LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - When diet and exercise don't drop an obese patient's weight into balance, bariatric surgery could be the answer. Local surgeon Dr. Keith Chung explains the five types of weight-loss surgeries and the best candidates for each.
Dr. Chung at Women and Children's Hospital in Lake Charles knows the life-threatening issues surrounding obesity. "The one that we're most concerned about is diabetes," he said, "and high blood pressure or sleep apnea and there's a myriad of other conditions associated with obesity."
Someone with a body mass index of 40 or more is morbidly obese. Dr. Chung said this dangerous weight category qualifies patients for surgical weight-loss intervention.
"The best candidates are the people who are usually about 100 pounds above ideal body weight or another way you can look at it is body mass index in which case the weight and height ratio has to be above 40," he said.
If you meet the qualifications, there are five laparoscopic weight-loss surgeries to choose from. The first: gastric bypass.
"The gastric bypass procedure involves segmenting the stomach into a small pouch, which can hold anywhere between two to three ounces," Dr. Chung said.
This procedure is the gold standard in bariatric surgery and provides a more permanent solution by limiting food and rerouting the small intestine.
Next: lap band.
"We basically implant a small silicone device in the upper part of the stomach and prevent you from overeating and gradually inflate it until you're comfortable eating a smaller amount of food," Dr. Chung said.
The lap band can be adjusted as a person's weight changes.
"Removing 80 percent of the stomach by volume," Dr. Chung said. "There is no rerouting of the intestine and the main thing is that we're mainly shrinking your stomach down to a small size."
Finally: gastric plication, done with or without a band.
"We basically fold the stomach in and make it look very much like a sleeve, except there is no re-sectioning of the stomach," Dr. Chung said.
Bariatric coordinator Stephanie Stanfield said nutrition is critical for these patients that have to learn the new operations of their bodies.
"They can no longer drink with their meals. They'll have to drink liquids away from meals and sometimes that's a challenge. Slowing down their eating and being very mindful of that," she said.
Patients can lose 100-plus pounds when they follow nutrition and exercise guidelines, but these surgeries are not a quick fix and carry possible complications.
Women and Children's Hospital offers a free monthly support group for weight-loss surgery patients. They are an accredited Bariatric Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).
If you want to learn more about weight-loss surgery, mark your calendar for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. Dr. Chung is hosting a seminar in the first floor classroom at the hospital on Nelson Road. Call 337-475-4760 to get your seat.