Weight Loss Success in the New Year

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 29, 2016

Many people begin a new year with a resolution to lose weight. To help support your goals for 2017, specialists in the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have compiled resources with information about weight loss.

 

Controlling the Hunger Hormone

Have you ever thought about what makes you feel hungry or full? There are many signals in the body that help to control the amount of food we eat. Ghrelin, which is sometimes called the hunger hormone, is one of these signals. Learn more about this important hormone in this blog post.

 

 

 

Improving Quality of Life after Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is about much more than weight loss. In fact, it’s often called metabolic and bariatric surgery because it can lead to an improvement in many health conditions. Find out more about the benefits of weight loss surgery in this blog post.

 

 

Walk from Obesity – Raising Awareness

In late spring, the Boston Walk from Obesity will begin and end at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) and wind through the beautiful Arnold Arboretum. Funds raised through the event are used to support obesity-related research, education, and awareness programs promoted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation. Read more about prior events and learn how you can get involved.

 

 

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

This video features members from the BWH Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, including Scott Shikora, MD, Director, Bariatric Nutrition Coordinator Laura Andromalos, MS, RD, LDN, and Bariatric Program Manager Kellene A. Isom, MS, RD, LDN. Viewing our New Patient Information video is the first step in considering whether bariatric surgery makes sense for you.

 

Sleep More to Eat Less: How Sleep Affects the “Hunger Hormone”

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 28, 2016

A young caucasian woman standing in front of the open refrigerator at late night, contemplating and wondering about a midnight snack in a domestic home kitchen. She is dressed in a bath robe hungry and looking for food. A symbol of dieting lifestyle. Photographed in vertical format.

Research has shown that ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, is impacted by sleep patterns and weight loss surgery.

Contributors: Malcolm K. Robinson, MD, FACS, Director of the Nutrition Support Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Laura Andromalos, MS, RD, LDN, Bariatric Nutrition Manager at BWH, and Hassan S. Dashti, PhD, a dietetic intern at BWH.

Have you ever considered what makes you feel hungry or full? Many signals within the body help control the amount of food we eat. Ghrelin, which is sometimes called the hunger hormone, is one of these signals.

Produced in the upper part of the stomach, ghrelin is a hormone that increases hunger. When the stomach is empty, ghrelin travels through the bloodstream and tells the brain to signal hunger. After eating, the stomach stops releasing ghrelin. Ghrelin levels change throughout the day. They are high just before eating a meal, letting you know that you are hungry, and low just after eating, letting you know that you are full. Read More »

Improving Quality of Life after Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 12, 2016

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After bariatric surgery, our patients report that they are able to move more easily, have increased energy, experience less aches and pains, and sleep better.

Today’s post is written by Laura Andromalos, MS, RD, LDN, Bariatric Nutrition Manager and Senior Clinical Bariatric Dietitian, Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is about much more than weight loss. In fact, it’s often called metabolic and bariatric surgery because it can lead to an improvement in many health conditions. Diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and sleep apnea may improve after metabolic and bariatric surgery. Many patients see improvements in their health before they begin to lose weight.

If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 or greater than 35 and you have weight-related conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. It’s important to emphasize that bariatric and metabolic surgery is not a quick fix. It requires preparation and a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  The Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital comprises a team of experts that can support you throughout your journey.

Bariatric and metabolic surgery also can lead to significant improvements in the quality of patients’ lives. After surgery, our patients report that they are able to move more easily, have increased energy, experience reductions in bodily aches and pains, and sleep better. These improvements enable our patients to enjoy their lives more fully. They are able to try new activities, such as dance, take long walks, travel with their families, or perform activities of daily living without becoming winded.

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Walking Away from Obesity

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 29, 2015

Tim Dineen, before gastric bypass surgery

Everyone is invited to participate in this year’s Walk from Obesity, which starts and finishes at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital on June 13, 2015. Join patients, medical staff, and others in helping to make a difference in the lives of those touched by obesity by either walking or cheering on the walkers. Funds raised through the event will be used to support obesity-related research, education, and awareness programs promoted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation.

One patient who plans to be there is Tim Dineen, 59, of Somerville, MA, who exemplifies what a committed patient can do once they find the right help.

Like many, his weight struggles began when he was young and continued into adulthood. Despite being active, he continued to be overweight because of excessive eating. He tried a variety of strategies to lose weight, but none led to long-term success.

Tim thought about weight loss surgery, but initially didn’t pursue that option because of his concern about the risks of open surgery. However, when he learned that gastric bypass surgery had become a less-invasive procedure, he came to Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) to see whether he would be an appropriate candidate for this new approach.

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A New Option to Learn about Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 29, 2015

If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 or greater than 35 and you have co-morbid conditions, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

If losing weight and improving your health continually top your list of New Year’s resolutions, it may be time to consider new strategies.

The Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital is a multidisciplinary center offering laparoscopic weight loss surgery options. If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 or greater than 35 and you have co-morbid conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

Attending a New Patient Information Session is the first step in considering whether bariatric surgery makes sense for you. At the one-hour information session, our surgeons and team members will introduce you to the bariatric surgery program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. You will learn about the types of surgical procedures that are available; nutrition and lifestyle changes that are necessary before and after surgery; insurance and financial issues related to bariatric surgery; and how to take next steps.

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Eating after Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 24, 2014

After bariatric surgery, you’ll be introduced to a diet that features gradual changes in food textures.

