Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas – Candidacy for Gastric Bypass and Other Procedures
Bariatric surgery has helped a great many patients dramatically improve their health, physical comfort, and quality of life, but it is not the answer for everyone. It is important to understand that a patient’s candidacy for weight loss surgery depends on a number of factors and that surgery can only be performed when the potential benefits outweigh the probable risks. At our practice serving Arlington, Fort Worth, and Dallas, we carefully screen gastric bypass and other weight loss surgery patients to ensure that these procedures are the right course of action for them.
Gastric bypass and other bariatric surgery procedures are very complex and candidacy must ultimately be decided on a case-by-case basis. As a general guideline, however, the National Institutes of Health has suggested that patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or patients who have a BMI of 35 to 40 in combination with a serious co-morbid condition, can be considered candidates for surgical weight loss.
Patients considering obesity surgery must also have tried to lose weight through non-surgical means. Contraindications to surgery include psychological disorders that could prevent the patient from being able to cope with the dramatic post-operative lifestyle changes and certain medical conditions that increase the risks of surgery to the point where they outweigh the benefits. Female patients must not be pregnant.
At our Arlington, Dallas, and Fort Worth-area practice, gastric bypass, gastric banding, and other procedures each have their own specific candidacy requirements. Only a thorough consultation process will allow us to determine which type of surgery will best help any individual patient.
Excess weight on the body is, in itself, adverse to good overall health and mobility. However, some of the most serious health problems associated with obesity are the result of what are known as “co-morbid conditions.” In this context, co-morbid conditions are diseases or health problems that may exist independently, but are more common or more serious among people who are significantly overweight. Often, once a person loses even a small amount of weight, conditions like type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension will become more manageable or even disappear altogether. Gastric bypass or another weight loss surgery technique is therefore often indicated for patients who suffer one or more of these conditions as a result of obesity.
Frequent pauses in breathing during sleep can cause fatigue and headaches, as well as more serious problems associated with decreased oxygen supply to the brain and cardiovascular system.
Excess weight disrupts the body’s natural hormone balance, often inhibiting its ability to process sugars and starches normally. This results in blood sugar levels that are too high or too low, both of which can have life-threatening consequences. Fortunately, patients who undergo gastric bypass often experience improvement in their ability to control their blood sugar even before a significant amount of weight is lost.
High blood pressure is a common condition, but tends to be more serious in people who are obese, due to the cumulative risks of heart disease associated with excess weight and hypertension. Heart failure, organ damage, and stroke are potential consequences of uncontrolled hypertension.
Carrying extra weight on the body puts the same additional strain on the joints as carrying a heavy object, but on a constant basis. People who are obese are therefore at higher risk for knee and hip injury or repetitive stress problems.
Success rates vary by procedure. Patients generally lose between 40 percent and 100 percent of their excess weight. The total amount of weight lost and the ability to keep it off for the long term depends, at least in part, on the patient’s ability to commit to the necessary lifestyle changes. All procedures are effective in reducing diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, and high triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as the many other comorbid conditions associated with excess weight.
Although all surgical procedures have risks, weight loss surgery is safer than many other common procedures. The minimally invasive techniques we use at our practice further reduce the risk of surgery by minimizing trauma to surrounding tissues and decreasing the overall impact of surgery on the body.
At Minimally Invasive Bariatrics, we know that it can be difficult for patients to cover the costs of their operation, especially since most insurance policies do not provide coverage for surgical weight loss procedures. We work with three major healthcare financing organizations to help patients manage the expense of undergoing bariatric surgery. Visit Surgery Loans to learn more about these programs.
At Minimally Invasive Bariatrics, we focus on thoroughly educating our patients, offering a wide range of surgical options, and providing comprehensive follow-up care. We believe that these are the factors that can make the difference between a successful procedure and one that does not produce the desired result