Bariatrics & Managed Weight Reduction

Center for Weight Reduction FAQs

Definition of “overweight” vs. “obese”

Overweight refers to an excess of body weight compared to set standards. The excess weight may come from muscle, bone, fat and/or body water. Obesity refers specifically to an abnormally high proportion of body fat. A person can be overweight without being obese. For example, a bodybuilder or other athlete may weigh more but has a lot of muscle. However, many people who are overweight are also obese.

Several methods help determine if someone is overweight or obese. Some are based on the relation between height and weight. Others are based on measurements of body fat. The most commonly used method today is body mass index (BMI), which is based on height and weight, and it is not gender-specific.

Patient criteria for weight loss surgery

Morbidly obese is defined as:
  • Body weight 100 pounds or more over the ideal weight for gender and frame
  • Body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
A BMI of 35 or higher in the presence of at least two other significant diseases is also classified by some experts as morbid obesity.

Surgical candidates must be 18 years of age or older. They also must:
  • Have attempted non-surgical weight reductions without success.
  • Be healthy enough to undergo a surgical procedure and understand the risks.
  • Commit to lifestyle changes necessary for lifetime success.
  • Have no drug/alcohol problems.
  • Keep pyschological/mental health conditions well controlled.

Causes of obesity

Weight gain occurs when we eat more calories than our bodies use up. If the food we eat provides more calories than our bodies need, the excess is converted to fat. Initially, fat cells increase in size. They increase in number when they can no longer expand. The size of our fat cells decreases when we lose weight, but the number of cells does not. This is why so many people gain back the weight they have worked so hard to lose.

Obesity, however, has many causes, including age, gender, genes, psychological makeup, and environmental and cultural factors. Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, depression and glandular (hormonal) conditions, also contribute to the disease.

Reasons to choose bariatric surgery

Today, a number of surgical options are available to treat obesity. Most are minimally invasive, which usually means faster recovery times and less pain than open surgery.

Reasons to choose bariatric surgery include:
  • Have not achieved desired weight loss through diet and exercise alone.
  • Face significant health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, sleep apnea or osteoarthritis.

Understanding if surgery is right for you

You should research all the options available when deciding whether or not to have bariatric surgery. Also, consult with a bariatric physician to answer all your questions and confirm that you’re an ideal surgical candidate. The primary goal of bariatric surgery is to live a healthier and longer life. But it’s not an easy way out or a quick fix for obesity. It includes the same risks as other abdominal surgeries and is only one tool needed for successful weight loss. Adherence to recommended food intake guidelines, frequent exercise and increased activity help maintain a normal weight after surgery.

Treatment options

We offer the latest weight loss surgery options available and the medical expertise to perform them safely and effectively. Bariatric surgery options include:
  • Laparoscopic gastric bypass Roux-en-Y (RNY)
  • Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
Our experts take all the time necessary to help you choose the right weight loss plan for you. If surgery is not the right option for you, we offer non-surgical treatment options to suit your individual needs.

Costs of bariatric surgery

Your insurance policy may cover bariatric surgery if you’ve been diagnosed as morbidly obese by a physician and meet specific pre-surgery guidelines. But every policy is unique, so you need to check your certificate of coverage. Our bariatric program can assist you with this process, as well as offer suggestions for alternative financing options that have worked well for other patients, if needed. Before deciding bariatric surgery is too expensive, consider the average out-of-pocket expense for an obese person is more than $9,400 per year from failed diets, lost wages, medicine and doctor visits. In the United States alone, obesity ranks among the leading causes of preventable death.

Recovery from bariatric surgery

Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma and some forms of cancer. Bariatric surgery may decrease mortality rates. Plus, many of the diseases and health conditions associated with obesity simply disappear, including sleep apnea, acid reflux disease, arthritis and incontinence. Weight loss surgery can also alleviate Type 2 diabetes, eliminating the dependence on insulin or oral diabetes drugs.

As with any procedure, bariatric surgery has its own risks of complications that should be discussed with your physician. However, those risks can be greatly reduced when the procedure is conducted by a specially trained surgical team in a facility dedicated to bariatric medicine, as well as carefully following instructions before and after surgery.

Benefits and risks of bariatric surgery

Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma and some forms of cancer. Fortunately, recent studies report decreases in mortality after bariatric surgery. Plus, many of the diseases and health conditions associated with obesity simply disappear, including sleep apnea, acid reflux disease, arthritis and incontinence. Weight loss surgery can also cure Type 2 diabetes, eliminating the dependence on insulin or oral diabetes drugs.

As with any procedure, bariatric surgery has its own risks of complications that should be discussed with your physician. However, those risks can be greatly reduced when the procedure is conducted by a specially trained surgical team in a facility dedicated to bariatric medicine, as well as carefully following instructions before and after surgery.

Eating after surgery

Immediately following bariatric surgery, your eating habits will be altered significantly. By creating a smaller stomach pouch during surgery, you’ll feel fuller sooner and eat less food. And for the first three to four weeks after surgery, you’ll eat or drink a few ounces at a time, allowing the stomach to heal. Once you’ve transitioned to solid foods, you’ll be able to eat more, but not as much as you could before surgery. Eventually, many of your favorite foods will be reincorporated into your diet, just in smaller portions. However, foods high in calories, fat or sugar should be avoided to positively affect the long-term effect of bariatric surgery.

How bariatric surgery is different

You’ve probably heard the myth that if you’ve been a “yo-yo” dieter, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off. Or that if you’re lucky enough to lose weight, you’re sentenced to a life of deprivation. But that’s not true. You have the power to make lifelong changes and positive choices that can leave you happier and healthier than ever before. Even if you’ve battled your weight for years, bariatric surgery can help you live the life you’ve always dreamed about. Unlike dieting alone, the right bariatric program includes support throughout the weight loss process, emotionally and physically. And more important, you get the knowledge and resources you need to maintain your new body and lifestyle.

Choosing Goshen Physicians Center for Weight Reduction

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians, nurses, registered dietitians and personal trainers works together to help you achieve your physical weight loss goals and provide emotional support throughout your journey. Team members work with you one-on-one to develop a plan specific to your needs. And once your comprehensive program is completed, you’ll have the knowledge and resources to maintain your new body and lifestyle. You’re wholly unique, and we never treat you as anything else. From our modern facility and on-site fitness center, to our support groups and dedicated weight loss specialists equipped with the latest research and technology, we provide all the tools you need to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.