Medwatch-Bariatric surgery

Medwatch-Bariatric surgery

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -There will be a seminar to discuss the bariatric surgery program at Comanche County Memorial Hospital and the procedures they offer, including new operative and non-operative weight loss methods, Wednesday, Jan. 13.

General and bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Sawyer will be the guest speaker and will discuss new, innovative weight loss options that will be offered at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. These new procedures are not traditional surgery in the sense that there are no incisions made to the patient. They both can be done endoscopically through the mouth. The first of these is the ORBERA intragastric balloon.

"With an upper endoscopy, you can get into the stomach and place a balloon that is approved to sit there for about six months. Some studies are going on now that say it might be able to stay for 12 months," Dr. Sawyer said.

Dr. Sawyer says the balloon is deployed into the stomach and is then inflated with saline and takes up the volume of the stomach. This procedure is approved for people who need to lose up to 50 or 60 pounds to get to a healthy body weight.

"I think that's for people who may have a hard time getting the weight off on their own and are more proactive about that. They can get done earlier, but once they get to about 80 or 100 pounds over their ideal body weight then we will need something surgical," Dr. Sawyer said.

The other new procedure is called "The OverStitch," which is also done endoscopically. Dr. Sawyer says this procedure is for people who have previously had a gastric bypass and begin to gain weight back, due to the opening where the gastric pouch was sewn to the small bowel stretching.

"Over time, it can dilate to quite a significant size where they lose all their restriction. And typically when you hear stories about people gaining weight after a gastric bypass, that's one of the main reasons. We've seen a lot of them and there is actually a way to deal with that without having to have a full blown revisional surgery," Dr. Sawyer explained.

Dr. Sawyer says the OverStitch is a second chance for these people to get the weight off. He says once people get 80 to 100 pounds overweight, it is nearly impossible to get that weight off by yourself. He says weight loss surgery is a just kick start and the rest of the work to get the weight off and keep it off is up to the patient.

"You have to be ready for your life to change radically, to me, in a good way. But unless you are willing to commit to the fact that once you start this path you are not taking any steps back, I advise you don't do it. Don't do it unless you are ready to turn your life around and don't think that just getting the surgery is going to be a carte blanche to do whatever you want after that," Dr. Sawyer said.

The weight loss options luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 11:30 a.m. in the Oakwood Conference Center. The cost is $5 and includes a healthy lunch. For more information and to make a reservation, call 580-585-5406.

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