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Bariatric surgery

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When diet and exercise
aren’t enough

Tom Bauer before and after weight loss

"I can tie my shoes without losing my breath. I can sit in a booth in a restaurant. I don’t have to buy two seats on a plane, and I can buy clothes off the rack. These are big things."
~ Tom Bauer, weight loss surgery patient ~

If you have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise, and are ready to end your frustration by finding a real solution that works, you might benefit from bariatric surgery. Novant Health Weight Loss Services offers a wide variety of surgical options that help patients do much more than lose weight. Our board-certified bariatric surgeons will assess your current health, as well as your health history, to determine if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery and, if so, which option is best for you.

Revisional procedures

If you have previously had bariatric surgery but have not achieved the weight loss you were expecting or have been unable to maintain that weight loss, revisional surgery could set you on the road back to success. Revisional procedures include:

Malabsorption procedures

Malabsorption procedures change the way your body digests food. Your board-certified bariatric surgeon creates a “bypass” around part of your small intestine, meaning your body absorbs fewer calories during the digestion process. These procedures are often done in conjunction with a restrictive procedure. Malabsorption procedures include:

Restrictive procedures

Restrictive procedures limit the amount of food and drink your stomach holds. Your board-certified bariatric surgeon will create a stomach “pouch” that is much smaller than your original stomach. The reduced size means less food can enter, so you will feel full more quickly. Restrictive procedures include:

Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery affects much more than a number on the scale. Obesity is often linked to other health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease and even cancer. Losing weight can lower your risk of developing those conditions if you are not yet affected by them, and can lessen the symptoms or severity of conditions currently affecting your health.

Losing weight can also have a huge impact on your emotional well-being. After weight loss surgery, many patients are able to enjoy activities that have been off-limits for years, and most say they are more satisfied with their appearance and more confident presenting themselves to the world.

Our team of registered dietitians and nurse navigators will answer all of your questions about preparing for bariatric surgery, recovery time after weight loss surgery and whether your insurance policy will cover your weight loss procedure.

Is bariatric surgery right for you?

Candidates for bariatric surgery have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or a BMI between 35 and 40 with other obesity-related health problems such as:

The best weight loss surgery candidates are committed to making lifestyle changes after surgery to maintain weight loss through diet and exercise.

What is BMI?

You may be wondering how to determine if you’re overweight or obese and what is the difference? Healthcare professionals use a measurement called body mass index (BMI) to calculate the percentage of fat in your body using your height and weight. BMI is an estimate, not an exact measurement, and it differs based on age and gender.

For adults, a BMI of:

  • 25 – 29.9% is considered overweight
  • 30% and over is considered obese

What is high blood pressure?

We take your blood pressure to measure the force of blood flowing and circulating through your heart and arteries throughout your body. The body's organs need oxygen to survive and it is carried through the body by the blood. Each heart beat creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of arteries and veins.

This blood pressure --- is the result of two forces. The first force occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and is represented by the systolic number, usually the top number when you receive your blood pressure results. The second force is created as the heart rests between heart beats, and is represented by the diastolic number, or the bottom number of your blood pressure results.

What is diabetes?

There are three types of diabetes. With prediabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin and cannot process sugar from the bloodstream as it should. This causes the levels of blood sugar to become higher than normal. Over time, having too much sugar in your blood puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Types of diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes - Occurs when the pancreas stops making insulin. It’s usually diagnosed in children and accounts for 10% of people with diabetes. It’s also referred to as juvenile diabetes and sugar diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes - Occurs when the pancreas continues to produce insulin but loses effectiveness. Type 2 diabetes affects 90 percent of people with diabetes and it usually develops in adulthood.
  • Gestational diabetes - A temporary condition that develops in pregnant women with no previous history of diabetes. Most cases clear up after the mother has delivered her baby, but it involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends screening pregnant women at risk for type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.

What is sleep apnea?

A chronic disorder that causes people to stop breathing several times during the night. These episodes may last 10 seconds or longer. A person with sleep apnea may or may not be aware of snorting, gasping, or waking up short of breath, depending on how deeply they are sleeping. During sleep apnea a drop in blood oxygen levels occur, the heart rate increases and a burst of stress hormone (cortisol) is released. This activity disrupts good sleep often slightly awakening the body enough to resume breathing, but not enough to fully wake an individual.

Some of the causes of sleep apnea occur when the airway is obstructed or collapses such as due to excessive weight, loss of muscle tone due to normal aging, or during dreams when the muscle relax. Sleep apnea can cause major health risk such as exhaustion during the day causing one to fall asleep while driving or on the job, and it severe enough, it can be life threatening. It also increases risk of stroke and/or heart disease. The condition is often diagnosed by a physician through overnight sleep studies.

What is high cholesterol?"

Bad cholesterol is a fat-like substance in your blood that travels through your arteries and veins. High cholesterol is when it builds up in the walls of your arteries, and over time may cause, hardening of the arteries. This means that your arteries become narrow and blood flow to the heart is slowed down or blocked. If blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer a heart attack or stroke.

High cholesterol does not have any symptoms. Therefore, you will need to have your primary care provider check your cholesterol levels through blood tests.