The Inside Scoop on Bariatric Surgery

by Dr. Christopher You, MD
July 26, 2019

Every day, I meet with patients who are considering bariatric surgery because the more standard and traditional ways of losing weight simply haven’t worked. Over the years, I’ve talked with plenty of patients who have never been able to lose weight on their own. And there are just as many people out there who have gotten on track, losing 50 or 60 or 70 pounds, only to put it all back on, maybe even more! Getting caught up in the vicious cycle of weight loss following by weight gain is not only easy; it’s also extremely common.

6 Reasons People Consider Bariatric Surgery

The reasons people consider bariatric surgery are all over the board:

  1. Some are simply tired of looking and feeling overweight.
  2. They are embarrassed about the way the look, or being overweight is holding them back from living life to its fullest.
  3. One recent patient told me her turning point was when her middle school-aged son came home in tears after a classmate spend the day making fun of him, because his mom was fat. She had anxiety, every day when the time came to send her son back to school alongside the bully.
  4. Another contacted my office after her family went to an amusement park, and she wasn’t able to fit into the seat on most of the rides. She was not only embarrassed, but also frustrated and sad.
  5. There was another patient who had to completely give up his love for the game of golf; because of his weight, he simply couldn’t get through a course. He felt completely defeated.
  6. Others come to see me because obesity is causing a number of life- impacting or even life threating health conditions – from blood pressure and cholesterol levels that are out of control to diabetes, sleep apnea, and even heart issues. It’s a proven fact that losing weight can help get these conditions under control, or even eliminate them, and this is why some people see bariatric surgery as a potentially life-saving solution.

Lifestyle Changes Are a Must

Here’s the thing. Bariatric surgery alone doesn’t provide the easy way out, or a be-all, end-all solution, for ANY patient. Instead, bariatric surgery is a tool that can lead to great success, for people who are willing to make all of the lifestyle changes that must go along with the actual procedure. It’s about making better, smarter, reasonable choices at meal time, and picking healthy snacks rather than filling up on junk food. Its about understanding what a sensible portion is, and building meals that account for the amount of food you should be consuming to fuel your body, rather than eating so much that you feel stuffed and even sick to your stomach. Does this mean you can never have pizza again, or enjoy a night out for ice cream with your kids? Absolutely not. Here are some changes to incorporate into your lifestyle:

  • You can have a slice of pizza; you just can’t have six.
  • You can have the occasional ice cream; just choose the smaller portion, and consider topping it with fresh fruit rather than crushed candy and chocolate sauce.
  • It’s also about finding some time, every day, to be active. This doesn’t mean that you need to go train for a marathon or bike 30 miles per day. For some people, it’s as simple as adding a power walk to the morning routine, taking Zumba classes a few times a week with a group or friends, or joining a yoga studio and committing to getting there each day after work.

How You Can Make It Happen

Change is not easy. But we are here to give you the resources, guidance, and support you need, to make it happen. This is why so many patients who have turned to the Bariatric Surgery Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center have such great, inspiring stories to tell. Not one of them will tell you that they had the surgery, and pounds began magically melting away. Instead, they will tell you about the lifestyle adjustments they committed to, with our support, and that lots of little changes really can and do add up to significant results.

A lot of people ask me why they should choose the Bariatric Surgery Center at MedStar Franklin Square, opposed to some of the other programs that are available. It’s no secret that there are many hospitals in the Baltimore area. You do have choices. A few things come to mind, that I think really set the MedStar Franklin Square program apart. First, the comprehensive nature our services, starting months before your surgery date and extending long after your surgery is over and your goal is reached, are absolutely top notch. When we say a patient of ours is a patient for life, we really mean it. You will not find a team more committed to your success than what you will find at MedStar Franklin Square. Second, we are recognized as a leader, at both the local and national level, in robotic surgical techniques. We perform 100 percent of our bariatric cases using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System, and have even trained other surgeons from across the country on use of this equipment, based on our superior skills and experience. Robotic technology has changed the definition of surgery in so many ways, and offers patients tremendous benefits. Think smaller scars, less blood loss during the surgery, shorter hospital stay, and shorter overall recovery time. Need I say more?

The First Step in Your Weight Loss Journey

The decision to undergo surgery is a big one, not to be taken lightly. We know and understand that people who are beginning to consider bariatric surgery, and therefore beginning to do some research into their options, have a lot of questions and concerns. This is why we ask that as a first step, prospective patients attend one of our bariatric information seminars, either in person or online. The session is designed to help you understand who is eligible for bariatric surgery, the procedures we offer, the benefits and risk factors associated with each, and the lifestyle changes you must be willing to make, for this to work and ultimately give you the results you are after. You will also have the opportunity to hear testimonies from patients who have already undergone the procedure, and are who are living their best lives, today, as a result. If you are wondering if bariatric surgery is right for you, I highly recommend that you register for a seminar to learn more. By registering, you aren’t making a commitment to having surgery; instead you are simply opening a door for yourself to learn more as you continue to contemplate your weight loss options.

Information seminars at the Bariatric Surgery Center are available, at both our MedStar Franklin Square office as well as at MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus.

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If you prefer to enroll in a web-based seminar, click here to activate the 30-minute program.

Category: Living Well     Tags: bariatric surgerybariatricsmedstar franklin square medical centerWeight Lossweight loss surgery