Which is the best weight loss surgery?

All of the weight loss operations are good, they are just different. When you have your initial visit, we will discuss all the operations we perform. We will review the pros and cons to each operation as well as their expectations, risk tolerance and underlying medical conditions – which is different for everyone. By discussing all of these things together, we will try to determine which operation is best for you. There are no tests that tells us which one you are going to do best with but there are some guidelines that we will review with you at the time of your individual consultation that will help us determine which operation may result in better results or more success for you.

How much weight loss can I expect to lose after weight loss surgery?

You can lose as much or as little weight as you want with any weight loss operation. The operations do not determine how much weight you will lose. All these operations are tools and they are very dependent on how well you use this tool. We do have average amounts of weight loss associated with all these operations, but these are averages, some people more and some people less.

With the sleeve gastrectomy the average amount of weight loss is 50-70% of your excess body weight. Your excess body weight is the difference between your ideal body weight and your current weight. So, if you have an excess body weight of 100 lbs., the average amount of weight loss would be approximately 50-70 lbs. over the course of 12-18 months.

With the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass the average amount of weight loss is 60-80% of your excess body weight. So again, if he has an excess body weight of 100 lbs. the average amount of weight loss would be approximately 60-80 lbs. over the course of 12-18 months.

For all of our weight loss surgery patients, my team and I guide you every step of the way. We teach you how to use your new surgical ‘tool’ so you understand exactly what to do in order to experience long term weight loss success.

Is weight loss surgery reversible?

Yes and no. The gastric band and gastric bypass are technically reversible, but I always tell people things may not go back to completely normal or as it was prior to having surgery, especially with a reversal of the gastric bypass.

The sleeve gastrectomy is completely irreversible. This is a procedure where we completely remove approximately 80-85% of the stomach once this is performed a cannot be undone.

Removal of the laparoscopic gastric band is usually a same-day surgery depending on why the band is being removed. Removal of the band can be performed laparoscopically, and since this was placed externally to the stomach and there is no stapling or dividing of the stomach performed this is the 1 procedure that can be termed completely reversible, usually. As with anything they are always exceptions.

The gastric bypass can be reversed if needed for certain situations. But I always tell people this does not return your stomach to a normal configuration as it was prior to surgery. Whenever you have surgery, just like you develop scar tissue on your skin, you can also develop scars inside your abdomen – commonly called adhesions. These adhesions can pose problems for some people.

It you are considering weight loss surgery, it is important for you to understand the various surgical options along with their respective risks and benefits. This is something we review together at your initial consultation appointment along with a thorough review of your health history.

Should weight loss surgery be my last resort?

You are never going to get away from needing a well-balanced diet and exercise. Both things help keep you healthy but sometimes may not be the most effective way to lose weight – especially if your BMI is greater than 35.

Unfortunately, once your BMI is greater than 35, the long-term success of diet and exercise alone is approximately 5-10%. However, if you combine weight loss surgery with a well-balanced diet and exercise, the long-term success of weight loss is approximately 80%. Although there is no guarantee in any of these situations an 80% chance is significantly better than 5-10%. Also, the longer you wait to treat a disease the more damage that disease produces on your body.

Obesity is a medical condition. Once we diagnose it, we should provide all of the options that have shown to be effective treatment strategies. Weight loss surgery is a very safe and very effective treatment strategy for obesity and should be offered to anyone once it is diagnosed.

If you have a BMI greater than or equal to 35, it is important to evaluate all of your options for weight loss and improvement in any health conditions you may have as a result. We provide both surgical and non-surgical weight loss options.

What is a sleeve gastrectomy?

A sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss procedure that is performed laparoscopically or using a minimally invasive technique. This operation involves reshaping your stomach from a large pouch into a small tube. During this procedure we remove approximately 80-85% of your stomach including the fundus.

This is considered a restrictive procedure that limits the amount of food or liquids that can be consumed at 1 sitting. Also, removing the fundus of your stomach is significant because the fundus of your stomach creates a hormone called Ghrelin that increases your appetite. Thus, with removal of this portion of the stomach, the production of Ghrelin is significantly decreased – which decreases your appetite as well.

So, by combining the effects of decreased intake and decreased appetite, this allows you to lose a significant amount of weight over the course of 12-18 months.

What vitamins should I take after weight loss surgery?

All bariatric surgery patients will require some type of vitamin and mineral regimen following surgery. Thus, after weight loss surgery, specific vitamins will be recommended. For optimal health, these vitamins will be recommended for the rest of your life. This is because the risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies is increased after weight loss surgery due to the reduced amount of food that can be consumed and potential malabsorption of nutrients due to anatomical changes.

