Gastric Bypass Just One Piece of Weight Loss Puzzle

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For some, the road to significant weight loss can be long and treacherous, full of twists and setbacks. For individuals who are morbidly obese – 100 lbs or more overweight – gastric bypass surgery is a proven, long-term solution to help in losing extra pounds that may endanger an individual’s health.

A recent announcement that Medicare will offer expanded coverage for clinically obese people with at least one weight-related health problem has the potential to make gastric bypass surgery a viable option for people who would not otherwise be candidates, possibly increasing the volume of surgeries. For individuals who are morbidly obese, gastric bypass surgery is a proven, long-term solution to help in losing extra pounds that may endanger an individual’s health. However, it cannot be stressed enough that gastric bypass surgery is not a quick fix; rather it is a single tool in the quest to improve a person’s health and quality of life. It’s important to know that only a board-certified surgeon can determine if the procedure is right for you.

Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical procedure in which the stomach is divided into two sections, and one of the two sections is a new, smaller pouch that will act as the new stomach. The procedure can be performed as an open or laparoscopic procedure. With either style, the new stomach has the capacity of roughly two ounces, as opposed to its former size of about two quarts. This drastic reduction limits the stomach’s ability to hold food, resulting in a feeling of fullness after eating only a small amount. Known as Roux-en-Y divided gastric bypass, the procedure is widely accepted as the most effective surgical weight loss treatment available.

In addition to drastically reducing the size of an individual’s stomach, the surgery is also the first step in a series of lifestyle changes. Simply reducing stomach size is not enough; patients must adopt a new diet, eating lower-fat and high-protein foods to ensure proper nutrition since the amount of food they consume will be reduced. In addition, exercise will greatly improve the health and increase weight loss after surgery. Support groups, such as those offered as a part of aftercare by Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group and Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, are an excellent way to adjust to a new lifestyle in the company of like-minded patients.

“The results of the procedure speak for themselves,” said George Zorn, M.D., F.A.C.S., surgeon at Pacific Bariatric Medical Surgical Group (http://www.pbsmg.com) and Scripps Mercy Hospital. “This procedure enables patients to make the lifestyle changes – diet and exercise – that will help them achieve a healthier body weight.”

Surgeons at Pacific Bariatric have performed over 9,000 procedures on adult and adolescent patients at Scripps Mercy Hospital. As a result of outstanding aftercare programs and support groups, patients at Pacific Bariatric see a success rate of slightly higher than the national average.

Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group (http://www.pbsmg.com) and Scripps Mercy Hospital are nationally designated by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery as a Center of Excellence for bariatric surgery. Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group, also known as Hillcrest Surgical Medical Group, Inc., has an 80-year tradition of surgical excellence and leadership in San Diego County. Scripps Mercy Hospital has been a health care leader in San Diego County for 115 years, offering patients an unparalleled continuum of care. For more information, visit http://www.pbsmg.com.

Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Scripps Mercy Hospital serves the San Diego and Chula Vista communities. With 700 licensed beds, more than 3,000 employees and 1,300 physicians, Scripps Mercy Hospital is San Diego’s longest established and only Catholic medical center. With two campuses, Scripps Mercy Hospital is the largest hospital in San Diego County and one of the 10 largest in California. For more information, visit http://www.scripps.org.

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Kristin Reinhardt
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