Understanding Weight Loss Surgery and Its Benefits

SpaniolasKonstantinos Spaniolas, MD, FACS, FASMS
Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center

Research shows that new medical options, along with diet and exercise, can be helpful for individuals looking to lose 20-40 lbs. For patients with more excess weight or those with resistance to medical therapy, bariatric surgery offers a significantly higher chance of success both for health improvement and long-term weight maintenance. Here, Dr. Spaniolas speaks about the various weight loss surgeries available at Stony Brook Medicine and the benefits of medically supervised weight loss.

What types of weight loss options does Stony Brook offer?
At the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center, we offer the most advanced procedures such as Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, and Duodenal Switch. We also perform Revisional Bariatric Surgery for those who may have experienced suboptimal weight loss or resurgence of comorbidities despite having previous bariatric surgery. There are also non-surgical weight loss options such as medicinal weight loss, and diet and nutritional counseling for patients who don’t qualify or who elect not to have surgery.

What is involved in bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery makes the stomach smaller, so you feel satisfied with less food. Some types of bariatric surgery change the way we absorb foods, so that fewer calories are absorbed from what is eaten. To work most effectively, bariatric surgery should be part of an ongoing process toward transforming your health through lifestyle and behavior changes. However, it is not an automatic fix. With surgery, a patient can experience an 85 to 90 percent chance of maintaining significant weight loss.

What are the health risks and benefits associated with bariatric procedures?
The benefits of bariatric surgery significantly outweigh the risks. The chance of experiencing a serious complication during surgery is less than 2 percent. Patients who opt to have bariatric surgery experience a significant improvement in their cardiovascular health and weight-related health problems, such as diabetes. Studies have shown a 30 to 40 percent long-term decrease in the chances of heart attacks or strokes, and three years of longer life expectancy. This cardioprotective effect of surgery is unmatched with any other single intervention. For those living with diabetes, bariatric surgery allows for better glucose control and often eliminates the need for anti-diabetic medications altogether. The chance of developing diabetic complication, such as eye and kidney disease, is decreased by 25 to 50 percent after surgery.

How do I know if I am a candidate for bariatric surgery? 
If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or over, with associated medical problems (most commonly hypertension, diabetes, abnormal lipids or sleep apnea), or with a BMI of 40 or over, even without comorbidities, you may qualify for bariatric surgery. It is important to consult with your provider to determine the best option for you.

Why should I choose Stony Brook for medically supervised weight loss?
We are committed to helping every individual during their transformation, even after surgery. Our interdisciplinary team of professionals is a part of every step of the weight loss journey, and will continue to meet with patients routinely during the first year after surgery, then annually or more frequently if needed. Most surgeries are performed laparoscopically or robotically, which means minimal scarring and faster recovery times.

The Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center is conveniently located throughout Suffolk County, with offices in Centereach, Commack, Hampton Bays, Holbrook, Riverhead, Southampton and Stony Brook. To learn more, visit bariatrics.stonybrookmedicine.edu or call (631) 444-BARI (2274).


Free Patient Education Seminars

Change Your Weight, Change Your Health, Change Your Life

Choose between an informational video webinar, or register for one of our live monthly patient education seminars hosted by our expert faculty. Call (631) 444-BARI (2274) to register. 
Visit bariatrics.stonybrookmedicine.edu/seminars for more information.