At Brightside Weight Loss, we recommend that after weight loss surgery, you take a daily bariatric multivitamin that is formulated to meet ASMBS guidelines. ASMBS stands for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery – our governing society for bariatric surgery recommendations.

After weight loss surgery, your vitamin and mineral needs are much higher than the recommendations for the general population. Many over the counter multivitamins do not meet these criteria set forth by the ASMBS. Over the counter vitamins may also not be as bioavailable, or absorb as well, as bariatric specific multivitamins. Therefore, it is in your best interest to use a specially formulated bariatric multivitamin to meet these needs and avoid any nutritional gaps.

We also recommend that our bariatric patients take calcium supplementation daily to help meet your calcium requirements. Daily calcium intake from the diet alone often falls short of requirements due to reduced volume and intake of food, malabsorption of the nutrient and possible intolerance to dairy foods following surgery. Calcium supplements should ideally be in the form of Calcium Citrate as this is the form that is best absorbed post-operatively.

Will I ever be able to enjoy my favorite foods after weight loss surgery?

The focus of your diet following surgery will be placed primarily on including adequate amounts of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, dairy and whole grains. We will work together to make sure your favorite foods are included in your diet in appropriate amounts and in moderation to allow for your enjoyment of those foods while also maintaining weight loss progress.

You will need to be mindful regarding how quickly and easily calories from indulgent foods and drinks can add up and impair your weight loss success. During your dietitian visits, together, we will discuss strategies that can help you include these favorite foods without becoming a “slippery slope” or a barrier to your weight loss success.

Why is protein so important after weight loss surgery?

Adequate protein intake is very important after weight loss surgery for many reasons. First off, adequate amounts of protein are needed to help with proper healing following your procedure.

You see, you need enough protein for tissue repair in the body – this includes muscle tissue as well as your skin, organs, hair, nails and other bodily tissues.

Enzymes, antibodies and hormones created in your body also require adequate and consistent amounts of protein to be consumed daily in order to be created and function like they should.

If the amount of protein you are taking in is inadequate, your body actually begins to break down your muscle tissue. This loss of muscle tissue can not only cause you to feel weaker, but it also slows down your metabolism. This will slow down your rate of weight loss which is something you want to avoid.

The goal for protein intake following weight loss surgery is at least 60-80 grams per day. Although this may change based on your gender, stature, level of activity and other health conditions. But don’t worry, specific protein goals and guidelines are discussed when you visit with me or your dietitian following surgery.

How long will I be in the hospital after weight loss surgery?

Your length of stay in the hospital following surgery varies based on which weight loss procedure you undergo.

Following sleeve gastrectomy, you can expect a one overnight stay at the hospital. Following gastric bypass you can expect to spend 1-2 nights in the hospital.

You will be considered for discharge when you are able to meet a handful of criteria. These criteria include: stable vital signs and lab results, your pain and/or nausea are controlled, you are taking in adequate liquids to avoid dehydration, and you have been up ambulating the halls.

Once each of these goals are met, your nursing staff will be instructed to begin the discharge process which is typically completed by lunch time.

Often patients are amazed at how quickly they are discharged and how good they feel. We evaluate you closely and let you know what to expect throughout your stay as well as once you are in the comfort of your own home.

How can your medical weight loss program help me?

At Brightside Surgery and Weight Loss Center we not only offer weight loss surgery, but we offer medical weight loss as well.

Our Brightside Achieve Medical Weight Loss Program was created for patients who are looking to lose weight but have been unable to do so on their own. Through this medical weight loss program, FDA approved weight loss medications are prescribed which aid in weight loss by suppressing your appetite.

These medications are to be used as a tool, along with individual counseling sessions with the dietitian, to develop the necessary dietary and behavioral changes that will be needed in order to achieve sustained weight loss. The drug manufacturers report a 5-10% weight loss can be anticipated over 12 weeks, but your level of success will depend on how much effort you put in to make the necessary lifestyle changes as well.

How soon can I return to work after weight loss surgery?

For most patients, depending upon your occupation, we recommend that you take 2 weeks off from work following your surgery.

Taking two weeks does a number of things to ensure your success. It allows your body time to heal, provides time for you to adjust to your new stomach size with regards to drinking/eating and also provides you with time to focus on yourself.

During these two weeks, you should not lift, push or pull over 15 lbs. Returning to work prior to completing your 2-week restrictions can result in fatigue, injury or dehydration. We want you to avoid this because if you get dehydrated, it can adversely affect how you feel and lengthen your recovery period. While everyone is a little different, depending upon their occupation, these are our guidelines.