Is Bariatric Surgery Right For You?

Obesity is a growing public health issue in our region.  According to NYC.gov, more than half of New Yorkers are overweight, and nearly a quarter qualify as obese.  The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, reports that an estimated 23% of the population living in Queens is obese.

These rates are concerning because people who are obese are at an increased risk for developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease and some cancers.  However, the good news is the risks associated with many of these conditions can be significantly reduced by losing weight.

Diet and exercise are highly recommended methods of weight loss but they may not be enough to yield significant results for those who are obese.   Bariatric surgery offers an extremely effective weight loss solution for people who have tried and failed to lose weight by way of diet and exercise. Additionally, it has been shown to help improve several obesity-related health conditions.

The two most popular bariatric surgeries are the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures. In the sleeve gastrectomy operation, a large portion of the stomach is removed and a smaller, new stomach in the shape of a tube or “sleeve” is created.  During bypass surgery, a new small stomach pouch is created, and a section of the small bowel is bypassed. These surgeries are usually done through small incisions either laparoscopically or using the da Vinci surgical robot, ensuring a minimally invasive approach. Both surgeries offer excellent long-term results and positive outcomes in most patients.

With this is in mind, it is important to understand that bariatric surgery is a major operation, no matter which procedure is chosen.  Bariatric surgery is not an easy way out. It is an important decision to be made under strict physician supervision and with the support of loved ones.  The process is immersive and takes approximately 4-5 months of supervised dieting and being seen by multiple specialties for approval.

Although bariatric surgery is considered safe, it is very important that patients understand the risks of surgery. As with most major surgical procedures, the risks can include bleeding or other complications.

For those who would like to explore non-surgical weight loss procedures, there are options such as the FDA-approved Obalon Balloon System. This involves three air filled balloons inserted via a swallowed capsule. The patient is given no anesthesia and most people return to work the same day. The balloons stay in for six months after which they are removed via endoscopy. The procedure is generally very well tolerated with some side effects such as nausea and cramping. Studies have shown weight loss to continue beyond removal and many patients lose a significant amount of weight.

When deciding which procedure is best for you, it is recommended that you receive an expert consultation with a surgeon. Your physician can assess your health which can lead to the decision on which surgery is suitable for your needs.

To ensure the highest quality care and maximize your chances of a successful weight loss procedure, it is recommended that you receive treatment at a “Bariatric Center of Excellence”, such as Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Flushing Hospital is the only Center of Excellence in Queens. The process to reach this designation is arduous and ensures that the center and the surgeons are of the highest quality and preparedness. Surgical outcomes are measured very strictly and the capability of both the surgeons and the center must be of the highest caliber when compared nationally.

To make an appointment, please call 718-408-6977.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Why is it Important to Have a Psychological Evaluation Prior to Weight-Loss Surgery?

An important component of the pre and post-surgical care for all patients considering having bariatric surgery is speaking with a psychologist.

While some might find this surprising or unnecessary, it is actually a routine part of the surgical process for patients to meet with a psychologist. In fact, psychologists, like dieticians and other specialists are considered a vital part of the bariatric team.

While it is important to identify the reasons why a psychological evaluation is important,  it is equally as important is to dispel any false information as to why one is needed. An evaluation is not performed to determine if a patient has a mental illness. People with obesity are considered as psychologically “normal” as those with lower body mass indexes and they do not fit any specific psychological profile. Therefore, the psychologist’s main purpose is not to search for any underlying problems that might have caused a patient to become affected by obesity.

Instead, the purpose of a psychological evaluation is to put potential patients in the best environment needed to succeed. This can be done by identifying their strengths, such as a strong motivation to exercise as their weight is coming off. Other things a psychologist can learn from a patient include getting a complete understanding of the effects of surgery will have on them as well as if they have a supportive team at home. Conversely, a psychologist can also identify areas where a patient might need additional support after surgery. This may include issues such as depression or mood swings, lack of family support or triggers for past emotional eating.

The psychologist’s purpose is never to “fail” people and exclude them from surgery. In fact, studies have shown that a very small number (perhaps four percent) of individuals are found to be poor candidates based on their psychological evaluation results.
A typical evaluation includes psychological testing, such as personality tests and other questionnaires. This paperwork is often completed before meeting with the psychologist. A patient will also have a face-to-face interview with a psychologist. In some cases, he or she may request a family member accompany a patient to determine the level of support they are receiving at home. Subjects such as past and present eating habits, as well as activity levels are usually discussed during this meeting and patients are encouraged to share what is motivating them to have surgery and share their concerns.

Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center has recently been recognized as a Center of Excellence, which means it provides the highest level of care to our patients, before, during and after surgery. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-8908.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital Recognized As a Bariatric Center of Excellence

Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions now have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care, close to home.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) announced its Bariatric Surgical Center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).  There are only 16 centers that have achieved this accreditation in New York City.

According to Sanjeev Rajpal MD, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at Flushing Hospital, “To earn the prestigious designation, the hospital met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity.”  As part of its commitment to quality assurance, Flushing Hospital participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

The Flushing Hospital Bariatric Surgical Center opened in 2014 and has performed over 200 bariatric [weight loss surgery] procedures with outstanding outcomes.   The center upholds the MBSAQIP standards by offering patients a high quality, multidisciplinary program that includes surgical and non- surgical interventions aimed to improve long-term, weight loss success.

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health.  Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.

Flushing Hospital offers a variety of weight-loss surgery procedures, based on the specific needs of their patients.  Surgical options including Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Revisions are performed by a highly trained team of surgeons, led by Rajpal, using minimally invasive techniques and in some cases, the aid of the highly advanced da Vinci Robotic Surgical Platform.

