Morbid (severe) obesity is a disease that affects 3 to 6 million (8 to 12 or 1 in 50 adults in the United States are considered morbidly obese) people in the United States and is not curable by medical therapy, dieting or medication. Morbid obesity is defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40 or the equivalent of 100 or more pounds over the Ideal Body Weight. In addition, severely obese people typically have associated health issues called co-morbidities. These co-morbidities can include diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, joint disease, reflux and sleep apnea. For anyone who fits into this category, the National Institutes of Health recognizes surgery as the only therapy to have long lasting effects.
Here is an overview of the two different weight loss surgeries that are performed by Dr. Morris at LMC:
Gastric Bypass: A small pouch, about the size of your thumb, is created at the top of the stomach. A section of the small intestine or bowel is then attached to the pouch allowing food to 'bypass' the larger section of stomach. You will feel full more quickly than when your stomach was its original size, which reduces the amount of food you eat and thus the calories consumed. Bypassing part of the intestine also results in fewer calories being absorbed. This leads to weight loss. Patients typically lose 60- to 80-percent of their excess body weight in 18 months.
|Gastric Bypass Surgery|
Detailed information on gastric bypass surgery, including the reasons and preparation for the procedure, how the procedure is performed, after care, an anatomical illustration of the digestive system, and an illustration of a gastric bypass procedure.
- Lap Band: A small pouch is created in the upper part of the stomach with an adjustable band. This procedure essentially creates a 'new stomach' and dramatically limits food intake. The band can be inflated or deflated at any time after the operation to allow the patient to meet their weight loss goals. Patients who undergo the lap band procedure typically lose 50-percent of their excess weight in three years.
Once you have been accepted into the LMC Weight Loss Program, you will undergo several tests to assess your health prior to scheduling your surgical procedure. Some of those tests include:
- A comprehensive health assessment completed by the surgeon
- Blood work and lab tests
- Diagnostic studies that may include a sleep study, endoscopy, chest x-ray, pulmonary function test (PFT), stress test, abdominal ultrasound, upper gastrointestinal series (UGI) and EKG.
- Behavior assessment with psychologist
- Meeting with a dietitian
Once your pre-surgery work is complete, your surgeon will decide whether to move forward with the surgery. There may be certain health issues that require treatment before the surgeon feels you are ready to undergo the procedure.
Surgical weight loss patients typically stay in the hospital approximately two days. You will be encouraged to be up and moving within 4 hours of your surgery, then walking every 2 hours thereafter. You will receive pain medication as needed, either by a nurse or by administering it yourself through a device connected to your intravenous line.
At first you will receive fluids through an IV. After a day or two you will be given clear liquids, such as water, broth or sugar-free gelatin. You will stay on clear liquids along with liquid protein for the first 3 weeks post operatively. Starting on day 21, you will progress to two protein shakes per day and one meal from a list that will be given to you prior to your surgery.
After you are discharged from the hospital, arrangements should be made for a follow-up visit with your physician, roughly seven to ten days after surgery.
Weight loss surgery can be emotionally difficult because you will be adjusting to new dietary habits and a body in the process of change. You may feel especially tired during the first month following surgery.
Having weight loss surgery can feel like a new beginning. The amount of weight you lose will depend on the type of surgical procedure you have done and how committed you are to the required lifestyle changes, including exercise and eating habits. Typically patients continue losing weight 18 to 24 months after surgery. In order for you to see optimum results, LMC's Weight Loss Program recommends patients follow The Four Rules which are explained at length in the Patient Education Handbook.
- Eat protein first at every meal
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day.
- Absolutely no snacking
After weight loss surgery, the amount you can eat before feeling full is significantly reduced. You may feel full after just a few bites. Your doctor recommends eating three small meals a day as mentioned above, along with vitamins to ensure you get proper nutrition. Most patients experience some difficulty tolerating red meat and sweets after surgery.
Even if the ideal weight is not reached, co-morbidities are improved in most cases. Many patients find they no longer need medications for diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, arthritis and back pain. Most patients report an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence and an improvement in their overall quality of life.
Download Surgical Weight Loss Information Packet (Pre-Op)
Download Surgical Weight Loss Information Packet (Post-Op)