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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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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Understanding Bariatric Surgery Treatment Options

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 9, 2014

After having a sleeve gastrectomy, Chuck achieved optimal cholesterol and blood pressure levels, his sleep apnea was cured, his diabetes went into remission, and he welcomed his first child.

Obesity is a major public health problem in the United States and throughout the world. In the U.S., it is estimated there are up to 20 million morbidly obese people (body mass index (BMI) greater than 40). Morbid obesity can lead to many other health issues, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. These patients also may be at increased risk for certain types of cancer, endocrine problems, skin problems, and joint and bone pain.

Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) can help patients with a BMI greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 with co-existing health conditions, lose weight  and improve their overall health, including remission of type 2 diabetes, reductions in high blood pressure, and improvement in female fertility.

Dr. Scott Shikora, Director of the Center for Metabolic Health and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital discusses bariatric surgery options for weight loss and metabolic treatment in obese patients.

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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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Obesity and Waist Circumference Linked to Hearing Loss Risk

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 6, 2014

Maintaining a healthy weight may help prevent hearing loss in women.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) recently published study results demonstrating that a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference are each associated with higher risk of hearing loss in women.

In a study of more than 68,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II who were followed over 20 years, the researchers found that when compared with women with BMI of less than 25, the risk for hearing loss was 17 percent higher for women with a BMI of 30 to 34, 22 percent higher for women with a BMI of 35 to 39, and 25 percent higher for women with a BMI of 40+. Compared with women with waist circumference of less than 28 inches, the risk for hearing loss for those with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more was 27 percent higher. In addition, a larger waist circumference was associated independently with increased risk of hearing loss, even after taking BMI into account. This suggests that central adiposity (or “belly fat”) may itself be a risk factor for hearing loss.

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Obesity Is Now a Disease

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 13, 2013

Comparing your waist circumference to your height is one method for assessing obesity.

Obesity is now a disease. That is the much publicized conclusion reached by the American Medical Association during its June 2013 annual meeting. While this doesn’t change how registered dietitians manage their clients seeking or needing weight loss, it may allow more physicians to refer their patients for nutritional counseling sooner and perhaps encourage more health insurers to cover nutritional consultations.

Some critics argue that labeling obesity as a disease may take the onus off individuals to alter lifestyle habits, such as improving eating choices and increasing physical activity level. Proponents of the obesity designation counter with the fact that other conditions like diabetes and heart disease are indeed diseases, despite them being better managed with lifestyle changes.

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Your Health: Ten Things That Really Matter, Tip #10

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 28, 2013

It's important to know your wellness numbers and which ones are most important to you.

To conclude American Heart Month, we’ve been featuring health tips that were presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital women’s health experts, Dr. JoAnne Foody and Dr. Paula Johnson, at the Boston Go Red for Women Educational Forum. (Go Red for Women, sponsored by the American Heart Association, occurs each February to educate all women about the need to take care of their hearts.)

Men take note, these tips can benefit you, too – heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Today, we present the final tip.

10. KNOWING YOUR NUMBERS IS NOT ENOUGH: KNOW WHICH NUMBERS ARE MEANINGFUL TO YOU.

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