More than one-third of American adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. An estimated nine million of those are considered morbidly obese, raising the risk and probability of one or more obesity-related health conditions or diseases that can result in either physical limitations or death. Obesity-related conditions are some of the leading causes of preventable death. Carrying extra weight on the body can have serious effects on a person’s physical, mental and financial status.
The causes of obesity are multiple and complex. Despite common opinion, it is not simply a result of overeating. Research has shown that in many cases a significant cause of morbid obesity is genetic.
It is important to understand that all current medical interventions in regard to weight-related health, including weight loss surgery, should not be considered medical “cures.” Instead, surgical procedures are tools, which attempt to reduce the effects of excessive weight, and the serious physical, emotional, and social consequences of morbid obesity.
Weight loss surgery has helped numerous people shed excess weight and live healthier lives. It is a common treatment option for people with extreme obesity who have failed to lose weight through diet and exercise. While surgery is not without risk, several studies have shown that for properly selected patients, bariatric surgery reduces mortality and extends life expectancy. No other medical modality has been shown to have such a dramatic effect on life expectancy. Additionally, with expert training and experience, bariatric procedures have become far safer, with complication rates lower than many intra abdominal procedures.
Bariatric surgery involves preparations before and after the surgery to reduce the chance of medical issues arising post operatively. Weight loss surgery is a holistic program that involves a firm and lifelong commitment to certain lifestyle changes on the part of the patient. With this commitment, the patient is encouraged to develop and maintain these healthy habits for the rest of their life.
Choosing weight loss surgery requires careful consideration. While image is often improved, weight loss surgery is major surgery, not a cosmetic procedure. Our goal is to help patients improve their quality of daily living, and live a healthier, improved life while achieving the benefit of improved confidence and an enhanced sense of self-esteem.
After attending one of the bariatric surgery seminars held at Lenox Hill Hospital, we ask patients to complete the EMMI web-based education and written exam. EMMI is an interactive patient education series that helps manage the expectations of people who are considering surgery. EMMI will talk you through the entire surgical experience from pre-op to post-op, including risks.
- Schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons.
- Schedule a consultation with the nutritionist and with the psychologist.
Further individualized information will be provided at the time of your consultation. Your surgeon may request additional diagnostic tests and procedures at that time such as:
- Lab tests
- Upper GI series
- EGD or esophagogastroduodenoscopy
- Cardiac evaluation
- Pulmonary consultation
- Sleep study
- Gallbladder ultrasound
- Psychological consultation
- Nutritional consultation
If you have had any of these tests within the last six months, please bring copies of the results with you to your appointment.
Once you have completed the consultations and testing, a request for surgical approval will be made with your insurance company. When documented authorization has been received and your surgeon has accepted you as a surgical candidate, a surgery date will be assigned. Please allow adequate time for surgery scheduling.
Immediately following your surgery, you will have frequent post-operative follow-up visits with your surgeon. We strongly encourage you to keep every post-operative visit, including any laboratory or radiology studies that have been ordered. Follow-up visits and tests assist in the ultimate success of your surgery.
Appointments are typically:
- Immediate post-op visit as ordered by your surgeon, usually 2 weeks
- 6 weeks after surgery
- 3 months after surgery
- 6 months after surgery
- 12 months after surgery (including routine lab studies)
- 18 months
- 24 months
If you live out of town whenever possible, bring any laboratory, radiology or any other test results to the follow-up clinic appointments.
What is involved with the follow-up appointments?
- Review lab results
- Review social and emotional changes
- Review medications and comorbidities
- Evaluate your progress and weight loss
- Review exercise program
- Review nutritional requirements
- Provide encouragement
- Referral to other healthcare professionals, if necessary
- Prescriptions for labs will be provided. Depending on your particular insurance, you may either take our request directly to the lab draw station, or request an order from your primary care physician.
- Labs as needed.
- These labs value help with your medical evaluation. Often, they are a reflection of your improving health.