St. Luke’s metabolic and bariatric surgeon explains benefits of surgery – Times News Online

Published on March 01, 2022 at 11:35 am

everyone has already given up on their New Year’s resolution to lose weight by Valentine’s Day. If your resolution needs a boost, help is available at St. Luke’s Weight Management Centers in Palmerton and Lansford.

St. Luke’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon, Ikemefuna Akusoba, MD, says losing weight reduces high blood pressure and high cholesterol that contribute to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Therefore, losing weight decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What’s more, obesity is associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including those of the stomach, liver, uterus and ovaries, so weight loss reduces cancer risk, he said. -he declares. Additionally, losing weight can improve fertility and reduce stress on joints and bones.

It also reduces obstructive sleep apnea which can cause abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death. Because weight loss improves sleep, self-image and confidence, it improves behavioral health and reduces the risk of depression.

Options available

St. Luke’s Weight Management Center offers two options: medical and surgical weight loss programs.

In both programs, a team of physicians, dietitians, behavioral health specialists, and exercise physiologists work together to help patients reduce excess weight.

Education and counseling is provided in group and individual settings for nutrition, behavior modification, emotional preparation and physical fitness.

For many overweight and morbidly obese people, bariatric surgery is the best option for long-term success.

St. Luke’s offers several options, all of which are performed laparoscopically. This results in minimal incisions and a short recovery. When surgery is added to the mix, the success rate jumps to 80 out of 100 people, says Dr. Akusoba.

“It just goes to show that it’s a lot more complex than calories in and calories out,” says Dr. Akusoba. “I’ve seen people who had the best lifestyle and the best diet and yet couldn’t lose weight. A lot of things come into play – your genetics, your environment and whether you have an active occupation or sedentary It’s all of these things combined and more.

In addition to the benefits described above, bariatric surgery has an almost immediate effect on blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. After surgery, patients can stop taking insulin before they even leave the hospital.

“Back when we didn’t have McDonald’s around the corner, our bodies adapted to help us retain calories so we could survive until our next meal,” he explains. “Now, when we want to lose weight, our brain no longer understands. We restrict our calories and exercise to lose weight, but our brain says you’re starving me and it goes into survival mode.

Not an easy fix

Dr. Akusoba warns, however, that surgery is not an easy solution.

To ensure patient safety, St. Luke’s Surgical Weight Loss Program requires patients to meet with social workers and dietitians before and after surgery.

Patients attend classes several weeks before surgery to learn how to consume enough fluids and nutritious foods.

Then they undergo routine lab tests to make sure they are getting enough vitamins and minerals.

To maintain weight loss, they must adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a nutritious diet.

East Stroudsburg patient Victoria Gomez agrees that surgical weight loss is not the ‘easy way out’. But while it takes work and commitment, she says “1,000% is worth it.”

Gomez and her husband, Sol Narvaez, underwent laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery on the same day in 2019 and have since lost a combined 263 pounds.

“It’s not magic,” says Dr. Akusoba, summarizing bariatric surgery. “It’s a tool and it’s the most powerful tool we have.”

Call 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537) to learn more about surgical weight loss. To schedule a non-surgical (medical) weight loss appointment, call 484-426-2600.


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Richard V. Johnson