Being overweight and the reason for it is not as simple as we once thought, it is a lifelong challenge many people face. Weight loss surgery, or Bariatric Surgery, can give someone the tools needed to begin to change their life for the better. A person with severe obesity is at a significantly higher risk of early death, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Weight loss surgery may be the answer a person needs to change their quality of life. 

The list of complications related to being overweight is extensive. Two of the most common complications of obesity are Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension, or high blood pressure. These diseases can be directly linked to other common conditions such as heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes. Additionally, there are other concerns such as sleep apnea, back pain, urinary incontinence, and acid reflux that are directly linked to being overweight. With a large amount of weight loss, most of these weight-related complications can be mostly resolved if not eliminated. 

Weight loss surgery works by restricting the amount of food that a person’s stomach can hold. By limiting the amount of food, a person who has the operation will eat smaller amounts, as their stomach can only hold small portions.

Before considering surgery, many people have already tried numerous forms of weight loss, such as dieting and exercise. Occasionally, people will try medications to lose weight.

Surgery is a tool to help a person lose weight, with its entire process managed by health care professionals.

To qualify for weight-loss surgery, a person must be overweight, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35, and other health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

If your goal is to prevent these issues before they occur, your BMI needs to be higher than 40.

When you start the process of considering weight loss surgery, speak with your primary care provider about your health and options for weight loss. Once you have a referral in place, Dr. Farida Bounoua, a board-certified surgeon practicing at Lompoc Health – North H Street, can discuss your surgical options.

To continue on the path toward bariatric, or weight loss, surgery, a patient will also be required to meet with a nutritionist, as well as undergoing in-depth assessments from a professionally trained mental health provider. There will also be an assessment from a cardiologist, and other medical requirements depending on a person’s health situation.

At Lompoc Health, Dr. Bounou will provide extensive education on the types of surgery offered at LVMC, as well as details about the pre-and-post operative requirements.

We understand that people may have many questions they’d like answered before taking the steps toward surgery. LVMC is offering free educational seminars from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the hospital.

If you are wondering whether this is the path for you, call Bariatric Surgery coordinator Kassi Smith at (805) 737-3382 to register. We encourage you to bring your support system with you to the seminar.

You may also schedule an appointment with Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Bounous by calling (805) 737-8700.

About the Author

Author: Kassi Smith, RN, Bariatric Program Coordinator

Kascelyn “Kassi” was hired by LVMC in 2013. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Western Governors University. Kassi holds a Trauma Nurse Core Course Certification and Emergency Nurse Pediatric Core Certification.

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