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How To Qualify For Weight Loss Surgery

One of the most common questions we hear at My Destination Weight Loss is, “How do I qualify for weight loss surgery?”

While each patient we see here at our medical weight loss clinic is unique, we follow standardized guidelines when it comes to determining who is a good candidate for bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and LAP-BAND.

If you meet the following criteria, you may qualify for weight loss surgery:

You’ve Struggled With Excess Weight For A Long Time

Weight loss surgery is not a ‘quick fix’ – it’s a medical procedure designed to help people who have spent years struggling with being overweight or obese.

Most insurance providers will request proof of previous attempts to lose weight through lifestyle modifications (diet and exercise). It’s important to document any diets you’ve been on, support groups you’ve attended, or exercise plans you’ve participated in.

Your Body Mass Index Is Over 40 (or 35+ With Comorbid Conditions)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of the amount of fat on your body in relation to your height. In most cases, patients need to have a BMI of 40 or higher to qualify for weight loss surgery, however, those with a BMI of 35 to 40 may be approved for a bariatric procedure if they also have a comorbid condition related to being overweight, such as pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiac disease.

You’re Committed To Lifelong Changes To Your Diet & Lifestyle

To qualify for weight loss surgery, you need to commit to making radical, life-long changes. Changes in food include amounts, and types, of food you eat, otherwise, you could end up regaining your unwanted pounds.

Since regular exercise helps to promote health and wellness, you’ll need to be physically active after your weight loss surgery.

You Have Realistic Expectations

Patients who are interested in bariatric surgery need to have realistic expectations when it comes to how much weight they can expect to lose, and how long it will take to reach their goal weight. Depending on the procedure, it may take many months, or even years, before patients achieve their ideal BMI following weight loss surgery.

For More Information

To learn more about whether or not you qualify for weight loss surgery, contact us here at My Destination Weight Loss or click here to sign up for our complimentary online weight loss seminar. Reach us by phone in Albertville at 256.840.5547 or Guntersville at 256.571.8734.

What To Eat After LAP-BAND Weight-Loss Surgery

If you’re thinking about having gastric banding to help you achieve a healthy body weight, you might be wondering what to eat after LAP-BAND surgery.

Similar to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding reduces the size of the stomach – this helps to limit food consumption and promote weight loss.

For bariatric surgery to be effective in helping you lose weight and maintain your post-surgical weight loss, you’ll need to commit to making life-long changes to your diet.

Diet During The Recovery Period

Before you leave the hospital after having gastric banding, you will receive clear instructions from a specialized Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner outlining what to eat after LAP-BAND surgery.

During the first few days after your procedure, you will be restricted to a liquid diet that includes water, clear broth, caffeine-free tea, and sugar-free JELL-O. Within a week, you should be able to start adding small amounts of protein-rich beverages and soft foods to your diet, such as protein shakes, low-fat milk and fat-free yogurt.

You can then expect to progress to a pureed diet that includes low-sugar, low-fat items like smooth applesauce, pureed cooked carrots, eggs, canned tuna, and other pureed fruits and vegetables. At this stage, it’s important to refrain from drinking liquids while eating, and to eat high-protein foods first.

Transitioning To Solid Foods

Once your bariatric surgeon lets you know you can start eating solid food again (about 28-35 days after your gastric banding procedure) it’s important to carefully pre-plan your meals and snacks.

Because the LAP-BAND dramatically reduces the size of your stomach down to about the size of a golf ball, when you begin transitioning off your liquid diet, you will feel full after eating just a few small bits of solid food.

Start by choosing high-protein foods that are soft and easy to digest, such as poached eggs, baked salmon, tofu, cottage cheese, and skinless chicken breast. Vegetables should be steamed until soft, and fruits should be free from skins or seeds.

You’ll need to wait 3-4 months after your LAP-BAND procedure before you can eat nuts, raw vegetables, and other foods that can be hard to digest.

Why It’s Important To Follow A Bariatric Surgery Diet After Gastric Banding

The goal of the post-surgical bariatric diet is to promote a quick recovery, and help kick-start your weight loss. Knowing what to eat after LAP-BAND also helps to avoid stretching out your newly-formed stomach pouch.

