Kentuckiana patients now have another option to turn to for surgery that can help them shed pounds and transform their health.
Weight-loss surgery reshapes the stomach to allow it to hold less food and sometimes alters the hormones and intestinal bacteria that regulate hunger, depending on the type of procedure. Surgery is an option for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35–40 occurring with an obesity-related chronic health problem, such as Type 2 diabetes.
“Exciting research is emerging that says weight loss surgery is an extremely effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes,” said David Geller, MD, bariatric surgeon at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. “Some studies suggest the surgery may be appropriate for diabetes patients with BMI lower than 35.”
Much More Than Surgery
This spring, Dr. Geller and general surgeon Robert Farrell, MD, began offering three types of weight-loss surgery — sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and gastric band — at Jewish Hospital. The operations, however, are just one part of the new surgical weight-loss program.
“Patients meet with the surgeon to determine the most appropriate operation for them, and then they have appointments with a mental health professional, an exercise physiologist and a nutritionist,” Dr. Farrell said. “They also
attend a support group meeting with pre- and post-operative patients.”
After surgery, patients continue to receive the multidisciplinary support they need to make the lifestyle changes that are crucial to success.
“Positive, long-term results depend not only on the success of the surgery, but on patients’ willingness to get active and follow a healthy diet,” Dr. Geller said. “Our team helps them navigate the transition and maintain those modifications.”
Register online to attend a free weight-loss surgery seminar or call 502.912.8751.
Transformation Before Transplantation
For individuals who need a liver or kidney transplant, having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher can increase the risk of complications after surgery.
“Obesity can be prohibitive for patients who otherwise qualify for a transplant because they are more likely to experience issues with wound healing after surgery,” said Dr. Farrell. “The immune system-suppressing drugs they need to take after transplantation may compound those issues.”
Weight-loss surgery for transplant candidates is available at Jewish Hospital. Approximately six months after the operation, the surgeon evaluates patients’ BMI to determine whether they have lost sufficient weight to be listed for a transplant.
This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine.