Bariatric Surgery

If you have been battling obesity and you have not been able to lose the weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen, then surgery may be the best option for you. Surgery is usually for men and women who are on average 100lbs overweight. However, medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnea, to name a few, are all comorbidities that may qualify you for the surgery. Generally speaking, weight loss surgery limits the amount of food you can take in thereby reducing your total caloric intake.  Some operations also reduce the amount of food you can digest. Many people who have the surgery lose weight quickly. If you follow your doctor’s diet and exercise recommendations, you can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

What causes obesity?
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) describes obesity as “A lifelong, progressive, life-threatening, costly, genetically related, multifactorial disease of excess fat storage.” Therefore, being obese or overweight is not healthy. It leads to many medical problems and has a negative effect on life expectancy.

Being overweight can be the result of several different factors: genetics, metabolism, lifestyle, behavior, psychological, cultural and socioeconomic influences. Morbid obesity can have serious effects on your health. Obese people are more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, infertility, back pain, urinary incontinence, varicose veins, breathing difficulties and depression. Obese people have shorter lifespans, too – they have a 10 to 50 percent increased risk of death, compared to people of healthy weight.

Apart from medical effects, being overweight can have significant psychological effects causing depression and anxiety. Social ramifications are innumerable: missing out on promotions at work, avoiding public places, not being as active with your kids as you would like to be and much more. If you’re struggling with obesity, you’re not alone. According to the ASMBS, nearly nine million Americans are obese.

Why weight loss surgery?
Long term studies have shown that these procedures have significant long term weight loss, resolution of diabetes and hypertension, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors and a large reduction in mortality. Bariatric surgery is recommended in those who have a BMI greater than 40 and for those with a BMI of 35 or greater with at least one coexisting medical problem.

What are my options?
There are many options for weight loss surgery with the most common and safest of the procedures being the laparoscopic adjustable band, sleeve gastrectomy and the Roux En Y Gastric bypass. Dr. Donkor is a fellowship trained surgeon with extensive experience in all of these procedures. With a multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Donkor and his team will meet with you to discuss which options are best for you. Every patient is different and so requires a detailed assessment and plan of treatment geared specifically to your needs.  Our care is compassionate and patient-centered. Contact with our staff begins before your surgery and continues long after. To achieve the designation of a Center of Excellence, our program must have a record of successful outcomes.

Which surgery is right for me?
The first step is a private consultation with Dr. Donkor. At this time, he will evaluate as to whether you are a candidate. You are encouraged to ask all questions you may have about any aspect of the surgery. He will also ask you about previous weight loss attempts, including diet and exercise and any previous procedures. All risks and benefits of each of the procedures are explained in detail. The procedure that is right for you is agreed upon by you and your surgeon together. From there, preoperative testing, counseling and nutritional assessments are all completed prior to surgery.

Will insurance cover my surgery?
Insurance companies have different guidelines as to whether they pay for a bariatric procedure or any pre-surgery testing. Determining whether you qualify for the surgery that you are interested in may be time consuming and complicated. Our staff have extensive experience in this area. After your consultation, you will sit down with our bariatric coordinator who will go over your bariatric coverage and all the necessary requirements specific to your insurance company. If you or a family member or friend would like a consultation please contact us.

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