Choosing weight loss surgery is a life-changing commitment and a decision to be made with care. Reston Hospital Center is proud to offer surgical weight loss options to obese patients whose nonsurgical attempts to lose weight have been unsuccessful.
Weight loss surgery, often called bariatric surgery, is not a cosmetic procedure. It's an educated surgical decision to improve your health and lifespan. Patients who opt for weight loss surgery at Reston Hospital see their lives transformed, with marked improvements in their health and quality of life. The transformative journey requires work and commitment, and we're here to help you navigate your new and life-altering path.
Bariatric surgery is the general term for a variety of weight loss surgical procedures. The surgery is a tool, not a cure, to help treat weight problems. Our mission is to help patients transform their lives through surgical weight loss when nonsurgical attempts have been unsuccessful.
Weight loss surgery is intended not only to decrease your weight but also to improve your overall health. Obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, are greatly reduced after weight loss surgery.
The surgery involves both risks and a commitment to significant lifestyle changes. To make an informed decision, educate yourself about the types, benefits and potential complications of the various bariatric surgery methods.
Most nonsurgical weight loss programs are based on a combination of diet, behavior modification and regular exercise. Unfortunately, even the most effective interventions don't work for everyone. It's estimated that less than 5 percent of individuals who participate in nonsurgical weight loss programs will lose a significant amount of weight and maintain that loss for an extended period of time.
Sustained weight loss for patients who are morbidly obese–usually defined as being 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight or having a body mass index of 40 or higher–is even harder to achieve. And serious health risks have been identified for people who move from diet to diet, subjecting their bodies to a severe and continuing cycle of weight loss and gain known as "yo-yo dieting."
Bariatric weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), allow patients to drastically reduce the amount of food they consume by surgically creating a smaller stomach pouch. Most gastric procedures reduce the stomach's holding capacity from about two quarts to two ounces or less. When eating, this pouch fills quickly. Because patients feel satisfied and full sooner, they eat less.
Learn more about the weight loss surgery options at Reston Hospital.
Bariatric surgery can save lives and continues to benefit people struggling with morbid obesity worldwide. With each successful procedure, the medical community sees further evidence that bariatric surgery is an effective weight loss tool and treatment for obesity-related health conditions. Studies show that bariatric surgery patients are living longer lives of higher quality.
The risk of an early death for an obese person is twice that of a non-obese person, according to recent studies. Morbid obesity can shorten lives and cause life-threatening health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Weight loss surgery helps decrease your chances of these and other conditions, including sleep apnea, joint problems and arthritis.
With treatment, there's a greater likelihood that a patient can look forward to better health and a longer life.
All surgeries and medical procedures carry risk. It's important to talk to your doctor, other weight loss surgery patients and your loved ones to best understand the benefits and risks for your individual situation.
Surgery should not be considered until you and your doctor have evaluated all options. It's important to discuss the following issues with your doctor:
- These procedures are in no way to be considered cosmetic surgery.
- The surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or excision.
- A decision to choose surgical treatment requires a patient's careful assessment of risks vs. benefits.
- The success of weight loss surgery depends on long-term lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.
- Problems can arise after bariatric surgery that may require additional surgery.
Complications and Risks
As with any surgery, there are potential risks of surgical and long-term complications. These should be discussed with your doctor. However, for many patients, the risk of death from obesity-related health complications is greater than the risk of complications from bariatric surgery.
Among the possible surgical risks are:
- Complications from anesthesia and medications
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Reopening of the incision
- Leaks from staple line breakdown
- Marginal ulcers
- Pulmonary problems
- Spleen injury