Severe Obesity is a Chronic Condition that is Difficult to Treat with Diet and Exercise Alone.

Bariatric surgery is an operation on the stomach and intestines that helps those struggling with obesity lose weight effectively. This surgery is an option for people who cannot lose weight by “traditional methods” or those who suffer from serious health problems related to obesity.

When is Bariatric Surgery Indicated?

Bariatric surgery is an option for adults who have clinically severe obesity:

  • BMI greater than 40
  • BMI of greater than 30 with serious health problems linked to obesity. Health problems include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep).

It is also considered when medical treatment fails. Usually, patients are on medication for an extended period, and the drug no longer works to control the symptoms. You may develop aspiration pneumonia, hoarseness, or chronic cough.

About Bariatric Surgery 

The surgery restricts food intake, promoting weight loss and reducing the risk of various health problems, including type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that bariatric surgery may even lower death rates for patients with severe obesity. The best results occur when patients follow surgery with healthy eating patterns and regular exercise.

Many people who have the surgery lose weight quickly but regain some weight later. If diet and exercise recommendations are followed, patients can keep most of their weight off. Medical follow-ups will be required for the rest of the patient’s life.

Who is a Good Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Having surgery to produce weight loss is a serious decision. Anyone considering this surgery should be educated and understand the entire process. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for:

  • Obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40
  • Those with a BMI of 35 and severe coexisting medical conditions like diabetes 

However, new research suggests it could be appropriate for:

  • Those with a BMI of 35 to 40 with no other coexisting medical conditions
  • Those with a BMI of 30 to 35 and other related and significant medical conditions

Candidacy factors include an answer to whether the patient is:

  • Unlikely to lose weight or keep it off over the long term using other methods?
  • Well-informed about the surgery and treatment effects?
  • Aware of the risks and benefits of surgery?
  • Ready to lose weight and improve their health?
  • Aware of how life may change after the surgery? (For example, patients need to adjust to side effects, such as the need to chew food well and the loss of ability to eat large meals.)
  • Aware of the limits on food choices and occasional failures?
  • Committed to lifelong healthy eating and physical activity, medical follow-up, and the need to take extra vitamins and minerals?
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What are the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery?

The NIH recommends weight loss surgery for individuals who are morbidly obese. Weight loss allows patients to lead healthier, happier, and longer lives, and many health problems associated with obesity improve significantly. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Respiratory Problems such as sleep apnea, asthma
  • Orthopedic Problems such as arthritis, back pain, joint pain,
  • Infertility
  • High cholesterol
  • Acid reflux
  • Depression
  • Improved quality of life

Long-Term Studies have Shown that Weight Loss Surgery Causes:

  • A significant long-term loss of weight
  • Recovery from diabetes
  • Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors
  • A reduction in mortality of 23% from 40%

In short: Bariatric surgery adds years to your life. 

How is Weight Loss Encouraged?

Bariatric surgery restricts food intake, which leads to weight loss. These patients must commit to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular exercise; healthy habits will help patients maintain weight loss after surgery.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

The type of surgery that may help an adult or youth depends on several factors. Patients should discuss with their healthcare providers what kind of surgery suits them.

Exercise After Your Procedure

Since bariatric surgery does not work alone, we encourage our patients to exercise; this is important for your success in the program. You should do 30 minutes of walking or another light cardiovascular exercise daily. In addition, at least 30 minutes of resistance training with light weights. This burns calories and builds muscle, increasing your metabolic rate.

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What is the Difference Between Open and Laparoscopic Surgery?

Bariatric surgery may be performed through “open” approaches, which involves incisions placed in the abdomen in the usual manner or by laparoscopy. With the latter approach, surgeons insert complex instruments through 1/2-inch incisions and guide a small camera that sends images to a monitor. Most bariatric surgery today is laparoscopic because it:

  • Requires a minor cut
  • Creates less tissue damage
  • Produces earlier hospital discharges
  • Has fewer post-surgical problems, such as hernias

However, not all patients are suitable for laparoscopy. Patients considered extremely obese, have had previous stomach surgery, or have complex medical problems may require the open approach. Complex medical problems may include severe heart and lung disease or weighing over 350 pounds.

Types of Bariatric Procedures 

Gastric Band

The Gastric Band is a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that takes about 30 minutes. During your Las Vegas Lap-Band procedure, an adjustable gastric band is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, dividing it into a small upper pouch that holds about ½ cup and a larger lower belly.

Gastric Sleeve

The Gastric Sleeve or Sleeve gastrectomy procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour to perform. When you undergo gastric sleeve surgery in Las Vegas, a thin vertical stomach is created that looks like a banana. The remaining stomach is removed.

Gastric Bypass

The Gastric Bypass is also done laparoscopically with tiny incisions. It is the most involved procedure and the oldest of the three procedures. During this procedure, your Las Vegas gastric bypass surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and attaches it to the small intestine, which allows food to bypass a portion of the digestive tract.

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What are the Possible Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery?

Some side effects may include bleeding, infection, leaks from the site where the intestines are sewn together, diarrhea, and blood clots in the legs that can move to the lungs and heart.

  • Some side effects that may occur later include poorly absorbed nutrients, especially in patients who do not take their prescribed vitamins and minerals
  • Strictures (narrowing of the sites where the intestine is joined)
  • Some patients may also require emotional support to help them through the changes in body image and personal relationships after the surgery
  • Hernias (part of an organ bulging through a weak muscle area)

Two kinds of hernias may occur after a patient has bariatric surgery:

  • An incisional hernia is a weakness that sticks out from the abdominal wall’s connective tissue and may cause a blockage in the bowel.
  • An internal hernia occurs when the small bowel is displaced into pockets in the lining of the abdomen. These pockets occur when the intestines are sewn together. Internal hernias are considered more dangerous than incisional ones and need prompt attention to avoid serious problems.

Medical Costs of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric procedures, on average, cost from $20,000 to $25,000. Medical insurance coverage varies by state and insurance provider. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reduced barriers to obtaining Medicare coverage for obesity treatments. Medicare may cover bariatric surgery under these conditions:

  • If the patient has at least one health problem linked to obesity
  • If the procedure is suitable for the patient’s medical condition
  • If approved surgeons and facilities are involved
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Why Choose Las Vegas Bariatrics for Your Bariatric Surgery?

Dr. Bernie Hanna, Dr. Morgan Pomeranz, and Dr. Punam Patel are committed to providing excellence in surgical weight loss care by exclusively offering procedures and programs that are beneficial, safe, and effective for their patients. With meticulous attention to detail, they create personalized weight loss plans to achieve true health and wellness and a lifetime of support following surgery. The doctors and their professional team deliver comprehensive preoperative evaluations and post-operative care, such as nutrition guidance, mental health advice, and fitness support, so patients can make the necessary lifestyle changes for long-term success. As a Center of Excellence, we use a multidisciplinary approach that leads to lasting results with minimal complications.

Contact us today for Bariatric Surgery and get on track to a better life!

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