To learn more about what to eat after LAP-BAND surgery, and find out if gastric banding could help you achieve your weight loss goals, contact us today or click here to register in our free online weight loss seminar. Reach us by phone in Albertville at 256.840.5547 or Guntersville at 256.571.8734.

Obesity and Cancer – What You Need To Know

physical examCancer rates are on the rise in America. Experts now predict that more than 40 percent of all Americans will be diagnosed with some form of the disease during their lifetimes. Growing evidence links obesity and cancer risk, especially for ovarian, prostate, liver, cervical, and gallbladder cancers.

In fact, the World Cancer Research Fund estimates that as many as one in five of all cancer-related deaths are caused in part by excess body fat. This makes achieving a healthy body mass index (BMI) an important part of cancer prevention.

The Connection Between Obesity and Cancer

Scientists believe that having excess body fat increases the risk of developing cancer. This is a because obesity has a long-term negative impact on the immune and endocrine (hormone) system.

Having a high BMI can lead to chronic inflammation throughout the body. This condition is believed to fuel the abnormal growth of certain types of cancer cells. Obesity-related conditions, such as Type-2 diabetes can also fuel the growth of some cancers. Losing and gaining weight repeatedly over time may also fuel cancer growth.

Excess fat cells can also cause a hormonal imbalance. They promote excess estrogen production, which has been associated with breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers. This is especially true for postmenopausal women. Men who put on excess pounds during adulthood are at an increased risk for developing an aggressive, and often deadly form of prostate cancer.

Types of Cancer Impacted By Obesity

The types of cancers that have been shown to be connected to being overweight or obese include:

  • Kidney
  • Thyroid
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Head and Neck
  • Bowel, colon, and rectum
  • Ovarian, breast, and cervical
  • Prostate (aggressive forms)
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Reducing Cancer Risk With Weight Loss Surgery

The good news is that studies have shown bariatric surgery can help to reduce cancer risk among people who are overweight or obese. Bariatric surgery significantly lowers their BMI. Weight loss surgery also helps these patients achieve long-term success over their struggles with excess weight.

Most patients who undergo weight loss procedures like LAP-BAND, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, or gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy) achieve a 30% or greater reduction in the amount of fat on their bodies over time. By comparison, people who diet and exercise can usually expect to lose about 10% of unwanted body fat.

Many people think of weight loss surgery as simply another form cosmetic surgery. However, research on the relationship between obesity and cancer shows that bariatric procedures can do much more than help patients look and feel better. Medical weight loss can actually help reduce the risk of developing life-threatening conditions.

To learn more about the connection between obesity and cancer, and to find out if you could benefit from weight loss surgery, contact us to register in our free weight-loss seminar.

Non-Surgical Medical Weight Loss Options

weight loss optionsIf you’re struggling to lose excess weight, you might be surprised to hear about the wide range of non-surgical medical weight loss options available today. These procedures offer an alternative to both yo-yo dieting and extreme exercise plans. They also give you another option to undergoing a surgical procedure such as LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve.

Innovations in Non-Surgical Weight Loss

Recent advances in bariatric medicine have led to the development of some innovative non-surgical medical weight loss solutions for patients who need help shedding excess pounds.

These FDA-approved non-surgical medical weight loss procedures are less invasive than traditional weight loss surgeries. They don’t involve any external incisions. This makes them a good option for patients who might not want to (or be able to) undergo a major operation.

Here at My Destination Weight Loss, our team of bariatric surgeons, nurses, and support staff all have extensive training and experience in minimally-invasive and non-surgical medical weight loss procedures. Our team is also ready to provide nutritional and lifestyle counseling to our patients.

ORBERA Gastric Balloon

ORBERA is a soft, inflatable balloon made of medical-grade silicone. It’s inserted into the stomach by a bariatric surgeon using an endoscope, which is a thin, sterile device.

The deflated balloon passes through the patient’s mouth down into their stomach. The balloon is then filled with sterile saline (salt) water. It stays in the stomach for up to 6 months.

