What is Bariatric Surgery? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Bariatric Surgery?

To put it simply, bariatric - or weight loss - surgery is an operation that is designed to make people lose weight.  

"It usually happens by restricting the amount of calories a person can consume, or the amount of calories that are absorbed by the body," said Dr. Mike Trahan, a bariatric surgeon at Martha Jefferson Hospital.  

Typically, people who are more than 100 pounds overweight qualify for the surgery. That number may be lowered however, if other medical problems such a high cholesterol or high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea exist.  

"The candidates for bariatric surgery are folks who are so severely overweight; it's starting to affect their medical problems," said Trahan.  

If surgery is for you, there are two types of procedures from which to choose - gastric banding and gastric bypass.  

With gastric banding, an actual band is placed around the stomach to restrict the amount of food that's able to enter.  With gastric bypass, the stomach is surgically altered so that food can only enter a small pouch. No matter which procedure you choose though, surgery is just the beginning.

 "Lifestyle change is the most important part of bariatric surgery.  The operations are more like a tool that help people keep those lifestyle changes permanent," said Trahan.  

To learn more about bariatric surgery, you can attend a free information session put on my Martha Jefferson Hospital twice a month. The surgeons conduct the sessions, so you are able to meet them in person and get your questions answered.  For more information, or to register for one of the sessions, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.   

If you have a health question you'd like for us to answer, email us at healthquestions@nbc29.com.


Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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