It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is just round the corner and the Christmas festivities have already begun. In between the present shopping and indulgence, people begin thinking about—not gifts—but holiday weight gain and when to start their weight loss journey. The average adult gains 10 pounds between now and New Year’s.
Every year we say, “I’m not going to gain weight this year”. But then comes the Thanksgiving turkey dinner, the Holiday parties, followed by New Year’s feasts. And before you know, it is January 1st and it’s time to lose weight.
What are the first steps to weight loss?
My suggestion is to take some time now to get started on a plan: whether that is achieving weight loss with medical therapy combined with a suitable diet, or whether it should be weight loss surgery. Both can provide you with good results when it comes to that holiday weight gain. Moreover resolve or improve obesity related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea, to name a few.
Medical weight loss is reserved for people that fall into the obese category with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35. We have a variety of plans and options for medical weight loss. It can be very successful with a strategic, well planned maintenance program.
Weight loss surgery is appropriate for those with a BMI > 35 with a co-morbidity (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea) or a BMI > 40 with or without co-morbidities. There are several procedures to research to identify which one may be the most appropriate for you. People come to my office and frequently ask which surgery is the best? The answer depends largely upon the patient and their needs.
The Lap-Band has fallen out of favor due to poor overall weight loss and a host of complications. Consequently, this can cause need for a second surgery, so I definitely do not recommend it. On the other end of the spectrum is the duodenal switch. This is also known by several names, including DS or the Saide procedure. In this operation, the intestinal bypass starts at the duodenum and while it results in good weight loss, it can ultimately lead to severe malnutrition of key vitamins and minerals.
The duodenal switch should be reserved for super obese individuals or special cases.
What are the best options?
Most patients will be best served with a sleeve gastrectomy. Also called gastric sleeve surgery, as shown above. The sleeve is the most common procedure performed in the US today. It consists of removing about 85% of the stomach, thereby restricting the amount of food you can eat. It does stretch out over the first year, at about the time your weight stabilizes. The gastric sleeve provides very good weight loss with favorable long-term results, and nutritional problems are uncommon.
Another excellent choice for bariatric surgery is the gastric bypass. Also known as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This is the second most common procedure for weight loss in the U.S. It too results in good weight loss with favorable long-term results, but it also has the benefit of resolving type 2 diabetes for a high percentage of patients. Because the bypass has both a restrictive component and a malabsorption component, nutritional deficiencies can occur so patients must be closely monitored.
Over the next month begin the process of evaluating what your unique needs might be. Are you seeking weight loss surgery or perhaps medical weight loss therapy is a better choice? We will go over these options in more detail in our next blog post. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation now, please give us a call (303-861-4505) or visit our website www.coloradobariatric.com.