Other Bariatric Program Procedures
In addition to the more established bariatric surgeries WeightWise performs, such as the gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, and gastric bypass surgeries, there are other procedures available to help patients lose weight. Some have fallen out of favor because of inconsistent recovery times or results.
Which isn’t to say they aren’t viable options to address morbid obesity. However, WeightWise does feel there are more successful weight loss procedures for long-term success. As with any health care procedure, it’s important to discuss these choices with your surgeon if you would like more information.
No matter which procedure is being performed, the pre-operation process is all the same. Patients will meet with a surgeon for an initial discussion about their health. This could include any family history of obesity, past weight loss efforts (including surgeries), lifestyle, and what precipitated the weight gain in the first place.
This conversation is important because it gives us a better understanding of the patient. It also allows our surgeons to explain what the patient can expect before, during, and after the procedure. It’s important to be as truthful as possible during this exchange to ensure bariatric surgery is the right course of action.
After that first conversation, patients will meet with one of our dietitians to discuss diets before and after the procedure. Prescribed by the surgeon, patients will begin changing the amount of food they take in and what kinds of food they eat. Like many surgeries, no food should be eaten the night before.
Patients also meet with exercise physiologists to talk about past physical activities, injuries, or other obstacles that may prevent patients from getting the movement they need. A plan will be devised to focus on cardiac health, flexibility, and overall strength. Patients won’t be entering the Olympics any time soon, but they will be working towards a much healthier lifestyle.
At Weightwise, we believe the key to success for any patient is a complete lifestyle change. Surgery is just one aspect of improving your body mass index (BMI) – changing diet and getting more exercise are also extremely important. That’s why we have every patient meet with our support staff as well before any procedure.
A Closer Look at Other Procedures
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
Generally known as “stomach stapling” operation, the “VBG” is mostly relegated to “of historical interest only” status. Percent excess weight loss was 20% at 20 years after the operation. The two main causes of failure are:
- The tendency for patients to eat sweets.
- Breakdown of the staple line which reforms the stomach as “whole” again.
This operation is done in parts of the country, but by very few bariatric surgeons.
We believe that the laparoscopic gastric bypass is the “gold standard” and is safer than the open approach. Although still done as a primary operation in the U.S. with good results. The laparoscopic approach has a faster recovery, lower wound infection rate, and lower hernia rate.
WeightWise believes there is no advantage to these procedures, and in some cases, patients can have persistent eating difficulty after surgery or require re-operation for complications to the stomach pouch.
WeightWise agrees with the ASMBS statement that this should still be considered an investigational procedure. As such, it should only be done under a study protocol with IRB oversight. Because of these restrictions, the procedure is not currently being performed by our surgeons.
In most cases, patients are able to get up and move relatively quickly after the procedure. The vast majority of our surgeries are performed laparoscopically. That means we use several smaller incisions instead of one large cut. This leads to faster recovery times and less downtime for the patient.
In some cases, patients are asked to spend the night so WeightWise can monitor the patient for any complications. Our percentage of complications is lower than the national average, but if problems do arise, we want to be able to address those as soon as possible.
After a day or two, patients are ready to start living their newer, healthier life. Now is the time when a new diet and exercise plan is put into place. As we stated before, the procedure is the jumping-off point – the real work begins now. Because these procedures are so different, diet plans are specifically designed for each patient.
Overall, patients will be limited to liquids and protein supplements for the first two weeks. Soft proteins will be introduced during the next two weeks, and the diet expands after the first month. We understand this can be a difficult time for our patients, but there is a reason for it.
The body begins to adapt to the new diet and hormonal changes take place. Patients begin to feel full faster and the body starts expecting less food. Which is important because these procedures are designed to alter the size of the stomach. Too much food at any one time can cause discomfort, affect the surgery, or even injure the patient.
The third pillar of the healthier lifestyle foundation is exercise. Much like the diet plan, the exercise routine will start out slow, taking into account any limitations the patient may have. But as strength, cardiovascular health, and flexibility improve, so will the amount of activity. Some of our patients have even competed in marathons!
We understand this is a lot to take in, that’s why every patient is given an advocate. These advocates will give you an empathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, and all the virtual hugs patients can handle. Consider our patient advocates personal cheerleaders to help you through the hard times.
Are you a candidate for weight loss surgery? Take our quiz to find out. For more information about any of these procedures, or to learn about other surgeries, feel free to reach out to WeightWise. If you’d like to learn more about what we do for our patients, check out our FREE online seminar and find out why so many of our customers find success with us.