Below are a series of questions that will address your concerns about bariatric surgery. Click the question to reveal the answer and view a video relating to that question. If you have additional questions feel free to use the online form. Your questions will be addressed immediately.
I have, at my disposal, about 1,200 physicians, of all different specialties, that I can get to help on my patients and no matter what their needs may be. We have nurses that I've been working with since 2004 seeing these patients. In addition, we offer the most comprehensive postoperative program that's out there. We have three different support groups in three different parts of town at different times to allow the patients to try to get to some of these support groups. But the patients need to know that they really are-- my patient, as I'm the only surgeon, right now, who's doing this, and we take good care of them as we possibly can here.
It's a chemical reaction where fluid rushes out of the bloodstream into the intestines, because the patient just had a liquidy, sugary food. It usually will happen with a bypass patient. Doesn't happen with every bypass patient. Interestingly, it was originally said that sleeves wouldn't get dumping syndrome, but they can get dumping syndrome as well. And so the biggest take home with this is avoid a milkshake or avoid a very sugary liquid, because it can cause you to feel sick for a while.
In patients considering gastric bypass, they're often worried about what's going to happen to the leftover stomach that is separated but is no longer going to see food. The only difference is that it doesn't see food. It doesn't increase his risk of ulcers. It doesn't increase his risk of complications. It just doesn't see food any longer, but it continues to work like it did before.
The skin's a huge concern for patients before surgery. Everybody's petrified of looking like a little shar-pei, but really afterwards, most of the times, most patients don't do anything. We tell them to lose as much weight as they can, and to exercise as much as they can, to try to lose as much of the fat under the skin as possible. But it's really a lot of genetics, and age, and how much the patients lose, that ends up causing the extra skin. But we do have the people in our team that we can refer to for the patients.
In the old days of bariatric surgery, we used to take out people's gallbladders when we operated on them. The reason was because these surgeries were done open, and some patients will get gallbladder attacks after surgery. It was much more difficult to return after surgery to do another open procedure to take out the gallbladder, so it is worth taking out the gallbladder. It only happens in about 2% to 3% of the patients after surgery, so it's not worth it, because taking out normal gallbladders can cause diarrhea in patients with normal gallbladders in about 20% to 30% of the patients.
So I think it's my job to educate the patient as best as I can on the advantages and disadvantages of the different operations. We offer the three different operations that are being offered in the states commonly because each one does have its own advantages and disadvantages. There are different reasons to have different ones. In the seminar and in our discussions, we try to highlight some of the different changes, whether it's reversibility or the effect on diabetes or the complications that you get from it. Every patient sees things a little bit differently and so the choices are very individualized choice.
The benefits for patients undergoing laparoscopy versus open surgery are huge. There are known benefits of laparoscopy which include, decreased wound infections, decreased hernia rates, return to work is quicker, length of hospital stays normally quicker, pain is less. Those all hold true for bariatric patients but are even magnified in bariatric patients. We know that almost 25% to 30% of bariatric patients when they're done open will develop a hernia or wound infection, where this goes down to about 1 and 1,000 in laparoscopic patients. And also in limiting patients afterwards, where a bariatric patient is normally told not to lift anything more than 10 pounds for about eight weeks, we can get patients in the gym the week of their surgery, without restriction, because the risk of hernias is almost non-existent.
Though of the patients, after any of the surgeries, will get hair lost. It may or may not be related to the surgery itself or just very rapid weight loss and massive weight loss. We've seen it in regular diet plans, and we sometimes see it in our surgeries. I tell the patients they are not going to end up bald, they're not going to have to wear wigs, but they are going to notice that the hair will thin. The people that are really going to complain about it are the patients themselves, and the family members aren't normally going to notice much about it at all.