Depression After Bariatric Surgery

depression and bariatric surgeryLosing weight and getting healthy is a goal for millions of Americans. When diet and exercise alone can’t provide the results you’re seeking, bariatric surgery might be your best option.

However, losing weight is not without emotional challenges. There is a connection between depression and weight loss surgery, leading to unique psychological trials throughout the recovery process. If you are considering a bariatric procedure to lose weight and reclaim your health, understanding what lies along the road ahead can help you make a decision that’s right for you.

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Diabetes and Bariatric Surgery

Checking blood sugar, glucose levels in the kitchenObesity related health issues are among the most significant contributing factors to weight loss surgery. In fact, many doctors require either a BMI of at least 40 or a BMI of 35 in conjunction with a weight-related medical condition to qualify patients for surgery. As such, diabetes and bariatric surgery often go hand in hand.

Diabetic patients make up a sizable proportion of weight loss surgery candidates, and rightfully so: obesity is directly linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. If you are looking for a way to diminish the dangerous side effects of your illness, weight loss surgery may be an effective treatment.

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Celebrities Who Have Had Weight Loss Surgery

celebrity weight loss surgeryLosing weight can be a challenge for all kinds of people, and that includes celebrities. Even with the media’s glamorous depiction of all things Hollywood, many A-listers struggle with the same things you do – including troubles with diet, exercise, and staying healthy overall.

There are many celebrities who have had weight loss surgery to slim down and get healthy, and look and feel their best. Here are a few of the many star-studded celebs who have turned to surgery as an effective way to drop those pesky pounds.

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Talking With Your Kids About Weight Loss Surgery

Talking with your kids about bariatric surgeryBariatric surgery like gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-BAND is life-changing not only for you, but for your family as well. If you have children, talking with your kids about weight loss surgery is an important part of your weight-loss journey.

Children tend to be very observant even at a young age, and once you begin losing a lot of weight after your procedure they might feel afraid or anxious if they think your weight loss is caused by an illness or disease. Talking with your kids before your surgery will help calm their fears, give them time to ask questions, and make it easier for you to focus on your own recovery.

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Weight Loss Surgery For Men

Men's Weight Loss SurgeryDespite the fact that obesity rates between men and women are similar, approximately 80-85 percent of all bariatric surgery patients in the United States are female. While it’s true that men tend to have an easier time shedding unwanted pounds through diet and exercise than women, weight loss surgery for men can be a good option for obese men who aren’t having success with diet and exercise.

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The Relationship Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a serious, and often under-diagnosed condition that can cause a host of health problems ranging from headaches, chronic fatigue, mental health issues, and general ‘brain fog’. Researchers have discovered a strong link between obesity and sleep apnea (also known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA), with studies suggesting that nearly half of all obese adults in America are currently suffering from OSA.

Patients with sleep apnea experience brief pauses in their breathing patterns while they sleep, which is why many people with OSA snore, cough, or make choking noises throughout the night. This can lead to lots of interruptions in the normal sleep pattern, making it tough for both the patient, and their spouse or partner, to get a good night’s’ rest.

Long-Term Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

Over time, chronic oxygen deprivation from sleep apnea can lead to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and even certain forms of cancer and Type-2 diabetes.

Patients who are obese and who have sleep apnea are at especially high risk of developing one or more related comorbid conditions. The fatigue caused by sleep apnea makes it especially tough to follow a healthy eating plan and fitness regime.

In a nutshell, sleep apnea and obesity create a vicious cycle that’s tough to break – being overweight or obese can lead to OSA, which in turn causes fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms. OSA symptoms then tend to make losing weight through diet and exercise virtually impossible.

Bariatric Surgery Offers Hope For Obese Patients With Sleep Apnea

Bariatric surgery such as LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve is recommended for chronically obese individuals who suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea.

Recent research shows 75 percent of all obese patients with OSA experience a significant decrease in sleep apnea symptoms after weight loss surgery. These patients also enjoy reduced risk of developing serious side-effects related to sleep apnea.

For More Information

To learn more about the connection between obesity and sleep apnea, and how weight loss surgery can help reduce, or even eliminate, the symptoms of OSA, contact us today at either our Albertville or Guntersville clinic to speak with one of our medical weight loss experts.

What To Take To The Hospital

Packing your hospital bagIf you’ve decided that weight loss surgery is the right choice for you, chances are good you’ve started thinking about the actual procedure. If you’re wondering what to take to the hospital, you’re not alone – that’s a common concern among our gastric surgery patients here at Destination Weight Loss.

Whether you’re having gastric bypass, a LAP-BAND, or a sleeve gastrectomy, knowing what to bring with you to the hospital can help make your stay more comfortable.

We’ve compiled the following list to help you out:

Comfy, Loose-Fitting Clothing

If you’d rather not spend your entire time in the hospital sporting an open-back hospital gown, you should pack a pair of loose-fitting PJ’s or a comfortable, short-sleeved nightgown. You’ll also want to bring non-restrictive clothes like sweat pants to wear when you’re discharged from the hospital, as your tummy may be sore right after the procedure. Remember to pack some comfy, clean underwear too!

Slip-On Shoes

Walking soon after your weight loss surgery is an important part of post-operative recovery.  Be sure to bring along a pair of slip-on shoes like clogs, or slippers with a sturdy, non-slip sole. Try to avoid shoes that need to be laced up, as you might find it tough to reach your feet for a few days.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

The anesthesia used during your operation can leave your mouth feeling dry and stale, and depending on your surgeon’s instructions, you may not be able to eat or drink for a day or two. To keep your mouth feeling fresh, toothbrush and toothpaste are must-have items to take to the hospital!

Cell Phone & Charger

You’ll want to keep in touch with family and friends during your hospital stay, so be sure to pack your cell phone, and don’t forget your charger too!

Remember that if you’re planning on using your smartphone to watch videos or listen to music while you’re recovering, it’s a good idea to bring along a set of earbuds or headphones – that way, you won’t disturb other patients in the hospital.


If you are currently taking any medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), it’s important to bring these (in the original bottles) with you on the day of your weight loss procedure to give to your intake nurse.

What To Leave At Home

Many hospitals now have scent-free policies, so be sure to leave any perfumes, strongly-scented lotions, and other items that could cause breathing problems for scent-sensitive people at home. It’s also a good idea to remove all of your jewelry to leave at home for safekeeping.

The length of your hospital stay depends on which surgical weight loss procedure you choose, whether or not you have other medical conditions, and how your body responds to the surgery. Generally speaking, patients who have minimally-invasive procedures like gastric banding can expect to stay in the hospital for a night or two, while more complex procedures often require a longer stay.

If you have any additional questions about what to take to the hospital, how long you should expect your stay to be, or any other concerns you might have about your upcoming procedure, be sure to contact us here at My Destination Weight Loss.

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.

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