While the patient has the ORBERA balloon, they will feel fuller between meals. When they do eat, they’ll fill up quickly. This helps patients to eat less food. The goal of the ORBERA system is to give patients enough time to develop healthy eating and exercise habits while achieving a safe, steady rate of weight loss. In most cases, patients lose 3 times as much weight as they were able to with diet and exercise alone.

OverStitch Endoscopic Suturing System

Patients who have undergone a bariatric surgery procedure such as gastric bypass may find that over time, they begin to experience unwanted weight gain. This happens as their stomach capacity slowly re-expands back to its pre-surgical size.

Here at Destination Weight Loss, our team of bariatric surgeons are now able to help these patients get back on track with OverStitch. This revolutionary, non-surgical outpatient procedure adjusts the size of the stomach following gastric bypass.

During the OverStitch procedure, the surgeon inserts an endoscope through the mouth down into the stomach. He then places stitches to reduce the stomach capacity. The new capacity is similar to that achieved by the initial gastric bypass procedure.

Lipotropic Injections

Lipotropics are a collection of three natural substances known as essential amino acids. They are responsible to helping your body process and eliminate unwanted fat.

Patients who struggle to shed excess pounds may find lipotropic injections to be helpful in kick-starting their weight loss efforts. Lipotropics optimize metabolic rates and increase liver function. They also boost overall mental clarity and energy levels.

Lipotropic injections can be used as a stand-alone non-surgical medical weight loss treatment. They can also  be combined with bariatric surgery, counseling, or a supported weight loss program.

To Learn More

To find out more about the non-surgical medical weight loss options offered here at My Destination Weight Loss, contact us to enroll in our free, no-obligation online bariatric seminar.

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Overweight women have examination at dietitian-nutritionist's office . They looking results and talk about dieting and healthy eating

The benefits of bariatric surgery to your overall health are numerous. Weight loss surgery can literally change your life for the better.

Most of the changes you will see after having bariatric surgery are directly related to the amount of weight that is lost. Weight loss through bariatric surgery is more likely to be permanent than weight lost through diet plans or simply reducing calories. The severely obese person often fails at such diets, but can reap the advantages of weight loss from surgery.

Continue reading The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For Me?

Women legs with shoesIf you are asking yourself the question, “Is weight loss surgery right for me?” then you are probably concerned about your health and as well as some of the other effects obesity can have on your life, including:

  • Depression
  • Discrimination
  • Isolation
  • Poor self-image

We live in a one-size-fits-all world, and you may feel like you don’t fit in. You’re not alone. In the U.S., more than two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese.

Continue reading Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For Me?

How Gastric Banding Works and Other Lap-Band FAQs

lap band procedureIf you and your doctor have discussed the option of bariatric surgery to aid in your weight loss, you may have some questions about the types of procedures that are available to you. Out of more than 200,000 weight loss surgeries performed in the U.S. each year, lap band procedures are considered to be one of the safest and least invasive types of weight loss surgery around. It’s both common and smart to have questions about your weight loss surgery options. We’ve compiled some of the most popular FAQs about lap band procedures to provide you with the answers you likely need:

  • What exactly does lap band surgery involve?
    Gastric banding, also known as lap band surgery, is a surgical procedure that places an adjustable band around the upper portion of a patient’s stomach. Essentially, this band creates a new, restricted stomach pouch that helps you control and limit the amount of food you can eat. The band can be tightened or loosened by adding or removing saline via a port placed under the skin of the patient’s abdomen. Not only does the band restrict how much food you can fit in your stomach, but it also slows down the speed in which food passes into the small intestine. This sends important fullness signals to the brain and allows the patient to feel satisfied while consuming less food.
  • Are there risks associated with this kind of surgery?
    With any type of surgery, there are always risks. However, because there is no stomach stapling, cutting, or gastrointestinal re-routing with this surgery, lap band complications are much rarer and less serious than with other procedures. Some patients experience abdominal pain, bleeding, or infection in rare cases, and the most common complication is lap band slippage. But in general, it’s considered to be the least invasive, least traumatic, and safest of the surgeries used for medical weight loss solutions.
  • Are there foods I will need to avoid?
    Although you will be able to enjoy normal, healthy foods after the recovery period has ended, there are some foods you’ll want to avoid. These foods tend to cause problems with the lap band and can be hard on the stomach. Such foods include popcorn, pasta, dried fruits, nuts, certain breads, and fried foods. Your weight loss doctors can explain the dos and don’ts of lap band procedures in greater detail, including what foods to incorporate into your diet and what foods to avoid.
  • How fast will I lose weight?
    How much weight you lose and the rate of weight loss depends on how closely you comply with lap band guidelines. These guidelines include eating only three small meals per day, no snacking between meals, getting 30 minutes of daily exercise, and total restriction of high-caloric beverages. Patients who follow these guidelines typically lose one to two pounds per week and lose about half of their excess weight within the first year of the procedure.

