All You Need to Know About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Surgical operating room with equipmentThere are many weight loss surgery options available to those who are morbidly obese. One of the more popular medical weight loss solutions is gastric bypass. Here is all you need to know about this procedure.

What is gastric bypass surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that divides the stomach into two small pouches, and the small intestine is re-positioned to connect the two. This leads to a much smaller stomach, which will help the patient eat less food, along with giving them an altered psychological response to food.

What are the gastric bypass requirements?
In general, the patient must have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40 to qualify for this procedure, and must have also shown that they have not been successful in different weight loss attempts.

How much weight can I expect to lose?
Typically, the estimated weight loss in the first one to two years after a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is approximately 50% to 66% of excess weight. You can expect to lose about one to two pounds per week. In the long term, 50% of excess weight loss has been documented 10 years and more after gastric bypass.

What is the gastric bypass recovery time?
This procedure is done laparoscopically, meaning the doctor will make small incisions in your abdomen and use a camera to perform the operation. Because of this, most patients return back to work after two weeks. You may have low energy during the recovery period, but this is normal. Follow your doctor’s instructions and you should be on track to recovery.

What else can I expect from this surgery?
This procedure will not only allow you to lose weight, it will help you become healthier in the long run. Losing weight can lead to an 80% reduction in diabetes and greater than a 90% resolution of sleep apnea. You can also expect to decrease your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Gastric bypass surgery is one of several weight loss surgery options that can help you if you are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. If you are interested in learning more about this form of weight loss, contact the weight loss doctors Birmingham AL depends on at the Surgical Associates of Marshall County.

Tips to Follow Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

healthy apple, measuring tape and dumbbells for healthy living isolatedObesity is an epidemic in the United States. More than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese, with obesity being defined as weighing at least more than 20% of what is considered a normal weight for your height. Because of this, there are many medical weight loss solutions available to help aid in weight loss for those suffering. More than 200,000 weight loss surgeries are performed each year in our nation, and that includes gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band procedure.

Gastric sleeve is one of the weight loss surgery options that involves removing a part of the stomach in order to limit one’s food intake. If you are thinking about going through with the gastric sleeve procedure, read on to learn some tips to follow both before and after the surgery. There are many gastric sleeve success stories out there, and with these tips you can ensure you are one!


1. Change your diet
The gastric sleeve procedure will launch you into an entire new lifestyle, so it is crucial to prepare your body beforehand. This includes limiting your portion sizes and choosing healthier options.

2. Know the facts
Make sure you know exactly what is coming with this procedure. You do not want to be surprised at any stage of the process, so read about others’ experiences, talk to people who have had the surgery if possible, and discuss it with your doctor. It’s a good idea to make a list of questions generated by your research and take them to your appointment.

3. Decide if this is really what you want to do
There are many criteria for this type of surgery, as well as some potential complications, and it can be overwhelming. Gastric sleeve surgery is not for everyone; again, your doctor can help you decide if you are a good candidate. It is normal to feel worried about your surgery, but know this option will allow you to have a healthier life in the long run.


1.Follow the diet recommended by your doctor
Those with gastric sleeve success stories believe this is the most important tip to abide by, as eating too much solid food too soon can damage your stomach. Slow and steady will win the race.

2. Start exercise slowly
Even if it is just a walk around your house, you will want to get up and move your muscles as much as you can. Although it may be tempting to stay sedentary to recover from the surgery, it’s actually more effective to move around.

3. Track your calories
Start a food journal in which you track everything you eat and drink, including alcohol beverages. Since you will be consuming fewer calories after the surgery than you are used to, it’s important to make every calorie a healthy one. Remember, this is a lifestyle change, not a diet.

If you have any questions about the gastric sleeve operation, contact the best weight loss doctors Birmingham AL has to offer at the Surgical Associates of Marshall County.

Study: Weight Loss Surgery Like Gastric Bypass Cures ‘Half’ of Diabetes Cases

According to new guidelines, weight loss surgery is now a viable and recommended means of treatment for diabetes — including some patients with mild obesity.

