ACH's bariatric center specializes in successful weight loss

Posted on: 10/06/2015

Diet companies make a lot of grandiose promises, and most are simply unrealistic. Some can be downright dangerous, since rapid weight loss can cause health problems unless you are being monitored by a physician or bariatric practice. And commercials, if they are using “real” people, usually pick their very best customers — those who have had the most success. They don’t show us followup photos of these people six months or six years later.

Don’t believe in the fantasy that weight loss can happen overnight and can be maintained without a great deal of effort. The fact is that lots of people lose weight, but few maintain the loss. But it does not have to be that way. Lasting weight loss success requires lifestyle change, which takes time.

For individuals who are extremely overweight and need the assistance of surgery to help in their weight loss, gastric sleeve surgery is the prominent nationwide trend in bariatric surgery. It is the No. 1 surgery offered at the Fingerlakes Bariatrics Center of Auburn Community Hospital.

Gastric sleeve surgery is a fairly quick surgery, with an operative time of about one hour. During the procedure, a portion of the stomach is removed, which restricts the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. The typical hospital stay for this procedure is only one to two days, with about a one-to-two-week recuperation period. And most patients of gastric sleeve surgery lose 60 percent of their excess weight.

To determine if you are a candidate for surgical weight loss, The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery provides the following qualifications for bariatric surgery:

• BMI greater than or equal to 40, or more than 100 pounds overweight.

• BMI greater than or equal to 35 and at least two obesity-related co-morbidities, such as Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders or heart disease.

• Inability to achieve a healthy weight loss sustained for a period of time with prior weight loss efforts.

The best options for this type of weight loss surgery are available close to home. The Fingerlakes Bariatrics Center of Auburn Community Hospital is designated as a comprehensive center for bariatric surgery. Dr. Carl Weiss and Dr. David Okolica are fellowship-trained, board-certified bariatric surgeons at Fingerlakes Bariatrics. The bariatric team also includes registered dietitians, a certified bariatric registered nurse, a physician assistant, licensed clinical social workers and several other supportive positions.

The Fingerlakes Bariatric Center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. This accreditation recognizes that the Fingerlakes Bariatrics Center has met all criteria as a comprehensive center according to national quality standards established to deliver safe, high quality bariatric patient care.

This designation formally acknowledges Fingerlakes Bariatrics’ commitment to providing and supporting quality improvement and patient safety efforts for bariatric patients, and demonstrates that the center meets the needs of our patients by providing multidisciplinary, high-quality, patient-centered care.

Fingerlakes Bariatrics has also been selected by Excellus as a Blue Distinction Plus Center for Bariatric Surgery. This selection is based on the center meeting national standards in quality, cost and positive outcomes for their bariatric surgery patients.

Beyond these qualifications for high-quality surgery, the team at the Fingerlakes Bariatrics Center of Auburn Community Hospital gets to know and understand every patient as an individual. In addition to state-of-the-art operating rooms, they offer personalized one-on-one dietary counseling. After identifying and providing the right procedures for each patient, they continue to help each person make the behavioral and dietary changes necessary to be successful with long-term weight loss.

Patients of bariatric surgery, and anyone who is undergoing an effort in weight loss, may fail in the maintenance stage if they view weight loss as a sprint and not a marathon. Sprinting requires a short burst of energy, whereas a marathon demands strategy, commitment and endurance. Choose a physical activity that you can enjoy and maintain for the rest of your life. From time to time, inspect your own eating habits by logging your daily food intake for a few days. Stay hydrated, exercise portion control and then eat high-calorie treats only on special occasions. Redefine yourself based on your new healthy habits.

Because long-term behavioral change is so critical to help patients achieve long-term successful weight loss, Fingerlakes Bariatrics also offers support groups twice a week in addition to one-on-one consulting with the center’s surgeons, nurses and dietitians.

The perfect exercise plan doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It just needs to be engaging enough so that you’ll stick with it. In addition to aiding in weight loss, daily exercise can lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, improve mobility, help decrease stress and anxiety, lower the risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, and increase your life expectancy.

If you are significantly overweight, the physicians and staff at the Fingerlakes Baraitrics Center of Auburn Community Hospital can help. Call (315) 255-7036 to begin your journey to a new and healthier you.

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