You’ll have to start eating differently after having weight loss surgery, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up all your favorite foods. Let’s start by talking about how things will be different.

Your stomach acts as a holding tank for food and beverages and as a strong muscle that grinds and churns your food, helping with digestion. Depending on the procedure, weight loss surgery either removes a large portion of your stomach or significantly restricts access to your stomach. And, as you can imagine, reducing the capacity of your stomach makes it much harder for it to do its job.

To help your stomach adapt to this increased workload, you’ll be introduced to a staged diet that features gradual changes in food textures. You’ll drink protein shakes for two weeks and then slowly advance to soft foods for four weeks. With time, you should be able to tolerate a variety of textures, as long as you eat slowly and chew carefully. For more information on the post-operative (and pre-operative) diet, see the Nutrition Resources section of our Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery site.

Surgery + You = Weight Loss

Weight loss surgery alone doesn’t ensure that you’ll lose weight and keep it off. You also will need to change the way you eat for the rest of your life in order to be successful. This means reducing your calorie intake by eating small portions and avoiding calorie-packed foods and beverages. Fortunately, your modified stomach is a built-in portion control tool, so all you have to do is put healthy foods on your plate and stop when your stomach is full.

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Robotic Sleeve Gastrectomy – Latest Option for Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 17, 2014

Dr. Scott A. Shikora, Director of The Center for Metabolic Health and Bariatric Surgery

Patients considering bariatric surgery have several options. The newest of the weight loss operations is sleeve gastrectomy, an alternative to  laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding or Roux-En-Y gastric bypass. With this procedure, the outer crescent of the stomach is removed, resulting in a stomach that resembles a tube. Patients lose weight because the capacity of the stomach to hold food is reduced by about 75 percent.

Additionally, the portion of the stomach that is removed is the area where a major hormone that regulates appetite is produced. Patients generally experience a dramatic reduction of hunger after the procedure. The sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric surgery option for weight loss and metabolic treatment in patients with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 40 or a BMI greater than 35 with co-morbid conditions.

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), surgeons are using the robot to further improve the sleeve gastrectomy procedure. In this video, Dr. Scott Shikora, Director of the Center for Metabolic Health and Bariatric Surgery at BWH discusses and demonstrates the robotic sleeve gastrectomy.

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Improving Your Health through Weight Loss

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 29, 2014

Overweight and obesity affect a greater number of Americans than ever before. Learn how being overweight or obese affects your health and what you can do to effectively manage your weight.

Chronicling the Journey to Bariatric Surgery

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) patient Emily Bell describes her decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity. Over the coming months, Emily will be blogging about her journey to better health – from  information sessions through surgery and beyond.

 

Obesity Treatment – Evaluating Your Options

There are a wide range of weight loss approaches, including lifestyle changes, medical therapies, and surgical treatments. Physicians from the Brigham and Women’s Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery discuss how they individualize weight management plans for patients based on needs and preferences.

 

Bariatric Surgery: It’s Not Just about Weight Loss

Although bariatric surgery has proven to be an effective and lasting treatment for morbid obesity, mounting evidence suggests that the benefits go far beyond weight loss. Bariatric surgery may improve health conditions such as heart disease, depression, asthma, infertility (in women), arthritis, gout, and Type 2 diabetes.

 

 

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Chronicling the Journey to Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 21, 2014

Emily Bell, 43, has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity.

Today’s post is written by BWH patient Emily Bell, a 43-year-old woman who has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity. Emily will be blogging about her experience throughout her journey to better health.

A couple of months ago, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year. We were once in Weight Watchers together, and neither of us was new to weight loss. We’ve shared the tribulations of “keeping it off” and commiserated over the way we’ve dieted our hearts out and always gained the weight back.

When I saw her recently, I noticed that my friend had lost weight again. “What have you been eating …” I trailed off, realizing that her body wasn’t just smaller. Something was different. I changed my question. “How did this happen?”

She answered in a dramatic stage whisper. “I got the surgery.”

It took me a minute to figure out what she meant. I frowned. “Obesity surgery? Really? But that’s …” In my mind it was like admitting failure. Except my friend isn’t a failure. She’s a highly functional, social, confident, and intelligent woman. I asked, “What procedure did you have?”

“Gastric sleeve,” she said with a wink and a nod.

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Obesity Treatment – Evaluating Your Options

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 7, 2014

There are a wide range of weight loss approaches, including lifestyle changes, medical therapies, and surgical treatments.

When it comes to treating obesity, there are many options. And, what may be ideal for one person may not be right for another.

“Many people with obesity are unsure which direction to take when it comes to losing weight,” explains Dr. Florencia Halperin, an endocrinologist and Co-Director of the Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery. “We believe that it is important for patients to understand all of the available treatment choices, including the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, so that they can make informed decisions.”

Dr. Halperin and bariatric surgeon Ali Tavakkoli, MD, Center Co-Director, provide consultation for patients regarding a wide range of approaches, including lifestyle changes, medical therapies, and surgical treatments, and work with them to develop an individualized plan based on needs and preferences.

“Often, we incorporate multiple strategies in the overall plan,” says Dr. Tavakkoli. “For example, some patients may desire to start with lifestyle modifications and medications. For patients with type 2 diabetes and certain lipid disorders, weight loss surgery has been shown to be a benefit and may be considered earlier, with continued treatment with lifestyle changes to ensure ongoing success.”

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