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For many kiwis, gastric bypass surgery is just the beginning of their weight loss.
A leading New Zealand weight loss clinic says that if they want the procedure to be successful, people undergoing this type of surgery must closely follow a post-surgery diet and exercise plan.
Mark Grant of the Southern Weight Loss (SWL) Clinic in Dunedin says that while most surgeries in humans will produce a range of results, the key post-op is to stick to surgeon and dietitian plans.
“Everything big has its price,” he says. “When you buy a Ferrari it’s a great car, but it comes with a high maintenance cost to keep it performing. In some ways, the weight loss is the same; it requires a plan to get its benefits.”
As the number of kiwifruit considered obese continues to rise, Grant says Grant is empowering people to lead healthier lifestyles and prevent the complications caused by being overweight.
His views come as the levels of obesity in New Zealand make dismal read. A 2017 survey by the Department of Health found that 34 percent of adults aged 15 and over are overweight, while another 34 percent, or 1.2 million people, are obese, up from 29 percent in 2012.
The latest data shows that around 900 weight loss surgeries were performed in New Zealand in 2014. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), around 228,000 people underwent the procedure in the United States in 2017, and around 580,000 worldwide each year.
Grant says most of the surgeries he performs are privately funded, but in some cases health insurance will cover up to a third of the cost, which ranges from $ 20,000 to $ 24,000 (fees that cover hospitalization and up to two years Cover Follow-Up Examination) to the selected option.
But he says the procedures are not necessarily suitable for everyone who is overweight. “To be eligible, people must be over the age of 18, have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 to 39 if they have obesity-related health problems, or a BMI of 40 and over with no problem Related to obesity.
In general, Grant says that weight loss surgery is suitable for those who are pathologically obese and who have failed to maintain the weight through other methods such as diet and exercise.
“You should also be referred by your family doctor who knows about existing illnesses or previous operations,” he says. “This is important because there may be conditions that prohibit someone from having weight loss surgery.
“I want all patients to be well informed about the risks and benefits,” he says. “You have to understand these things before undergoing surgery because they are the ones who have to live with them.”
He says the procedures are detailed on the SWL website and there are videos and brochures with information so that a patient is well informed even before an initial consultation with a patient.
At this meeting, Grant walks a patient through a 20-page questionnaire to determine if there are underlying medical conditions. The surgical options are discussed as well as risks and benefits.
“We will then ask you to see our nutritionist (and, if necessary, a psychologist in the clinic) who can identify all the reasons for someone overeating and prepare a pre-operative meal plan. He will also prepare a six-week meal plan after surgery and give them a daily protein goal to eat after surgery.
“Our goal is to set them up for success,” he says. “It’s a bit like running a marathon with a lot of hard work being done before the event. But if a patient doesn’t take a nutritionist’s advice or doesn’t exercise, they still may not lose weight in the long run. “
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Grant says there are three surgical options: gastric bypass, which not only reduces the amount someone eats, bypasses the beginning of the bowel (which affects the hormones that control appetite), gastric sleeve surgery, which reduces the volume of the stomach, and Mini gastric bypass, in which the upper stomach is divided into a tube and connected with a loop of intestine.
Results vary, but Grant says SWL will follow up patients regularly for two years.
Grant says obesity can cause many other problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, conditions that many health professionals are trying to deal with people individually.
More information is available at: southweightloss.co.nz