Category Archives: Bariatric Surgery
One of the simplest but most common phrases we tell our patients is “everything in moderation” and this also applies to alcoholic beverages. However, there are some hard and fast rules that must be understood in the immediate postop timeframe that can prevent serious complications and discomfort. First, it is important that in the months after surgery, you do not drink alcohol. This is primarily because alcoholic drinks can add hundreds of empty calories. A bottle of beer can add upwards of 150 calories (and discomfort from the carbonation), a glass of wine, upwards of 125 calories and mixed drinks can add hundreds of calories and quite a bit of sugar.
Many patients focus on the psychological adjustments they will have to make after surgery. After all, we are all having bariatric surgery in order to achieve goals; one of which is to improve our diet and general lifestyle over the long-term. As the typical patient understands, improving these parts of our lives are not as easy as following a diet and exercise plan. We have a good days and bad days, sometimes we are motivated and other times we simply don’t want to follow the plan. All of this is very normal but makes for some challenges after bariatric surgery. This is especially true over the long term when our weight begins to stabilize, and we don’t see the incredible results of early postoperative life.
You may have had bariatric surgery after years if not decades of yo-yo dieting – losing a significant amount of weight only to gain it right back – sometimes even reaching higher weight heights than you had before. Weight regain, sadly, is a very normal part of an obese person‘s life. It may also be the case that after bariatric surgery, you saw several months or even a couple years of consistent weight loss allowing you to reach your ultimate body weight goals. When you finally hit that number, it can be a thrilling experience and the culmination of years of hard work and difficult decisions. However, once you hit your goal weight, you’ve only just begun your journey. Staying at your new lower weight requires as much dedication as the weight-loss leading to that point. It is at this point where many patients begin to regain some weight.
An article published in the journal Diabetologia in April of this year (Cariou, et al.) showed that of patients with diabetes who were hospitalized with the novel Sars-Cov-2 virus, obesity was associated with worse outcomes. In fact, BMI was the only independent factor that was associated with higher rates of being intubated and/or death within 7 days.
With dozens of do it yourself prevention tips and cures circulating around the Internet, it can get overwhelming to know what works and what doesn’t. One common, but flawed, theory circulating during the height of the Coronavirus outbreak is that of going outside in the sunshine to kill the virus. This advice comes from the fact that sunshine does seem to have various antibacterial properties. On the face of it, the idea that sunshine would in any way prevent a respiratory infection, might seem silly, but there may be some truth to it. In fact, around the world, in the absence of antibacterial agents, water can be left in sunlight (for hours) with disinfectant results. But how does this apply to our current situation? As it relates to the Coronavirus, not a whole lot, as these properties are limited to waterborne pathogens.
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.
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.