At Lutheran Weight Loss Center, we know obesity is a medical condition that requires compassionate care, a multipronged approach and long-term support. We offer a range of surgical and nonsurgical treatments that can help you take control and live your best life.
For people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (the clinical definition of obesity), weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a safe and effective option. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, research shows that 90 percent of patients affected by severe obesity are successful in maintaining 50 percent or more of their weight loss following bariatric surgery.
“Surgery changes the balance of hormones and gut bacteria that affect appetite and metabolism, allowing patients to make changes to their diets without constant feelings of hunger,” says Katy Irani, MD, Medical Director of the Weight Loss Center. She performs two types of bariatric procedures:
• Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy — This surgery involves removing about 75 percent of the stomach, creating a sleeve-like pouch about the size of a banana, which restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold.
• Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass — In this procedure, the stomach is made into a small pouch about the size of an egg. The digestive tract is also rerouted so that food passes directly into the lower portion of the small intestine, which results in hormonal alterations that aid weight loss.
Dr. Irani performs these procedures with a surgical robot that allows her to see the surgical field in three dimensions and maneuver instruments with maximum flexibility and precision. “Robotic surgery involves less pulling on the abdominal wall,” she says. “This results in less pain, which may lead to a faster recovery.”
Not all individuals may need or want surgery, and some may want to try other methods before or even after a surgical procedure.
“We can customize a nonsurgical weight-loss program that can help patients lose five to 10 percent of their body weight,” says nurse practitioner Theresa Sanders. The plan may include:
• Optifast® — This is a medically supervised program that begins with a meal-replacement phase and gradually transitions regular foods back into a lifelong meal plan.
• Medications — Appetite-suppressing medications, when used as part of a holistic weight-loss plan and carefully monitored, can help patients reach weight-loss goals.
• Nutritional supplements — These provide a convenient way to get good nutrition and high-quality protein without excess calories.
“We also offer a weekly in-person support group led by a dietitian or social worker, as well as a moderated Facebook group,” Sanders adds. “These groups help us form a sense of community and foster accountability, which is key to long-term success.”
Her message to those who are struggling with obesity is simple. “We care, and we can help,” Sanders says. “We’ve helped many people lose the weight and change their lives.”
The Lutheran Weight Loss Center is nationally accredited and offers surgery and support for those who have struggled with obesity. Please visit scl.health/journal-weightloss to learn about free educational seminars or to request an appointment.