AP NEWS

Bariatric surgery offered at Houston Methodist San Jacinto

November 22, 2016 GMT

Due to advancements in techniques, bariatric surgery has become an effective step toward losing weight and improving overall health for thousands of Americans.

Dr. Laura Choi, medical director for the new Bariatric Surgery Program at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital, says weight loss surgery has been proven effective for thousands of patients, but it involves more than having a procedure performed.

“Weight loss surgery helps patients cut their calorie intake, but we partner this with helping the patient make lifestyle changes,” Choi said.

“Our program involves counseling and dietary education so patients can learn about their own eating habits and stay fit even after they lose the weight.”

Choi says the most commonly performed weight loss procedure today is called the sleeve gastrectomy, which re-shapes the stomach into a thin, sleeve-shaped organ that helps to limit the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. She stresses that patients must be willing to make significant lifestyle and diet changes if they want to achieve the best results following the procedure. Bariatric surgery makes changes to your digestive system, including making the stomach smaller, which allows the patient to eat and drink less at one time; encouraging the feeling of fullness quicker. According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), nearly 200,000 Americans had bariatric surgery procedures performed in 2015, up from 158,000 in 2011.

“Sometimes people look at weight management surgery as an easy way out and are looking for surgery to fix their problems, but people coming through this program must work hard mentally, emotionally and physically in order to be successful. Having a good recognition of what lifestyle habits led them to having this issue and the medical issues that followed, and looking at realistic changes they can make after the weight loss is critical,” Choi said.

Patients whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is in the morbid obesity range (40 or above) are eligible for bariatric surgery.

Patients whose BMI is in the 35-40 range are eligible as well if they have existing medical conditions considered to be caused by or associated with morbid obesity.

Conditions most commonly linked to morbid obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The sleeve procedure utilizes small incisions (laparoscopic) and is often performed using robotic platforms, which helps to minimize recovery time.

Choi says many patients typically leave the hospital the day after surgery and are able to return to work in about two weeks.

Choi adds that the Bariatric Surgery Program isn’t solely focused on surgical solutions to weight loss problems.

“Surgery is a successful option for patients who qualify, but our set of options include medically supervised diets and nutritional supplementation programs,” Choi said.

Details

For more information on weight loss surgery, contact the Bariatric Surgery Center at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital at 832-556-6046