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Answers to Your Bariatric Surgery Questions

How do I know if I qualify for bariatric surgery?

You’ll need to consult one of our program specialists to determine if you qualify. You may qualify if you…

  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater
  • Have a BMI of 35–40 with significant co-morbidities. (Use BMI caculator below.)
  • Have failed non-surgical weight loss attempts
  • Don’t have an untreated endocrine cause of obesity
  • Don’t have a drug or alcohol problem
  • Are free of uncontrolled psychological conditions
  • Are dedicated to lifestyle change and follow-up

BMI calculator

What are the potential benefits of bariatric Surgery?

Weight loss is not the only potential benefit

  • Overall quality of life is improved
  • Mortality is reduced

The following conditions are typically improved:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • GERD
  • Migraines
  • Urinary Stress Incontinence
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative joint Disease
  • Gout
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Infertility Issues and Depression
  • Low Testosterone Levels

How common is bariatric surgery?

According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, more than 200,000 people undergo bariatric surgery each year – making it one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States.

How does bariatric surgery work?

Our program achieves weight-loss results through one, or a combination of, approaches that are:

  • Restrictive, reducing the size of the stomach, which makes you feel full after only a small amount of food
  • Malabsorptive, limiting the amount of vitamins, micronutrients and calories absorbed, or
  • Hormonal, altering signals to the brain that trigger hunger and satiety. 

We offer surgical and non-surgical solutions.

Are there risks with bariatric surgery?

There are risks involved in all surgical procedures. Talk to your surgeon about these risks and any that might be specific to your health history.

You will also need to consider the risks of remaining morbidly obese and suffering the consequences of the obesity-related health conditions such as hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

Bariatric surgery has been shown to reduce the risk of death from obesity-related co-morbid conditions by as much as 89% in morbidly obese people, according to a 2004 study in the Annals of Surgery.

Bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective treatment for long-term weight loss for the morbidly obese, for whom conventional methods such as diet and exercise have not worked.

Why doesn’t dieting work for the morbidly obese?

Our bodies have powerful biological pathways to preserve weight and prevent loss. This resistance to weight loss is made evident by the fact that fewer than 5% of obese people can lose their weight and keep it off through traditional means such as diet and exercise.

Science has recently shown that body weight is biologically regulated. Our bodies establish an individual “weight-set-point” or range of weight it considers acceptable. There are hundreds of other bodily functions that are biologically regulated to stay within a normal range as well—blood pressure, temperature and blood chemistries just to name a few. When regulatory pathways reel out of control, we experience diseases such as high blood pressure, fever, chemical imbalances and, in the case of weight—obesity.

How important is lifestyle change in achieving weight loss success?

Weight loss surgery does not force weight loss. Rather, it overcomes your biological resistance to weight loss and allows you to succeed through the same lifestyle changes that were ineffective before surgery. Almost all patients will lose some weight after surgery, but to achieve the appropriate amount of weight loss and be able to maintain it for five years and beyond, patients must establish a healthy lifestyle including dietary changes and exercise. A healthy lifestyle is critically important in maintaining long-term success.  Remember:  the surgery is the “tool” that makes the diet and exercise successful.

How can I learn more?

Dr. Chris Sanborn of the Erlanger Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Center hosts free informational seminars both in person and as a live Webinar. For more information or to enroll in a FREE seminar/webinar, call 423-778-2906.