Obesity Surgery Q&A

Q: Do I need weight-loss surgery? Can't I do it on my own with diet and exercise?

A: Dr. Spiegel: More and more people realize that they've been on a diet roller coaster for years without permanent results. They've tried different weigh- loss programs, diets, pills and supplements and often find themselves much heavier than they were when they started. People think, "I will lose the weight for good with the next diet." Some succeed, but this is a small minority. After years of trying non-surgical methods of weight loss most patients realize that permanent weight-loss surgery is really a good choice for them.

Q: What are my options for surgical weight reduction procedures?

A: Dr. Spiegel:  At SWS we offer all weight loss surgeries, revision and reversals.  You will be educated on the Gastric Bypass/RNY, the new Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve) and of course the Adjustable Gastric Banding procedures at the free informational seminars.  Dr. Spiegel will help you choose a procedure that best suits your lifestyle.

Q: Will Weight-Loss surgery limit my lifestyle?

A: Dr. Spiegel:  On the contrary, your lifestyle will improve! You will have more energy and greater mobility to pursue new pastimes. You can do anything that you do now and more, EXCEPT OVEREAT.  You can still go out to restaurants, socialize, spend time with your family and friends.

Q: Is Weight-Loss surgery too risky?

A: Dr. Spiegel:  This is not the surgery that was done 15 or 20 years ago that had a significant failure rate and a significant risk of morbidity and even mortality. Of course, any type of surgery will have some risks, but the fact is that the health and quality-of-life benefits weight loss far outweigh the risks.

Q: Will I magically lose weight after surgery?

A: Dr. Spiegel:  Weight-loss surgery is not a "quick fix".  Weight loss surgery is a commitment to a lifetime change.  No matter which procedure you choose, there is much that a patient must do after surgery to ensure success. This is why we provide a comprehensive program that addresses psychological and nutritional guidance. We encourage our patients to attend all of our after-care support groups and make use of them. If you get stuck or aren't making the progress you thought you should, come in, call us and use the support groups.

Q: How much weight should I expect to lose the first year?

A: Dr. Spiegel:  After undergoing any weight loss procedure the patients typically lose an average of 50% of their excess weight within the first 6-12 months after surgery.  There are many variations in success rate; this depends on your dedication and compliance with our recommendations.  We offer a great deal of support and often those that take advantage of it can lose more weight and at a faster rate if they so choose.  I have a patient that lost 320 lbs. in 17 months with the Adjustable Gastric Band.  She went from 530 lbs. to 210 lbs. in under 2 years.