• Effectiveness and Risks of Weight Loss Surgery

    Surgical Weight Loss Team 

    Obesity is a world-wide epidemic that is caused by multiple factors including poor eating habits, genetic predisposition, and lack of exercise. Obesity leads to significant health problems including liver cirrhosis, heart attack, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, disability and early death. Weight loss surgery is the single most effective treatment of obesity. As a result, patients experience improved quality of life and increased length of life by improving and preventing the health problems associated with obesity after they have surgery. However, in order to achieve these results, all patients must adopt permanent life-style changes to increase their level of activity and improve their eating habits, in addition to having surgery.

    For more information, watch this short video from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery to see how weight loss surgery could impact your life. In this video, discover how a Navy Veteran, a Stanford Nurse, and a former NFL player used weight loss surgery to overcome their struggles with obesity. It Starts Today - How obesity surgery helps people reclaim their lives  

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How much weight will I lose?

    A: Most (about 80%) of patients will lose 50-70% of their excess weight and keep it off for over 5 years. That means if you are 100 pounds overweight, you will lose 50-70 pounds in the first year after surgery.

    Q: Can surgery cure diabetes?

    A: Yes. Over 50% of patients with type 2 diabetes experience remission (no longer need any medication) and 90% experience improvement (less medication) than before surgery.

    Q: How long does surgery take and when can I go back to work?

    A: Most surgeries take 2-3 hours. Since all of our surgeries are performed laparoscopically, patients only spend 1-2 days in the hospital and go back to work in 1-3 weeks depending on the type of job that they do.

    Q: How much experience do your surgeons and staff have?

    A: We complete over 300 weight loss surgeries per year. Our surgeons, nurse practitioners, dietitians, operating room staff and other members of the team are highly skilled to deliver you the best care and safest surgery.

    Q: You're a Center of Excellence - what does this mean?

    A: We are a Level 1A Accredited Bariatric Center of Excellence. This is the best level of accreditation given by the American College of Surgeons. This means that representatives of the American College of Surgeons come to review our facilities, program and all aspects of your care every 2-3 years to make sure that we have everything that we need to take the best care of you.

    To be granted this highest level of accreditation, we need to:

    • Be a high volume surgical center.
    • Have highly trained surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, operating room staff and office personnel to take care of you.
    • Follow best practice guidelines and be up to date on the newest treatments for obesity.
    • Have the proper type of equipment, beds, chairs, facilities to treat you comfortably
    • Have the proper support and follow-up for your long term success

    Q: Can I gain weight after surgery?

    A: One of the most common long-term problems after obesity surgery is weight regain. This is usually associated with lack of adherence to lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and exercise, which are required to make the surgery effective.

    Q: What are the risks of surgery?

    A: All medical treatments, including surgery, have risks. The risk of death is low, less than the risk of death with common surgeries such as gallbladder surgery or joint replacement surgery. More importantly, the risks of dying from obesity related problems are higher than the risk of dying from obesity surgery.

    • More common are the risks of non-fatal complications (overall 10-20%), which are divided into short term and long term.
    • The most common short term complications are nausea and dehydration. (5-10%) Less common are leak and infection (3%), bleeding (1%) and blood clots (1%).
    • Long-term complications are related to the type of surgery you have. Patients that have the lap band can have band slippage, band erosion or intolerance of the lap band up to 30% of the time, requiring additional surgery.
    • Patients that have the bypass can have ulcers, bowel blockage and vitamin and mineral deficiencies about 5% of the time.
    • Patients that have the sleeve gastrectomy can experience heartburn about 20% of the time.



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