The Connection

Obesity and diabetes are a disastrous pair of diseases. A recent Harvard study found that obesity increased the risk of diabetes by as much as 20 times. But numerous studies show that weight loss surgery can improve diabetes. For example, there can be up to 80% resolution of diabetes after an individual undergoes gastric bypass surgery.

But the recently released guidelines indicate the first time surgery is specifically recommended for diabetes treatment, as opposed to obesity treatment with added benefits of diabetes improvement as bariatric surgery side effects.

What Do These Recommendations Mean?

According to CBS News, the recommendation will allow for the expansion of eligible candidates for weight loss surgery. More than 200,000 weight loss surgeries are performed annually in the U.S.; changing the guidelines would enable more people to have access to the treatment.

The recommendations were backed by more than 43 health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation. It was also published in the journal Diabetes Care.

While senior guideline author and endocrinologist Dr. David E. Cummings does not “claim that surgery should be first-line therapy,” he does believe that standard care is no longer enough and that “it’s time for something new.”

Who Meets the New Guidelines?

Under the new guidelines, patients whose body mass index (BMI) is at least 40 and patients with a BMI of 35 whose diabetes is not controlled, may meet the qualifications for a gastric sleeve or other weight loss surgery options with lifestyle changes and medications.

The new guidelines even say that gastric bypass requirements and other weight loss surgery can be considered with a BMI as low as 30 for patients who have poor control.

And while weight loss is usually a direct effect of the different types of weight loss surgery available, medical weight loss is not what makes the big difference. In fact, it’s how hormones, gut bacteria, and other body chemicals in the body are affected by the surgery.

Want to know more about gastric sleeve qualifications and how medical weight loss programs and surgery can affect your health? Leave us questions in the comment section below.

Before Undergoing Any Kind of Weight Loss Surgery, Here’s What You Need to Know

Plus Size Woman Meeting With Doctor In SurgeryObesity is no secret, especially considering two out of every three adults are considered overweight or obese by medical standards. Individuals must weigh at least 20% more than the average recommended body weight for their height to be considered obese, and are at a much higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Obesity is truly a problem, and for some people, traditional medical weight loss solutions just don’t cut it. So when patients have reached the point of considering surgery, there’s a lot of information to process before going in.

How does bariatric surgery work?

Bariatric surgery involves altering a patient’s stomach and/or intestinal tract to aid in the pursuit of weight loss. However, there are different types of weight loss surgery, and depending on a patient’s medical history and current situation, one could benefit them more than another. In addition, there are surgeries that involve implanting devices into a patient’s body, such as gastric sleeves and lap bands.

What is the success rate of bariatric surgery?

Results vary from patient to patient, but gastric bypass recovery time has yielded resolutions of up to 80% in diabetes and almost 90% in disorders such as sleep apnea. There are numerous lap band and gastric sleeve success stories as well, but most of the weight loss that comes after a bariatric surgery takes a year or more and requires constant, careful monitoring afterwards. Even after you’ve considered your weight loss surgery options, the journey to a healthy, confident body is one that you have to commit to in order to see success.

Are there any complications?

As with any kind of surgical procedure, there is a possibility that complications could arise. Lap band complications are more common than those present in gastric bypass surgeries, but not because the surgery is unsuccessful. Lap band complications usually arise from the device itself, and not as a result of the actual operation. These include deterioration of the lap band, as well as potential rupturing of the band and/or the lining of the stomach, which can result in a need for additional surgery. The most important thing to keep in mind is that with any surgical procedure, you need to know all of the risks alongside all of the benefits.

Nothing should stop you from the pursuit of the body and healthy life that you want. So why wait? Look into the right weight loss solution for you today.

Setting Goals for Change during Weight Loss

Setting Goals for Change during Weight LossWeight loss surgery is a large step towards wellness, and a life changing event for many people. An important element of your decision for weight loss surgery is setting weight loss goals. Appropriate and realistic weight loss goals can keep you accountable and moving toward successful weight loss.

Making Changes for Weight Loss

Setting weight loss goals can help you overcome old, unhealthy patterns and help you develop new, healthier patterns.

Having a plan begins with visualizing the result that you want, defining your goals and setting a time-frame.

