Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gastric bypass surgery: Lifestyle change & lifetime commitment

McAllen, TX
I have been working at my hospital since 1986, and I was obese most of my life.

In 2004, my hospital began offering weight-loss surgery. I had health problems such as hypertension and metabolic syndrome. I was never able to lose enough weight to make a difference in my hypertension.

I made the decision to have a Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass.

Within 3 months postop, I was able to stop taking of my glucophage, as well as medication for my hypertension, which I had taken for 17 years.

I am now the Bariatric Program Manager as well as a Certified Bariatric Nurse and we have achieved ASMBS Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery.

I enjoy being a resource person for our patients undergoing weight loss surgery and for those considering weight loss surgery. I want everyone to be as successful and as happy as I am with this life changing procedure.

Weight-loss surgery is not without risks, but neither is being obese. I tell everyone this is a personal decision that only they can make. It is a lifestyle change and a lifetime commitment. Make sure you do your research and put yourself in the most experienced hands possible.

Medicare and some insurance companies are only reimbursing procedures done at facilities that have achieved ASMBS Center of Excellence by the Surgical Review Corporation or American College of Surgeons Level I Certification.

Weight-loss surgery is a treatment for obesity and is done for health reasons. It is not a cosmetic procedure.

To qualify for weight-loss surgery you should have a BMI of 40 or greater, or 35-39 with comorbid conditions such as diabetes, depression, hypertension, urinary stress incontinence or sleep apnea, just to name a few.

Remember, surgery is a tool that should not be taken for granted.

By Paula Kilgore, RN, CBN
McAllen, TX

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