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Is Weight Loss One of Your Resolutions This New Year?

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  • Written By: Marshall Medical Center

Weight loss is a common resolution this time of year. It can be life changing. But it can feel daunting if you have a lot you need to lose to be healthy, and sometimes, even with diet and exercise, it can be an elusive milestone.

For those who are severely overweight and dealing with the negative health effects of obesity, weight loss surgery—known as bariatric surgery—may provide the path to good health.

“Bariatric surgery can help patients achieve long-term weight loss, improve their quality of life and live longer,” says Ryan Lussenden, MD, a board certified surgeon and director of Marshall’s Bariatric Surgery Program. “People come to us wanting to live healthier, more active lives and enjoy their children and grandchildren. It’s a happy day when they begin enjoying their new life.”

What are the health benefits?

The many health benefits associated with weight loss following bariatric surgery include improvements in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, arthritis and depression.

How does bariatric surgery work?

One of the most common bariatric procedures is sleeve gastrectomy, where 75-80 percent of the stomach is removed laparoscopically through small incisions in the abdominal wall. The reduction of stomach volume causes the patient to feel full faster and reduces the secretion of hunger hormones. Gastric bypass is another common type of bariatric surgery. It alters the stomach, creating a small pouch that is directly connected to the small intestine.

Both procedures surgically limit the amount of food a patient can eat and change the way the body absorbs nutrients. The result: Patients can lose an average of 50-80 percent of their excess body weight two years after surgery, depending on the type of surgery performed and the patient’s level of commitment to a post-surgical diet and exercise regime.

Am I a candidate?

Bariatric surgery candidates typically are more than 100 pounds overweight. They may have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35-39 along with one or more medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension that would significantly improve with weight loss.

How Marshall can help

“We want patients to succeed with their permanent weight loss goals and we’re here to support their commitment to diet, exercise and behavioral changes before and after surgery,” Dr. Lussenden says. Marshall’s team includes a board certified psychiatrist and a physician who specializes in diet and nutrition, as well as an certified nutritionist from Marshall’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education.

If you’re significantly overweight and ready to commit to a new path to good health, talk with your primary care doctor, click here, or call Marshall’s Bariatric Surgery Program at 530-642-7546 (SLIM). You can also register for our free seminar to learn more about your candidacy and options at Marshall.