Some changes you’ll want to make during weight loss include:

  • Dietary changes. Your weight loss surgery will limit the amount of food you can eat, but it is up to you to choose foods that are beneficial to your body and diet, and to avoid foods that are not.
  • Implementing physical activity. In order to optimize your weight loss results, you’ll need to begin an exercise routine that you can incorporate into your daily activities.
  • Smoking and drinking habits. You’ll want to keep your body healthy and your mind clear. If you are a smoker you should consider quitting to optimize your health. Also, try and limit your alcohol intake.
  • Mental changes. If you have suffered with obesity for a long period of time, you may struggle with negative and low self-esteem. After your weight loss surgery, it is important to think positively to stay motivated.

The first step to making these changes is by setting weight loss goals for each change. When you first begin implementing weight loss goals you may feel a bit overwhelmed. For best results try these tips:

  • Make your goals specific
  • Write down your goals
  • Focus on one at a time
  • Be realistic
  • Set a time-frame

Be realistic when setting weight loss goals. Change takes time. Remember that you are in this weight loss journey for the long-haul. Learn from setbacks and disappointments and keep looking forward.

For more information on the weight loss surgeries we provide click here. You can also contact us in Albertville at 256.840.5547 or Guntersville at 256.571.8734.

Power Foods for Weight Loss

Power Foods for Weight LossAs you begin planning changes that will help you lose weight, it’s a great idea to apply classical wisdom. Specifically, try making “quality over quantity” your new mantra. After all, the whole point of melting off those extra pounds is to lighten your load and make room for more living. Your weight loss surgery may have limited the amount that you can eat, but that doesn’t mean the cravings are gone. Including diet power foods for weight loss in your post-surgery diet will help your cravings disappear while your energy soars.

To optimize your weight loss, you’ll want to focus on a low calorie, low fat diet that is high in lean proteins. To sustain your new, lean lifestyle, you’ll still want to satisfy your body’s craving for vibrant flavors and essential nutrients, like those found in many power foods for weight loss. Knowing which foods will give you the biggest payoff with the fewest calories will help you streamline the contents of your grocery cart and whittle your waistline.

Produce Powerhouses

Your first stop when shopping should always be the produce aisle. Here, among the naturally low calorie, low fat offerings, you will find a sea of power foods for weight loss full of enticing colors, satisfying flavors, and concentrated micronutrients. The nourishment that fresh produce provides puts an end to cravings as your body receives the full complement of minerals, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins that it needs to fire on all cylinders. The more vibrant the color, the more nutrients a fruit or vegetable has within. When choosing power foods for weight loss look for fruits and vegetables like the following:

  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots

Low sugar, high fiber options are ideal as they’re filling without causing spikes in blood sugar (and thus, fat storage). Best bets include:

  • Grapefruit (cleansing)
  • Berries (low glycemic index)
  • Dark, leafy greens (B vitamins for energy)

Protein Superstars

Power foods for weight loss include lean proteins. Lean proteins provide your body with raw materials for healthy muscles and sustained energy. Make lean protein a part of each meal, and you’ll notice that not only are you free of the mid-afternoon slump at work, you’ll feel less inclined to visit the vending machine. Additionally, essential fatty acids (EFA’s) in power foods like salmon support glowing skin and a healthy nervous system while remaining low in unhealthy saturated and trans- fats.

  • Choose EFA rich salmon, or ultra-lean fish. Fresh tuna, grilled or sauteed, has a steak like texture unlike the old fashioned canned stuff. Try it on a green salad with a drizzle of tangy balsamic for a light meal that feels like a feast.
  • If you’re eating on a budget, lean poultry like chicken and turkey breasts provide rich flavor that complements any type of cuisine.

After your weight loss surgery, your goal should be to recreate yourself by upgrading your lifestyle to one of moderation and wellness. Power foods for weight loss make it easy to adopt a lifestyle that leads to loving what you see in your mirror.

If you would like additional ideas for introducing power foods for weight loss into your diet call us in Albertville at 256.840.5547 and Guntersville at 256.571.8734. Check out our blog for more articles with weight loss tips.

Common Questions for Your Bariatric Surgeon

Common Questions for Your Bariatric SurgeonBefore your weight loss surgery, you may have a number of bariatric surgery questions. It is important before any surgery to clarify any remaining questions or concerns you may have about your procedure. You’ll want to ask your surgeon any of your bariatric surgery questions. The more information you have, the easier it will be for you to proceed with your surgery in confidence.

