but will generally not prevent it. Generally, we don’t recommend having surgery to remove excess skin until at least one year after bariatric surgery, when your weight loss has slowed.
Typically performed by a plastic surgeon, these types of procedures can address excess skin in your abdomen, face, arms, legs, back, breasts, etc. Insurance companies will sometimes cover abdominal skin removal, but generally will not cover skin-contouring surgery elsewhere on the body.