A safe surgical approach to losing and managing weight

Weight loss can be a long, difficult and stressful journey. If you are obese and have related health problems, then you don’t have time to lose. Excess weight can complicate potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. It can also aggravate chronic conditions like arthritis, or certain endocrine disorders. If you are obese and have one of these or another serious health problem, then you may need a faster approach to weight loss than diet or exercise alone.

Even if you don’t have a serious health problem, you can still benefit from losing weight. Studies even suggest bariatric surgery can help you live a longer life. Weight loss can regulate your periods (if you’re female), improve your sexual function, increase your energy, boost your self-esteem and lower your risk for different diseases.

What is obesity?

Simply put, obesity is when your body composition consists of too much fat. To determine your weight status, a calculation called body mass index (BMI,) is commonly used. BMI is an estimate of body fat using your height and weight. Knowing your BMI can help you understand your overall health and if you are at a healthy weight for your height.

 

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and above Obesity

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. Obesity can cause a lot of damage to your body. If you have severe obesity, then you are more likely to have other diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and more. Combined with obesity, these diseases may lower the quality of your health and life.

Choosing weight loss surgery

You will make the decision to have weight loss, or bariatric, surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon or a knowledgeable family physician. The goals of bariatric surgery are not only to lose weight and maintain long term weight loss but also to:

It is estimated that weight loss through diet, exercise, behavioral modifications and medications fail 95% of the time long term. Studies show that bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment to combat severe obesity and maintain long-term, substantial weight loss.

Doctor assisting male patient on weighing scales in hospital

90% of bariatric surgery patients lose at least half of their excess body weight.

Our surgeons are experts in a variety of bariatric surgery methods

Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by limiting the amount of food your stomach can hold. Most weight loss surgeries today are performed using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgical techniques.

Bariatric procedures vary widely, and your surgeon will help you choose the right one for you. This will depend on your current health status, your weight and weight loss goals, and your lifestyle––your stress level, how active you are, and what you eat and drink. Some examples of bariatric surgery procedures include:

This minimally-invasive surgery involves fitting a silicone band around the upper part of your stomach. To accommodate fluctuations in your weight, your doctor can tighten or loosen this band by adding or removing saline from a balloon that fits inside it. Healing properly from this procedure and ensuring weight loss requires you to follow a strict diet that your doctor and dietitian will custom design.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is a procedure that reduces the size of your stomach and limits your capacity for food and drink. This procedure can be an open surgery or a minimally invasive surgery. If done laparoscopically (the minimally invasive approach), your surgeon will make five small cuts in your abdomen. Using small cameras and instruments, your doctor will cinch the top part of your stomach, turning it into a small pouch that only holds about ¼ cup of solid food or two ounces of liquid.

With this procedure––also known as gastric sleeve or vertical gastric sleeve surgery––your surgeon will remove 80% to 90% of your stomach. Your new stomach will be sleeve-shaped and about the size of a banana. Because your new stomach cannot expand, you will eat less. Studies show that most patients who undergo this surgery lose an average 45 to 55% of their excess body weight within the first year.

SILS is an alternative to regular gastric bypass surgery, which normally involves five to six incisions. Your surgeon can perform SILS through one small incision. This can mean less scaring and a quicker recovery. Your eligibility for this procedure depends on how much excess weight you have, whether you are fighting any infections or have scar tissue from previous surgeries.

A couple of years after gastric bypass surgery, the stomach pouch commonly stretches, increasing your risk of regaining lost weight. We offer the StomaphyX or ROSE procedures to remedy this by re-reducing the size of your stomach endoscopically and without any incisions.

Wayne Weiss, Bariatric Surgeon Phelps Hospital

“The expansion of bariatric services in Sleepy Hollow is a great convenience for people living in Westchester, Rockland, and the Northern Bronx, who will now be able to access world-class weight loss surgery close to home.”

Wayne Weiss, MD, FACS, Bariatric Surgeon
nutrition counseling is an important part of post op for bariatric patients
Maximize the benefits of your surgery by following post-operative instructions

Following bariatric surgery, your surgeon and dietitian will customize a diet and exercise plan to enhance healing and maximize your surgery’s success. Because weight loss surgeries can lead to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, we urge you to follow all medical and dietary instructions. Be sure to discuss any concerns about your diet plan with your doctor at your follow-up visits.

Your team will create a personalized nutrition plan for you. In the meantime, here are some general guidelines for the best outcome following surgery:

  1. Eat only three meals per day
  2. Eat slowly and chew food well before swallowing
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel full
  4. Do not drink while you are eating
  5. Do not eat between meals
  6. Eat only food that is good quality (not processed or junk food)
  7. Avoid foods that are too fibrous
  8. Drink sufficient fluids in between meals (only low-calorie liquids)
  9. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day
  10. Take multi-vitamins every day (the most common deficiencies that may result from surgery are B12, iron, and protein)