If you’re interested in learning more about medical weight loss programs and solutions like lap band procedures and other surgeries, contact us today to explore your options. We can help you gain control of your life and build a better, healthier future for yourself and your loved ones.

Study: Gastric Bypass Medical Weight Loss Programs Lead to Sustained Weight Loss

Weight loss conceptA new study has added to the growing evidence that specific medical weight loss programs and surgeries like gastric bypass can help patients sustain weight loss for substantial periods of time.

Although it’s a complicated type of surgery, gastric bypass has been performed for the past 50 years. The surgery is performed by stapling off a portion of the stomach to create a small pouch. The pouch is then connected to the small intestine. In basic terms, the surgery shrinks the stomach and then bypasses part of the small intestine to limit food digestion.

Although some patients express concern that they will gain back any lost weight after undergoing these types of weight loss surgery options, the study found that the majority of patients who receive these types of surgeries remain at a lower weight for 10 years or more. The results were a pleasant surprise even to clinicians.

The study compared data from patients who underwent different types of medical weight loss programs — from gastric bypass to lap bands — and found that the gastric bypass surgeries were by far the most successful for those in the data pool. The average bypass surgery patient lost 31% of their baseline weight, while those who chose a non-surgical option for weight reduction lost only 1% of their baseline weight on average.

Of course, there are many benefits of a gastric sleeve over gastric bypass. Gastric sleeve surgery is much less complex, and it’s become quite popular in recent years. According to this study, gastric sleeve patients lost an average of 18% of their baseline body weight at the four-year mark, which means that it’s very much a viable option for many folks. However, compared to the 28% body weight loss that gastric bypass patients experienced in the study within the same amount of time, gastric bypass may be a more attractive option for some.

Lap bands have also grown in popularity, but the results of lap band patients in this study showed that their weight loss — though measurable — was less impressive over time. At the four-year mark, patients displayed an average of 11% loss in body weight. In addition, there are a number of lap band complications associated with the surgery. Although there’s an incredibly low number of fatalities from these types of medical weight loss programs, up to half of patients require lap band removal at some point.

The overall good news from the study is that even when patients gain weight post-surgery, they can still experience increased health benefits. It’s been noted that any kind of weight loss surgery actually changes digestive system hormones, which signals a feeling of fullness to the brain. This is the change that can help sustain weight loss over time. In addition, these types of medical weight loss programs and surgeries can help improve physical health and quality of life — and, in many cases, emotional well-being as a result.

If you’re interested in finding out how you can improve your life with bariatric surgery, please contact us today to find out the option that would be best for you. Our skilled staff of weight loss doctors will identify your needs and desires, and will get you started on the journey to achieving your weight loss dreams.

4 Simple Ways To Make Your Next Summer BBQ Healthier

Healthy Summer BBQ tipsSummertime is synonymous with ice cream socials, sugar-y frozen drinks, and indulgent backyard barbecues filled with tempting foods that can wreak havoc on your healthy eating plans.

If you’re wondering how you transform these occasions into a healthy summer BBQ that won’t weigh you down, we’re here to help. You can still enjoy spending time with friends and family without packing on the pounds and we’ve put together these 4 simple tips you can use to transform your next summer barbecue into a fun, get-together that won’t leave you feeling stressed-out and over-stuffed!

Focus On Fun, Not Food

One of the keys to enjoying a healthy summer BBQ is to take the focus away from the food. Plan some fun, active all-ages games to enjoy like the classic Cornhole, Ladder Golf, Horseshoes, or Bocce, and if you’re short on space, set up a chalkboard on the deck and have an outdoor game of Pictionary!