It may be beneficial to prepare a list of bariatric surgery questions for your surgeon before going into the office. Coming prepared will demonstrate that you are engaged in the processes and stages of your surgery, and are actively looking for information that will ensure success. Your bariatric surgeon will only play a small part in your overall weight loss success. Most of your success depends on you and the choices you make every day for wellness.

Here are a few questions to consider asking before weight loss surgery:

Examples of Professional Qualifiers:

  • Are you a board-certified surgeon?
  • What are the risks of the procedure and what is your surgeon’s personal percentage of success?
  • How many weight loss procedures has your surgeon done in the past year?
  • What are the drawbacks/advantages of the specific procedure you have chosen?
  • How much and what kind of pre-op testing is done?
  • Will your surgeon perform the surgery or will an assistant perform the surgery under the surgeon’s supervision?

It is also important to ask for tips for success before, during, and after a surgical weight-loss procedure. Anything you can do to improve the odds of success should be inquired about and explored.

Examples of Questions to Help Your Surgery Be A Success:

  • Should you begin exercising before surgery?
  • What is the approved diet plan for before surgery?
  • Are there emotional triggers you should be aware of before surgery to prepare mentally?
  • What other ways can you prepare mentally for surgery?
  • What clothing should be waiting at home post-surgery for recovery?
  • Will you receive a copy of the postoperative diet plan before surgery so they can go shopping and have food ready?

The lists above are just a few of the common bariatric surgery questions you may want to ask. The more you know about weight loss surgery, the more prepared you will be for journey that lies ahead and the greater your chance for weight loss success.

If you already have a list of bariatric surgery questions you would like to have answered call us at 256.840.5547 in Albertville or 256.571.8734 for Guntersville. You can also take a look at our ‘Bariatric Surgery Guide’ to answer some of your questions.

High-Fat Diet could Affect Sleep

High-Fat Diet could Affect SleepFollowing your weight loss surgery, it is important to ensure that you are taking care of all aspects of your health, and following a healthy and well-balanced diet to optimize your weight loss. Sleep and weight loss are closely linked, how you sleep can greatly affect your weight loss. What you eat for dinner may affect how well you sleep at night. Brazilian researchers conducted a sleep lab and found that a high-fat diet may be as bad for your sleep patterns as it is for your waistline.

In general, researchers found that the more fat you eat during the day, the more likely you are to:

  • Toss and turn during the night.
  • Wake up more frequently
  • Experience abnormal breathing while sleeping.
  • Spend less time in REM, the sleep state during which dreaming occurs.

REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is especially important for the body to be able to heal, regenerate, and restore itself from the stresses of the previous day.

Furthermore, your last meal of the day may be the most important one when it comes to determining how well you sleep. Researchers analyzed the fat content of individual meals eaten throughout the day and found that eating a fatty dinner at night was more likely to cause sleep disruptions, even if you ate healthy earlier in the day. A high fat diet can affect both sleep and weight loss in multiple ways.

Getting a good night’s sleep that involves adequate time in REM is essential for good physical and mental health. Lack of REM sleep is often to blame for a feeling of fatigue the next day. During your weight loss journey this can cause setbacks and minor complications such as:

  • Increased appetite
  • Lack of motivation

These things could derail your weight loss efforts or possibly lead to weight regain.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep for Weight Loss

Sleep is an essential part of your health. When you sleep well, you are better prepared to have a productive and energized day. After weight loss surgery this is an important part of your journey, so you want to be sure to eliminate any habits that could be harmful.

Your weight loss diet should already be low in fat and consist mainly of fresh produce, protein and fiber due to your stomach’s now limited capacity. But, if you decide to indulge, be sure to limit your intake and make sure to consume these foods well before you decide to hit the hay. Otherwise, you may be sabotaging yourself in the long run.

If you would like to learn more about how sleep and weight loss go hand in hand call us in Albertville at 256.840.5547 or in Guntersville 256.571.8734.

While you are on our blog check out our article on power foods for weight loss.

