Obesity — A Matter of Life and Death
More than 12.5 million Americans are severely overweight, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Obesity, which refers to excessive body fat, can cause many health problems and put you at a higher risk for diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea and other respiratory problems and some forms of cancer.
Many people who are seriously overweight have tried different diets, medications and professional weight-loss services for years without long-term success. Weight-loss, or bariatric, surgery at Texoma Medical Center (TMC) can help those struggling with obesity get the long-term weight loss they need and lead a longer and healthier life.
Fully Accredited Bariatric Center
The weight-loss surgery program at TMC has been designated as a fully accredited Bariatric Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This national recognition speaks to the high level of care the staff provides to TMC's bariatric patients, as well as the hospital's dedication to patient safety and results.
Weight-Loss Surgery Options
Weight-loss surgery at TMC helps people lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band (Lap-Band©) or through the removal of a portion of the stomach (Gastric Sleeve). After surgery, patients eat less food to feel full and satisfied. The amount of weight you lose will depend on the type of surgery you have and how committed you are to making lifestyle changes. With the weight loss, most comorbid conditions are improved. Many patients will find they no longer need medication for diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and conditions such as sleep apnea are improved.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band
Gastric banding surgery is performed laparoscopically by placing an inflatable band or belt around the upper part of the stomach. The new, small upper stomach pouch and a narrowed outlet limit the stomach capacity and increase the feeling of fullness. The band is adjustable by injecting or removing fluid into a small port under the skin of the upper abdomen. A reduction in food intake results in weight loss. Patients can experience weight loss of one to three pounds a week for the first year after surgery.
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
During laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, a surgeon creates a small pouch from the top section of your stomach, then attaches it to your small intestine. In effect, it helps you restrict the amount of food you can eat so you’ll absorb fewer calories, enabling you to lose weight. By bypassing the majority of the stomach, it will hold less food and limits the amount of nutrients the body absorbs. Consequently, patients are full faster, eat less, take in fewer calories and can lose weight. Most patients experience a 70 to 80 percent reduction of excess body weight over one to two years after the procedure. Medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and sleep apnea can also improve dramatically, if not cured completely.
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
The Gastric Sleeve, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is the latest weight loss procedure. It also restricts the amount of food consumed by the patient by removing up to 85 percent of the stomach. In addition, the removal of the stomach decreases Ghrelin (a hunger hormone) levels so patients feel less hungry while they lose weight. Patients undergoing the sleeve can typically expect an overnight stay in the hospital and can usually return to work in about a week. Sleeve patients typically can expect on average, a loss of 60 to 70 percent of their excess weight within two years of having surgery.
Regardless of which weight loss surgery you have at TMC, patients must make major changes in their lifestyle and eating habits to be successful. For example, patients must do the following after surgery:
- Restrict the amount and types of food they eat
- Avoid drinking liquids with meals
- Stick with a regular exercise program
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements
- Return for annual follow-up exams with their surgeon
Are You a Candidate for Weight-Loss Surgery?
Weight-loss surgery may be right for you if:
- You are over age 18
- Your are at least 50 pounds overweight, depending on other health conditions
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is at least 35 with one obesity-related health problem (such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or sleep apnea) or your BMI is greater than 40, with or without related health problems. (Calculate your BMI)
- You have tried other weight-loss methods without success
- You are medically stable and physically able to withstand surgery
- You pass a psychological screening test that helps determine if you are able to comply with postsurgical behavior modifications
- You complete all required pre-operative testing
For additional information about weight-loss surgery at TMC, read some commonly asked questions and attend one of our educational seminars. You can also contact speak to the weight-loss surgery coordinator at 903-416-4180.
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.