The multidisciplinary team at Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center also provides many compassionately delivered services to help patients succeed in every step of their weight loss surgery. The Center offers close physician monitoring, pre and post-surgical psychological evaluations, personalized diet and nutritional counseling as well as ongoing education and support groups.

For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

A person who is obese has far more weight than what is considered healthy for their body type. Obesity is a serious and at times life-threatening condition that can contribute to health problems such as diabetes, stroke, some cancers and heart disease.

In some cases losing weight can reduce the risk of developing these chronic health conditions.  According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases.”

Maintaining a proper diet and exercising regularly are lifestyle modifications that can help combat obesity; however, not everyone who applies these practices is able to lose weight on their own. If diet or exercise does not yield sufficient results and a patient’s weight continues to pose a risk for developing complications, their doctor may suggest weight loss surgery.

One of the procedures a physician may recommend is a sleeve gastrectomy.  This operation is often utilized for patients who are too heavy to safely undergo other types of weight loss surgery.

A sleeve gastrectomy requires the surgical removal of part of the stomach. This permanently reduces its size by approximately 25% (about the size of a banana).  The surgeon then creates a new tube-shaped stomach or “gastric sleeve.” With a smaller stomach, food intake is restricted and the patient will feel fuller more quickly. This procedure is irreversible and usually performed laparoscopically.

Most patients experience several health benefits after receiving a sleeve gastrectomy, some of which may include:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Controlled type 2 diabetes
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Lowered blood pressure

Each case is unique to the individual and it is important to keep in mind that all surgical procedures have their risks.  Please speak with your doctor about which weight loss surgeries may be best for you.

Overcoming obesity can be difficult. You may have tried several weight loss treatments or methods to lose weight, but were unsuccessful. Fortunately, bariatric surgery is an option that often yields results and success stories. Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a unique and multidisciplinary program that involves a complete mind, body and wellness approach to weight loss surgery. For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Keeping The Weight Off With Bariatric Surgery

Man Measuring Stomach Fat

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, judging by an increase in gym memberships, is to lose weight. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet isn’t always the hardest part of the weight loss journey, keeping the weight off is. Bariatric surgery enhances weight loss in obese people who have not achieved long-term success with other weight loss methods.

Bariatric surgery is performed on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. The basic principle of the procedure is to restrict your food intake and reduce the absorption of food in the stomach and intestines. As a result of this weight loss procedure you will feel full after eating a small amount of food. That is exactly what bariatric surgery does and why it helps people lose weight.

There are multiple forms of bariatric surgery. Options include:

  • Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Revision
  • Lap Band Surgery
  • Duodenel Switch

The rate of obesity in America is rising at an alarming rate. Bariatric surgery certainly represents a powerful tool for providing sustained relief for overweight people. There are many health complications associated with being overweight. Weight loss surgery can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complications, gallbladder disease and more. Your physician can help determine if you are eligible for surgery and, if so, which option will work best for you.

Bariatric surgery aids in mass weight loss at one time and keeping the weight off. Losing the weight and gaining it back does nothing to alleviate the potential health problems associated with obesity. You must keep the weight off for a minimum of five years to consider the loss successful, resulting in a healthier, happier you.

Flushing Hospital Bariatric Center is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of health care providers that are compassionate and fully invested in helping you in every step of your weight loss journey. For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips for Keeping the Weight You Lost-Off

before and after weight loss - CONTESTLosing weight is a great achievement but is only half the battle. The new challenge that lies ahead is keeping the pounds you have lost from returning.

The key to keeping the weight off is to make long-term lifestyle changes that will not only keep you looking good but improve your overall health.  Following these tips can help you along your journey of maintaining a healthy weight:

  • Stick to a low-calorie diet- It has been shown that eating a diet that is low-fat and low-calorie can help maintain weight loss.
  • Remain physically active- Do not abandon your exercise routine once you have shed pounds. Find a regimen that you can incorporate into your schedule.
  • Get enough sleep- Studies show that people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to crave unhealthy food.
  • Do not skip meals- Skipping meals may make you hungrier than normal and cause you to overeat.
  • Self-monitoring- Routinely weigh yourself and track your food intake to ensure you are maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Plan meals ahead and stock your kitchen- Planning healthy meals ahead and stocking your kitchen with healthy food can lessen the chances of you diverting back to unhealthy eating habits.

For information about the Bariatric(Weight Loss) Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Summer Health Risks for the Obese

With the warmer weather upon us, the chances of suffering heat exhaustion or dehydration are high – and for those who are obese, the risks are even greater.

Silhouette of an tired sportsman at sunset

Health officials list obesity as a major risk factor for heat-related illness because fat is a natural insulator that traps core body heat so the extra layers of fat make it more difficult for the body to release heat. The body will attempt to cool itself by circulating blood to dissipate heat through the skin. An overweight or obese person’s heart must pump even harder on a hot day to circulate blood, and when it can’t meet the body’s demands, the person could pass out…or even worse.

Obesity is a serious health risk all year round, but in the summer the condition is especially dangerous. To combat obesity, Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a Bariatric Weight Loss Program to the community.

Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Center is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of health care providers that are compassionate and fully invested in helping you in every step of your weight loss journey. The service is highlighted by our variety of advanced robotic surgery options available to those who qualify. Our surgeons perform procedures with the aid of the da Vinci surgical robot. This method of surgery is minimally invasive; studies report patients experience shorter hospital stays, less scarring, shorter recovery times and less pain. Other services include: physician monitoring, pre and post-surgical evaluations, personalized dietary and nutritional counseling, and ongoing education and support.

To learn more about Flushing Hospital’s Division of Bariatric surgery, please call 718-670- 8908 or visit our website at www.flushinghospital.org

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.