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Shannon Weight Loss Center: Comprehensive approach to weight loss

Obesity is a rapidly increasing epidemic—more than one-third of the adult population in our country is obese. This serious condition leads to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. If left untreated, obesity can be fatal.

Higher medical costs are another cause for concern regarding obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical costs for obese patients are approximately $1,500 higher than for patients of normal weight.

Bariatric surgery is a tool to help obese patients regain control of their health. Sleeve gastrectomy, a type of bariatric surgery offered nationwide, is now available at the Shannon Weight Loss Center.

“The goal of bariatric surgery is to reduce the patient’s caloric intake and to curb hunger,” says Kenny Jastrow III, MD, Shannon General Surgeon. “The sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure which narrows the size of the stomach. This causes you to consume fewer calories.”

The operation removes the receptors that trigger hunger, which causes the appetite to decrease. National standards are used to determine if a patient qualifies for surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a permanent change to the body, and Dr. Jastrow and his team must make sure patients are mentally and physically capable of tolerating the procedure. The professionals at the Weight Loss Center work with patients before and after the surgery. Before the operation, patients must have counseling with a clinical dietitian, a psychiatric evaluation and an appointment with a GI physician to evaluate the anatomy of their stomach.

A path to success

“At Shannon we have a program in place with trained personnel to help our patients make sure they succeed,” says Dr. Jastrow.

Patients should expect to lose 60 to 70 percent of their excess body weight after the sleeve gastrectomy. How quickly the weight is lost varies for each patient. They may be able to stop taking medications and reverse conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

“Surgery is only one part of our patients’ weight-loss journey,” says Dr. Jastrow. “We can make sure the operation is a success from the OR standpoint, but the patient plays a huge role in making sure the outcome is successful. They have to adhere to a diet and make sure they exercise. The postoperative follow-up is intense because we want to make sure they are adhering to the program.”

Patients are given a bariatric manual that offers an in-depth look into the operation itself, including pre- and postoperative care required, dietary plans and foods to avoid.

“I think it’s important that we have this procedure available locally,” Dr. Jastrow says. “We’ve had patients undergo the surgery and they are off of medications, their diabetes is cured, their blood pressure is down. It’s a huge help to some of our patients, and if we can help a handful of patients along the way—that is always the goal.”

For more information about the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, please call the Shannon Weight Loss Center at 325-481-2344 or visit shannonhealth.com.
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