Enhancing Weight Loss with Lipotropic Injections

Enhancing Weight Loss with Lipotropic InjectionsIf losing weight sometimes seems impossible to you, then you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with losing weight and often go to extreme and dangerous methods, such as crash dieting or fad diets just to shed the excess pounds. However, there are healthier ways to lose excess weight quickly. In recent years, lipotropic injections for weight loss have become more popular in medical weight loss programs. Lipotropic injections for weight loss are made up of vitamins and amino acid compounds such as:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Choline
  • Metholine
  • Inositol

The ingredients included in the lipotropic injections are said to speed up metabolism, and can help to enhance your weight loss efforts.

Lipotropic Injections for Medical Weight Loss; how it Works

Lipotropic injections for weight loss are often given at weight loss centers by your weight loss doctor or support team. The solution is injected into areas of the body that hold the most fat, particularly the belly and thighs. These injections work in the body to:

  • Increase energy levels. Immediately following an injection you might feel a surge in your energy levels, as well as your mood. With more energy, you’ll likely be more motivated to exercise or do chores and errands you were once too tired to accomplish.
  • Reduce fat. In addition to rising energy levels, lipotropic injections reduce fat in the injection areas. Injections are placed in areas like the belly.
  • Increase Metabolism. By naturally speeding up your metabolism, your body will burn calories faster, making it easier to shed the pounds.

In addition, emotional eating can play a major role in weight gain. With the improved mood that lipotropic injections for weight loss provide, you’ll also be less likely to reach for your favorite fattening foods when you’re feeling down. This gives you the opportunity to only eat when you’re hungry, and make smarter food choices at the same time.

Benefits of lipotropic injections for weight loss, partnered with necessary dietary and activity changes will likely result in a dramatic increase in weight loss.

If you think lipotropic injections for weight loss may be right for you call us in Albertville at 256.840.5547 or in Guntersville at 256.571.8734. Or visit our contact us page.

The Truth About Common Exercise Myths

The Truth About Common Exercise MythsInformation about the proper way to exercise is everywhere, so separating the exercise myths and facts can be a little tricky. You may have heard a few things about exercise that just aren’t true and may make your exercise routine less effective overall. To help with your weight loss efforts after bariatric surgery or during your medical weight loss program, here are some common misconceptions about exercise and some facts to help you lead a healthier, happier life.

  • It’s best to stretch before your workout:Research has shown that this isn’t quite correct. In fact, stretching after your workout, when your muscles are warm, will give you greater increases to your flexibility than stretching cold, which could actually cause injury to your muscles.
  • Exercise before bed can help you fall asleep: Because exercise elevates your body temperature and stimulates you, exercising close to bedtime can actually make it harder for you to sleep. Sleep experts insist that exercising in the three hours before you hit the hay is a bad idea—you should try to work out earlier in the day, as the fall in body temperature five to six hours after exercising can make it easier to sleep.
  • Fat can be lost from individual parts of the body: Don’t try to focus on the one area of your body that you’re hoping to slim down the most. Just focus on burning calories, which will reduce fat everywhere. Targeting specific spots doesn’t work, and concentrating on one area of your body can cause you to neglect other important areas.
  • If you aren’t losing weight, your exercise isn’t working: It can be hard to see the effects of exercise in the short term, but that doesn’t mean your workouts aren’t helping. Regular exercise strongly contributes to overall health and a lower risk of stroke and heart disease. Don’t give up on an exercise routine just because the numbers on your scale aren’t dropping dramatically each and every day.
  • As long as you get your workout in, being lazy the rest of the day is fine: Even if you get your ideal amount of daily exercise, research shows that being sedentary for long periods of time can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Try to spend less time on your butt, regardless of how long you spend working out. This could mean getting up to walk around more at the office or even just cutting down on how long you stay parked in front of the TV each night.

After your weight loss surgery, or during your medical weight loss program, exercise can boost your weight loss results and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Do your research and talk to your doctor about the best ways to exercise.

Call us today to learn more about exercise myths and facts that may be impacting your exercise routine. Reach our Guntersville office at 256.571.8734 and our Albertville office at 256.840.5547.

If you are just beginning your weight loss journey visit our Bariatric Surgery Guide page.

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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