Bariatric surgery serves as a tool toward achieving significant, long-term weight loss. First, eligibility guidelines for surgery must be considered.
Bariatric surgery involves a major life change. Therefore, several factors are taken into account when determining eligibility. These are:
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of: (a) at least 40 but no greater than 60 (only the bariatric surgeon can make exceptions), or (b) have a BMI of 35 with co-morbidities
- Be between the ages of 18 and 65 years of age
- No severe psychological or medical conditions that would make surgery a high risk
- Not be drug or alcohol dependent, unless involved in a recognized treatment program with at least one year of sobriety
- Have attempted medical weight loss programs
- Highly motivated to a change in lifestyle
- Support of family/friends
- Psychologically stable with realistic expectations
Cone Health’s bariatric services program now offers three types of bariatric surgery — adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band), Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and most recently, gastric sleeve surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery is a relatively new type of bariatric surgery, which removes 75 to 85 percent of the stomach, leaving a small vertical space in the shape of a sleeve.
The portion that is not removed actually produces hormones that curb hunger, so the result is a reduced desire to eat. All operations are performed using minimally invasive techniques which involves less pain, faster recovery and improved cosmetic outcomes.
Bariatric surgery not only helps individuals lose a significant amount of weight, it can significantly reduce or resolve some of the comorbidities linked to obesity, such as cardiovascular disease risks, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, depression, metabolic syndrome and joint pain.
If fully committed to a major lifestyle change, bariatric surgery offers individuals an overall improved quality of life and well-being.
The first step to getting started in the process is attending one of the Surgical Options for Weight Loss seminars offered free to the public by Cone Health’s bariatric services program.
To register for a Surgical Options for Weight Loss class, call 832-8000 or visit http://www.conehealth.com/services/bariatrics/.
Dr. Benjamin Hoxworth is a general surgeon, specializing in bariatric surgery at Central Carolina Surgery and a member of the Cone Health medical staff.
Dr. Hoxworth is a 1980 medical school graduate of University of Cincinnati. He completed his residency in general surgery and a fellowship in nutrition and metabolism at Vanderbilt University.