Hydrate With Water

All those pretty summer drinks and frosty cool beers can be tough to turn down, especially when the thermometer is rising!

Make sure to hydrate with water, not juice, soda, or other calorie-filled beverages. Not only will drinking water help you feel better and stay full longer, but avoiding alcohol will reduce the chances that you’ll lose track of your food intake, since people tend to make poor food choices when they’re under the influence. It’s also important to realize that people who have had bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass may feel the effects of alcohol sooner than they did prior to their procedure.

Eat Before You Go

Leaving the house hungry is a recipe for diet disaster, making you much more likely to overeat once you’re faced with tables filled with sauce-covered meats, high-fat salads, and tempting desserts.

Fill up at home with a low-fat, high-protein snack like tuna-lettuce wraps, or a skinless chicken breast on top of a mixed greens salad. That way, once you arrive at the BBQ, you’ll find it easy to pass on all those calorie-filled foods!

Bring Your Own Food

If you’re worried that there won’t be any healthy summer BBQ foods available at your event, let the host know you’ll be bringing along a homemade low-fat salad or some lean meats and veggies to throw on the grill. Chances are good the host will appreciate that you’re willing to help out with the cost of the food, and you’ll know there will be healthy foods that you can enjoy.

By following these healthy summer BBQ tips, you’ll be able to enjoy spending time with your friends and family without worrying about sticking to your eating plan before, or after a weight loss surgery like LAP-BAND, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve. To learn more about eating well before and after bariatric surgery, contact My Destination Weightloss at 256-840-5547 today!

Weight Loss Surgery: An Explanation of Your Options

weight loss surgery optionsThere are many reasons to try to lose weight. Some studies have shown that the loss of 5 to 10% of your body weight is proven to lower the risk of heart disease, while a Harvard study showed that obesity increased the risk of diabetes by 20 times. There are also other considerations — carrying around all that extra weight puts a strain on your skeletal frame, causing aches and pains and difficulty breathing.

And, of course, some people just want to feel pride in the way they look.

But for many people, traditional diets and medical weight loss programs simply don’t cut it, which is when weight loss surgery options come in. Check out an explanation of three types of surgery below to familiarize yourself with these options:

Gastric Bypass
In gastric bypass surgeries, a surgeon first creates a smaller stomach area. Then, the surgeon makes sure the new stomach bypasses part of the small intestine. Because patients both eat less and absorb less calories, patients can expect to lose up to 80% of excess weight within a year or a year and a half of the surgery. Not only that, but about 50% of that lost excess weight will still be lost five years after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve
In this form of restrictive weight loss surgery, the surgeon removes about 75% of the stomach, leaving a small, narrow sleeve connected to the intestines. This operation is good for people who are extremely obese, sick, or when other types of weight loss surgery might be too risky. And, since the surgery doesn’t affect the intestines, the gastric sleeve doesn’t affect how your body absorbs nutrients.

It is, however, irreversible.

Lap Band
This is a restrictive weight loss surgery in which a surgeon uses an inflatable band in order to squeeze the stomach into two sections: a small upper pouch and larger lower one. The sections remain connected by a small channel, which slows the emptying of the upper pouch. The result is that most people will only be able to eat 1/2 to 1 cup of food before feeling too full.

If you feel like one of these weight loss surgery options are right for you, contact weight loss doctors to find out more about lap band insurance, gastric sleeve qualifications, and more, so you can make an informed decision about the future of your weight and health.

About Surgical Associates
of Marshall County

Destination Weight Loss is a comprehensive medical weight loss practice that uses the most advanced technology to help patients meet their weight loss goals through bariatric surgery and non-surgical methods. Our team of trained professionals includes licensed physicians and specially trained nurses that can provide emotional and practical support.

Together, we combine a small town, customer-friendly atmosphere with expertise in sophisticated bariatric surgery technology. We take pride in providing the personal attention you need and will walk with you every step of the journey toward your weight loss goals.

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133 Wall St.
Albertville, AL 35951
7938 Hwy 69 Ste. 120
Guntersville, AL 35976