It may be one of the last things on your mind, but during stressful times such as these, we tend to find comfort in the familiar. Our lives have been affected, in many cases, to such a degree that going back to old habits becomes easy. For those suffering from excess weight or who had bariatric surgery, this may mean eating during times of extreme stress. After all, for years, or even decades, eating was our way of coping. Our bodies are very good at remembering those feelings and sensations, despite how destructive those actions were to our health.
While we can tell ourselves that we deserve to indulge a little bit more during these crazy times, the weight can pile on pretty quickly and put us in a position where it is difficult to turn around. Unfortunately, as we all know, it is much easier to put on weight than eliminate it.
The Centers for Disease Control or CDC states:
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Patients considering bariatric surgery often wonder whether the gastric bypass or the gastric sleeve is a better option for them. First, it is important to mention that I can’t offer any concrete advice without meeting you in person and going over your medical records and previous diagnoses. However, as the bariatric landscape has broadened with new procedures and techniques, we are coming to some very interesting conclusions about which procedures are best for certain patients.
Any surgical procedure has risks associated with it. You are putting trust in your physicians to place you under anesthetic, and to incise your skin and organs, remove things from your body, place things into your body, and perform any number of maneuvers to help better your health. But with these, comes the risk of bleeding, infection, injury to your body, and even death.
With almost 1,000,000 surgical repairs every year in the United States, hernias are an extremely common condition affecting Americans. However, hernias are only repaired when they become symptomatic, so we can extrapolate that many millions more have hernias that they don’t even know about. But, is it possible to avoid a hernia altogether?
The short answer is, in most cases, not really. But there’s a lot we can do to delay it and minimize the risk of worsening one that already exists.
The LINX Reflux management system has become one of the primary curative options for chronic acid reflux patients that have not responded well to medical therapy including antacids and acid blocking medication (PPIs). Of course, as with any surgical intervention, there are benefits and risks. The LINX Reflux management system, while appropriate for many patients, does have considerations that must be explored.
It isn’t just the food industry trying to catch your attention with low-fat, low-sugar or other miracle-fix promises. How many people pick up that grocery store checkout magazine with the newest fad diet on the front cover? Come to think of it, almost all our magazines, social media site and online blogs are shouting with confidence that the way to a trim body and perfect life are through the maze of one fad diet to the next. This topic was discussed recently at one of our online support groups on Facebook. The competition over your attention between the food and diet industries makes for a very confusing relationship with how we eat.
A very real and common challenge for postoperative gastric sleeve patients is building muscle. Firstly, this challenge may come with age — muscle tone decreases and as anyone over the age of 40 knows, it becomes more challenging to build muscle. Second, because of excess weight, most patients have not exercised properly in years. This can often mean that muscles have atrophied due to underuse. Lastly, patients will be consuming far less food than they did previously, which makes fewer calories available for burning during vigorous exercise.
While it may seem like a struggle, the gastric sleeve, and bariatric surgery in general, actually offers the opportunity to build muscle more efficiently than if the patient were pursuing a diet and exercise regimen alone.
Health insurance is tricky business, and if you feel like it’s been going up in cost and down in benefits every year, you’re right. For many, health insurance is a maze they’ll never understand, but we’d like to help you navigate those intricacies, especially now, during open enrollment, and as we come to the end of the year with benefits resetting.
Beyond the benefits page that explains what is covered and the costs you should expect to incur, it is important that you understand the exclusions of your policy as well. These are usually tucked away in the fine print. Most of us never even know what’s excluded from our policies. Beyond cosmetic procedures, most dental procedures, and most eye care, bariatric surgery is often excluded as well. So, as you consider your eligibility for bariatric surgery, give your insurance company a quick call to check your benefits, or contact us – our office will be more than happy to assist with verifying and confirming your benefits.
Excess skin is a common, almost unavoidable, part of the post bariatric surgery lifestyle. Sagging or excess skin is caused by one of any number of issues including genetics, the amount of weight lost, age, and the specific procedure being performed. But that stretched skin does not have to be a drag on your life.