Bariatric surgery: an opportunity to improve quality of life

The benefits of losing weight go beyond physical appearance. It turns out that for many people who have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise, bariatric surgery can transform their lives and improve their health.

“We offer these procedures to those people who have tried to lose weight in the traditional way and have not succeeded,” said Dr. Ana Santos, a general surgeon with a specialty in bariatric surgery and director of the Institute of Advanced Surgery and Obesity Control of the Cayey Mennonite Medical Center.

He explained that this hospital institution has performed over 4,000 bariatric surgeries since the Institute was created in 2001. This Institute is also considered a center of excellence and is certified by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Surgical Review Corporation.

Santos indicated that they have a multidisciplinary team and offer four bariatric procedures, such as: gastric bypass, gastric band, gastric sleeve and gastric balloon.

“Three-dimensional laparoscopy is the best option for patients who have uncontrolled diabetes with insulin use,” he said. On the other hand, he assured that the gastric band is performed in patients who have medical problems and their operative risk can be very high in other procedures.

Mennonite Medical Center (Supplied)

He commented that the gastric sleeve technique is a positive alternative for patients who have to lose weight, but do not have other medical problems. He added that in this procedure 75 to 80% of the stomach is removed.

Meanwhile, he mentioned that the gastric balloon is striking for many patients because it has no wound or hospitalization and is performed through an endoscopy. This method is temporary because after six months it is removed and used to lose 50 pounds or less.

“The surgical procedure is a very efficient tool, but it is not magical,” he stressed.

In addition, he specified that 80% of patients who undergo these procedures maintain their healthy weight for five years, while those who follow diets and exercises are successful in 50% of cases.

“It is beneficial for the patient to go to a place where they have surgical alternatives, because in other places they only offer you one of the options,” said the doctor.

Likewise, Santos educates his patients about the multiple complications caused by morbid obesity, permanent changes in diet, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

For more information or to coordinate an appointment, you can call 787-738-8084.

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