Improve your health, improve your quality of life
It’s no secret. Being overweight is bad for your health. It puts you at greater risk for serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer. Health risks aside, for some people, being overweight means low self-esteem and an overriding unhappiness that keeps you from being the best you can be. Providence bariatrics programs are devoted to helping patients achieve their weight loss goals. We understand that the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t create results, so we work with you to establish the best course of action for your body and help you make the best choices for your personal health.
Eric Werttemberger, Director of Digestive Services provides a brief introduction to our weight loss surgery video series.
Maintaining a healthy weight has many benefits for your overall health, but sometimes it isn’t that easy. If diet and exercise alone haven’t worked, or you have certain obesity-related conditions, your doctor may recommend bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.
Our bariatric doctors understand the complex genetic, biologic, environmental, social and behavioral factors that contribute to obesity. We know how discouraging it can be when you’ve given it your all but still can’t lose weight and keep it off.
At Providence, our team can help you achieve lasting weight loss through a holistic approach that’s more than just surgery. From early evaluation through post-surgical care, we’ll help you lose weight quickly, safely and effectively. You’ll have nonstop support, including a clinically proven diet and lifestyle program.
Our staff are here to discuss your options and answer your questions about bariatric procedures. While many insurance plans cover weight loss surgery, it’s important to understand your benefits — and how to receive them. Ask our staff about payment options and procedures. You are welcome to attend our free informational seminar. Call 800-979-8986 to learn more or to pre-register.
At your first appointment, your doctors will evaluate your health and medical history. You’ll learn about each procedure we think could be right for you, including its potential benefits and risks.
At Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, we use minimally invasive techniques when possible. They involve very few — and very small — incisions so you heal as quickly as possible.
We perform revisions to prior surgeries as well as many common procedures such as:
- Gastric bypass surgery - The Roux en Y Gastric Bypass is the gold standard and most common weight-loss surgery. It promotes weight loss by restricting food intake and causing a minimal amount of malabsorption (disruption in the body’s ability to absorb fat and other food elements).
- Gastric sleeve surgery - During gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon removes about 85 percent of the stomach so it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. The new, tube-shaped stomach is closed with staples.
Weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone. Doctors take a number of factors into account to determine if you’re a good candidate for a bariatric procedure.
The first and most obvious factor to determine if you qualify for weight loss surgery is your body mass index (BMI), which measures overall body fat based on height and weight. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, patients with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese. Generally speaking, this translates to 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women.
If your BMI is 40 or greater, you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery, providing you meet additional criteria. You’re also a candidate for bariatric surgery if your BMI is 35-39.9 and you have at least one obesity-related risk (or “comorbidity”) such as diabetes, sleep apnea or hypertension.
Other considerations help determine whether or not you’re a candidate for bariatric weight loss surgery, such as the following:
- You’ve attended an informational seminar
- You’re at least 18 years old
- You’re a non-smoker
- You’re not a heavy drinker
- You’re well informed and motivated about necessary lifestyle changes
- You’ve received pre-surgical mental health, medical and nutritional counseling
- You’re willing to commit to supervised after care (support groups, nutritional counseling, exercise)
- You’ve been overweight for more than five years
- You’re healthy enough to tolerate surgery
- You understand the risks associated with surgery
Choosing to have weight loss surgery is an important and very personal decision. At Providence, our goal is to provide knowledge and support as you consider your options. Our providers will guide you through the process and be by your side at every step. In fact, you’re already working on the first step – becoming informed.
Here’s how the rest of the process works:
- Attend a free informational seminar. Our staff will cover the basics of weight loss surgery and help you understand your options. You’ll have the opportunity to talk to bariatric surgeons and other patients who’ve lost weight after surgery. Register here.
- Verify insurance eligibility. While many insurance plans cover weight loss surgery, it’s important to understand your benefits – and how to receive them. When you schedule your appointment, be sure to verify your insurance eligibility with the office staff.
If you decide weight loss surgery is the right option for you, your surgeon will schedule a series of pre-operative appointments, which could include the following:
- Consultation with nursing staff. Focused primarily on education, your nurse – many of whom have had weight loss surgery themselves – will help you understand the changes you’ll have to make after surgery.
- Psychological evaluation. You’ll meet with a therapist who’ll help you mentally prepare for your new life. The therapist might suggest you keep a journal of your feelings and challenges, as well as the activities you look forward to after surgery. You might find it helpful to log your reasons for choosing surgery and outline a plan to maintain progress.
- Medical review with your surgeon. You’ll meet with your surgeon to review your medical history and gain a better understanding of the surgical process. It’s possible the doctor will order additional tests, such as blood work, a chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a sleep study or an echocardiogram (ECG). The doctor might also ask you to lose 10-30 pounds to reduce the size of your liver before surgery. This makes surgery easier, faster and reduces the risk of complications. The surgeon’s staff will help you with this weight loss.
- Support groups. When you’re trying to lose weight, a solid support system is vital. Support groups allow you to ask questions, share your struggles and get help and encouragement from others traveling the same path. For more information, contact your surgeon’s office.