Tired of feeling like you’ve tried every diet and failed? Do you worry about how your weight is impacting your health? Are you experiencing joint pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea or other conditions? Is your weight affecting your family relationships – or the ability to have one? Do you feel discriminated against at work and in public?
If you answer yes to all of these questions, you may be a candidate for a new bariatric surgery being performed by Drs. William Rizk and Keith Vollstedt at Midlands Clinic in Dakota Dunes.
Starting mid-May, Midlands Clinic will be offering Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, a procedure that limits the amount of food you can eat by reducing the size of your stomach.
Like other metabolic surgeries, it also helps to establish a lower, healthier body-fat set point by changing the signals between the stomach, brain and liver.
Here’s how it works: The surgeon creates a small stomach “sleeve” using a stapling device. This sleeve will typically hold 50 mL to 150 mL and is about the size of a banana. The rest of the stomach is removed.
Dr. William Rizk, general surgeon with Midlands Clinic, said 80 percent to 85 percent of the stomach is removed, dramatically reducing its size.
This procedure induces weight loss in part by restricting the amount of food (and therefore calories) that can be eaten, and therefore absorbed, without bypassing the intestines.
Laparascopic Sleeve Gastrectomy is the latest option that Midlands Clinic will be able to offer patients who come to them with co-morbid conditions, lack of mobility and a low quality of life.
In addition to the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, Midlands Clinic offers two other weight loss surgeries to fit with patients’ lifestyles: Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass and Laparoscopic Lap-Band.
Because all three procedures are laparoscopic, they only require five or six small incisions – all 1-2 centimeters – and are performed under general anesthesia. The surgeries are between 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours long.
“There is no perfect surgery for weight loss or no magic bullet. Each surgery has a certain level of invasiveness, starting with Lap-Band surgery, which is the least invasive and offers the least amount of weight loss, to gastric bypass surgery, which is the most invasive with the most weight loss potential. All three surgeries work by diminishing the capacity of the stomach and restricting how much a patient can eat. They just do it in different ways,” Rizk said.
During the Lap-Band surgery, a silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, and a small pouch is created. As a result, the stomach holds less food and the patient feels full faster and longer. The size of the restriction can be adjusted after surgery.
During gastric bypass surgery, six small incisions are made to hold laparoscopic instruments, then the stomach is separated through the use of staples to create a small pouch. The smaller stomach is attached to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing the section of the small intestine (duodenum) that absorbs the most calories. Patients eat less because the stomach is reduced from the size of a football to the size of a golf ball and they absorb fewer calories because food does not travel through the duodenum.
During the sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon uses a spiral stapling device that divides the stomach and seals it off. The procedure causes hormonal changes to disrupt hunger.
“The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy has been popular over the past five years. It has overtaken the Lap-Band surgery. It’s very effective with less nutritional complications than gastric bypass. It’s also relatively easy to perform. In bariatric literature, it’s more popular and studies to support its effectiveness are being done across the U.S,” he said.
The key to any surgery is to eat smaller meals, eat less between meals, and feel less hungry, he said.
“It’s important to change your lifestyle, drink more water between meals, and increase exercise. We’re available to counsel patients and teach them how to eat with the dramatic change. Portion sizes are a lot smaller. It can be done,” said Rizk.
Oftentimes, not only do patients lose a significant amount of weight, they also are able to reduce and/or eliminate medications while positively impacting their overall health with bariatric surgery.
“Behavior modification is very important,” said Megan Cleveland, registered dietitian at Midlands Clinic. “Weight loss surgery is a tool, not a quick fix or an easy way out. It’s a way to be successful.”
When you choose bariatric surgery at Midlands Clinic, you will receive all the support you need to positively take control of your health and your future.
“We’re here to help people. We know what they’re going through,” Cleveland said. “We’re here to listen to them and let them know the options that are available.”
Midlands Clinic offers:
- A highly trained team of doctors, nurses, psychologist and a dietitian who specialize in weight loss surgery. This multidisciplinary team helps patients make lasting changes to their lifestyles, in conjunction with their weight loss surgery, to promote long-term success.
- A facility geared toward the bariatric patient, with chairs and scales that accommodate the bariatric patient.
- All staff have been trained in bariatric sensitivity – meaning, they understand your struggle, they don’t judge it.
- Proven experience. Midlands Clinic has been performing weight loss surgery continuously since 1976. Since 2002, they have performed more than 1,000 laparoscopic weight loss surgeries, with complication rates well below the national average.
- Real life, lasting results.
- Excellent safety record.
- Personal support – They will be with you for every stage of your weight loss journey, including all the years after your journey.
If you would like to explore your options or have questions about bariatric surgery, call Midlands Clinic at 605-217-5511.