Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery at Beverly Hills Physicians is serious business. Severely obese people know all too well that their condition makes life more difficult in multiple ways: socially, in terms of careers, and it can make favorite activities too painful to enjoy. Most people struggling with obesity are also only too aware of the potential for devastating health consequences that make lives not just shorter, but a lot less enjoyable. Even so, most obese individuals find losing significant weight and then keeping it off next to impossible. Why?
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Science keeps reinforcing that failing to defeat obesity has nothing to do with weak willpower and everything to do with biology. Fortunately, medical science is also increasingly showing us the way to fight back and Beverly Hills Physicians is ahead of the curve.
Solutions that Work
There are several weight loss surgery options available, but they all operate on the same basic principle. Most people start a weight loss effort with enormous determination but, over time, are worn down by urges to overeat. Even though we may know intellectually we’ve had plenty of food, our body is sending us hormonally driven signals that feel just like real hunger and are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to ignore. Bariatric procedures aim to short circuit that drive, primarily by making overeating uncomfortable so that we’re well motivated not to overeat and, often, by reducing those nagging hunger-causing hormones.
You have likely heard something about various types of weight loss procedures, particularly the Lap Band, and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These surgeries are still in use and have helped a great number of people. However, as we’ve continued to learn more, two other types of procedures have emerged. The one that is best for you will have a lot to do with the degree of obesity you are dealing with.
Sleeve Gastrectomy has emerged as the gold standard in the majority of cases of medically recognized severe obesity – a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more, or 30 and more with significant obesity-related health problems. Noted for its effectiveness and safety, it leaves most of the digestive system unchanged but removes approximately 75% to 85% of the stomach, leaving a sleeve-like pouch in its place. The smaller stomach size discourages overeating, although the patient is typically able to eat the same foods as before (though in much smaller amounts). The fact that a sleeve surgery removes most of the stomach also appears to significantly reduce the production of the hunger-inducing hormones that make staying on a low-calorie diet so difficult. Substantially less radical than the older gastric bypass, but substantially more reliable than the Lap Band, the sleeve gastrectomy has emerged as the “Goldilocks” choice for the majority of bariatric patients.
Gastric balloon is a nonsurgical alternative that has emerged as a popular selection for the large number of people who are dealing with stubborn weight problems but who either don’t want a surgery or who do not qualify for one. The very minimally invasive procedure is entirely nonsurgical and involves the temporary placement of a sort of balloon in the stomach, discouraging overeating. After six months, the balloon is removed and most patients report a significant jump-start to a healthier, leaner life.
Choose the Best
If your BMI (body mass index) is at least 30 and accompanied by weight-related health issues, or if it’s 40 or over even without any currently existing health problems, you are likely a candidate for weight loss surgery. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a board certified surgeon. We will work with you every step of your journey. During your initial consultation one of our specialists will be happy to address any concern you may have regarding treatment, including weight loss surgery cost. Many times insurance will cover your bariatric procedure, if not, our specialist will work with you to develop an affordable payment plan. A healthy life should be attainable for all! Contact us today to begin your journey towards health and happiness.
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Who should consider weight loss surgery?
If you are severely obese you may want to take a very serious look at weight loss surgery, particularly if you are suffering from any of the countless ill effects of obesity. These may include diabetes, heart disease, severe fatigue (often related to sleep apnea) and physical impairment – not to mention a significantly increased risk of a debilitating and potentially deadly stroke. Obese individuals also have a higher risk of certain types of cancer. The truth is that, while there are never any guarantees, sustained weight loss after surgery may greatly reduce a patient’s likelihood of experiencing the kind of illnesses that can make our lives shorter and a lot less pleasant. The well-documented impact of weight loss surgery on type 2 diabetes alone can make a tremendous difference. If obesity is causing you to worry about your overall health and happiness, it’s never a bad idea to consult a physician and look at your options.
What are the qualifications for obtaining a bariatric procedure?
Patients may qualify for weight loss procedures if they fall into one of the two categories below:
- Have a BMI (body mass index) equal or greater to 40 and/or are more than 100 pounds overweight.
- Have a BMI equal or greater to 35 with a documented comorbidity, such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
Additionally, weight loss surgery is typically recommended only after a patient has failed to lose weight without surgical assistance. To find out if weight loss surgery is right for your situation, we encourage you to reach out to us at Beverly Hills Physicians to learn more about your options.
How much time will the surgery take?
On average, weight loss surgery may take a number of hours to complete from the time you enter our office and when you finally are able to return home. However, operating times may vary depending on a patient’s specific needs. Once the procedure is over, patients should be ready for a significant amount of recovery time at home, often exceeding a month. Each patient will receive post-operative instructions that will include avoiding a number of specific types of food, heavy lifting, and supplements.
How much will the surgery cost?
Because everyone has their own very specific needs, weight loss surgery cost varies widely. RealSelf.com suggests that the average sleeve gastrectomy cost is approximately $9,550. However, it’s important to note that an average means that many patients’ costs will be significantly higher or lower. Fortunately, it’s not unlikely that your health insurance plans may cover some or all of a weight loss surgery. Regardless, even if insurance does not cover a procedure, patients facing the many serious consequences of obesity will find the cost – which is similar to buying a used car – more than worth it. Financing is also available.
What about insurance?
As mentioned elsewhere, insurance companies will often cover some or all of the costs associated with weight loss surgery; particularly if the surgery is determined to be lifesaving. Some insurance companies may require a letter of necessity from a family doctor or weight loss surgeon. The Beverly Hills Physicians team will do their best to assist you in navigating the inevitable red tape.
Curious about weight loss in Southern California?
To learn more, contact Beverly Hills Physicians today. Our offices are all over Los Angeles and the Southland, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Thousand Oaks, Valencia, Pasadena, and Oxnard.