Patients need to have realistic goals after their surgeries և Understand that constant healthy dietary changes և Regular exercise helps ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery.

This content is sponsored by MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Bariatric surgery can help patients lose weight և reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening health problems. Patients who are considering weight loss surgery should know their options and find out what is best for their long-term health.

Bariatric surgeries involve changes in the digestive system to help patients lose weight. This is done when the diet և exercise did not work or when there are serious health problems due to weight. Bariatric surgery can help prolong a patient’s life, says Dr. Timothy Schopp, director of Bariatric Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

“Given the safety of today’s surgical technique, the well-proven long-term health benefits that need to be achieved, I tell patients who are thinking about it not to wait. Find out what you can do. “There are a number of options you need to consider today, with some additional options on the horizon,” said Dr. Shop. “At MedStar Washington Hospital, these surgeries are performed using minimally invasive techniques, laparoscopic or robotic, to speed recovery and maximize patient safety. And our team offers in-depth support before, during and after surgery to help ensure that patients have lasting health benefits. ”

Patients who are good candidates for bariatric surgery have a BMI of 35 or over 40, certain medical conditions such as diabetes or sleep apnea, or weigh 100 pounds or more of their ideal body weight, says Dr. Shop.

There are several types of bariatric surgery that patients should consider. Patients should consult with their physician, medical team, or insurer as to what is best for them.

Gastric or peptic ulcer: It is the most widely used bariatric surgery in the country and is chosen by three of the four patients at MedStar Washington Hospital, said Dr. Shop. It involves cutting about 80% of the stomach with a stapler, removing it to create a smaller, vertical “t” on the stomach.

“This not only reduces the amount of food you can eat at any given time, it also reduces the level of hunger-releasing hormone that the stomach sends to the brain, so you will have less appetite, among other metabolism.” Dr. Shop said.

Gastric bypass is the second most common method, which involves changing the stomach and intestines. Using this technique, the surgeon uses a stapler to cut a small egg-sized bag into the stomach. the rest of the stomach remains. Then part of the small intestine is redirected and joins the stomach sac. As a result, the food you eat enters the small sac of the stomach, then directly into the lower part of the small intestine, bypassing most of your stomach, the upper part of the small intestine.

Other procedures include biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch, which is similar to bypassing the stomach but has a larger stomach bag, allowing patients to eat a little more. Another option is gastric banding, which involves placing a flexible silicone bandage around the top of the stomach, squeezing it to create a narrow passage to limit how much food you can eat at any one time.

Several new alternatives are being evaluated at MedStar Hospital in Washington, D.C., including some endoscopic bariatric therapies performed through a flexible tube inserted into a patient’s mouth rather than through abdominal incisions, such as traditional bariatric surgery, Dr. Shope said.

For all surgeries, MedStar Washington Hospital Center prepares patients to make the best decision based on consultation with physicians, nutritionists, and consultants. Patients also need to understand that their eating habits will change after surgery, said Dr. Shop.

“Patients will have a significantly reduced plate size. the size of their sections will be much smaller. they will eat less at any given time. It may be that we are giving them enough calories a day, that nutritionists’ advice allows them to understand that some of the calories they need should be protein, some fat, some carbohydrates. . And we put a lot of emphasis on fluid intake, ”said Dr. Shop.

After the operation, life will require some getting used to, said Dr. Shop.

“There will be times, not only early, but for the rest of their lives, when they eat too fast or do not chew their food the way they thought it would. Maybe they are having dinner with their family, they do not know what they are doing. Where they may actually have some difficulty feeling that their food is stuck or may need to justify running to the bathroom. This is something they learn to adapt over time. They may be out to dinner with their family months or years from now. They can go out to social events. They can live their lives the way they would otherwise. They just need to pay more attention to the pace of their eating, the types of food, as well as the quantity. ”

Bariatric surgery may force some patients to reduce or stop taking medication for other health problems, says Dr. Shop.

“I tell my patients. “I’m interested in what the scales say, but I’m more interested in what happens to their overall health.” These actions should not be done just to lose weight. “In many cases, patients are diagnosed or have improved diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea,” he said.

Patients need to have realistic goals after their surgeries և Understand that constant healthy dietary changes և Regular exercise helps ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery. The operation alone will not solve all the problems, said Dr. Shop.

“These actions should be considered as a tool, nothing else. There is no action that will make them achieve their goals in life. Action can be used to help them achieve those goals. “But that in itself will not force them to do anything,” he said. “If they combine the tools they provide with healthy eating, more appropriate choices և exercise, they should see a quick improvement in their medical problems, weight loss և, of course, a better quality of life.”

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is the best choice for patients seeking bariatric surgery.

“We have a very comprehensive surgical weight loss program here, people are really pushing it,” said Dr. Shop. “When you come to see us, you are sick for life.”

Read more about bariatric surgery on the blog at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.