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New Year, New Start On Weight-Loss Goals

New Year, New Start On Weight-Loss Goals

If you're looking to press the restart button on your health, you're not alone. Each year, one in three Americans resolve to get healthy and lose weight. The fact that losing weight is among the most popular resolutions suggests just how difficult it can be.

Being overweight isn't simply a result of overeating. Contributing factors include genetics, heredity, environment, metabolic factors and eating disorders. Obesity can cause serious health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, joint pain and certain cancers.

Weight-loss surgery in combination with the required lifestyle changes can be an effective treatment for obesity. Numerous studies show that individuals who undergo weight-loss surgery can have significant improvement in many of these chronic illnesses. But how do you know if weight-loss surgery is right for you?

Yale New Haven Health offers two minimally invasive bariatric surgery options, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Surgeons also perform revisions of previous weight-loss surgeries.

If you are considering bariatric surgery as part of a comprehensive weight-loss strategy, the bariatric team at YNHH can help you decide which procedure is best for you. An initial consultation includes a physical exam and a review of your medical history, risk factors, social history and any health problems associated with your weight. Telehealth appointments are available, giving patients a convenient way to schedule consultations.

“We have available tools to assess the risk and benefits of each procedure and these tools help us to make the best decision for the patient,” said John Morton, MD, medical director of bariatric surgery at Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) and vice chair of surgical quality for Yale School of Medicine and YNHHS. “We are also pioneering combination medication and surgical approaches to ensure the best outcome possible.”

Many people are hesitant about bariatric surgery. They worry about maintaining the lifestyle changes needed to succeed.

“Part of the process is making sure each patient understands that they are ultimately in charge of their success after weight loss surgery. Patients make the decisions about lifestyle changes, including adhering to a proper diet and maintaining a good activity level after surgery. Our bariatric surgery team believes that weight loss surgery is the most effective tool to complement those lifestyle changes to help you get where you need to be,” Dr. Morton said. “Our program is comprehensive and offers both surgical and medical weight management. It includes dietitians, exercise physiologists, mental health providers, advanced practice providers and nurses. Together, we support the physical health and psychological needs of our patients as well as educate them about healthy behavior and wholesome diets, both before and after surgery.”

A personalized approach to support change

During the initial consultation, the program dietitian and mental health professionals will evaluate your knowledge about nutrition and your commitment to change. The team considers your needs and goals and works with you to help you achieve the lifestyle and emotional changes needed to sustain weight loss.

Yale New Haven Hospital surgeons closely monitor patients after all weight-loss procedures. Routine follow-up visits are scheduled at two weeks, two months, six months and 12 months following surgery. After one year, visits are annual. During these exams, care providers review personalized health, diet, exercise, medication and vitamin/mineral requirements. Annual visits help provide early intervention for any postoperative problems and track your progress over time.

Support for bariatric-surgery patients continues beyond the operating room. Patients have access to a variety of services and resources that include monthly virtual support group meetings and behavioral aftercare lifestyle programs that are available on an ongoing basis for as long as you need them.

“We want to make sure your expectations about weight loss after surgery are realistic. Longer term, we want to help make sure that you don’t start slipping into bad habits that may lead to weight reoccurrence,” Morton said. “This is a lifelong commitment, and one of the great parts of this program is that we offer follow-up for life so people can stay on track.”

Where do I start?

Each week, Yale New Haven Health surgeons host free, online webinars for those interested in bariatric surgery and their families to learn more about the latest advances in weight-loss surgery provided at Yale New Haven Hospital. Our experts also answer key questions: What types of surgery are available? Does it hurt? How fast will I lose weight? Will insurance cover the cost of the surgery? When can I go back to work?

Register now for a bariatric webinar or call 1-877-925-3637.

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