Weight Loss

 

 

 

Mobile Infirmary's Bariatric Center of Excellence

Weight Loss Surgery FAQs

Why Mobile Infirmary? 

For more than 30 years, Mobile Infirmary has specialized in weight loss procedures and long-term care to help patients take control of their weight and their health. We are committed to providing you excellent care and ongoing support in your weight loss journey. The awards and certifications we have received show our dedication to you. To help you reach your goals, we offer a wide range of services and supports, many at absolutely no cost to you. As the Gulf Coast's first and most comprehensive surgical weight loss program, Mobile Infirmary’s Bariatric Center of Excellence offers our bariatric surgery patients:

  • No cost weight loss surgery seminars for interested patients
  • Preoperative education and access to support groups for patients and their support team
  • On-staff bariatric dieticians
  • Specially-trained nursing staff working in a dedicated bariatric surgical unit
  • Private rooms with specialized equipment and furniture
  • Advanced bariatric surgical technology, including DaVinci robotic surgery
  • Post-operative education and lifetime support
  • Lifetime access to support group meetings, both in person and online
  • Complimentary three-month membership to ProHealth Fitness Center, Thomas Fitness Center or North Baldwin Fitness Center
  • No cost one-on-one consultation with an exercise physiologist

Is weight loss surgery right for me? 

When most people consider weight loss surgery, they have tried for years to lose weight. Fad diets, extreme exercise regimens and gym memberships have left them exhausted and feeling like failures, looking for a solution that can really work. They know the frustration of losing weight by intense and extraordinary changes, only to regain after the fad diet fails or when they are injured during extreme exercise.

Weight loss surgery is not the answer for everyone, but it may be an option for you. Weight loss surgery isn’t a quick fix but provides a powerful tool to make lasting diet and lifestyle changes that support a healthy weight and a healthy life. Choosing to have surgery is a major decision, and not one to make on impulse, but Mobile Infirmary offers free informational seminars to help you begin your research and decision-making.

Do I qualify for bariatric surgery? 

To qualify for bariatric surgery, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a BMI over 40 or BMI over 35 with a diagnosis related to obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or sleep apnea
  • Have documentation that you have been unable to achieve a healthy BMI for a sustained period of time (determined by your insurance provider)
  • Be willing to actively participate in follow-up care and bariatric support group meetings

Where do I start? 

If you think you may qualify for bariatric surgery, the next step is to attend a free seminar. These seminars are hosted by Surgical Association of Mobile, P.A. (SAMPA) and are presented by a highly qualified bariatric surgeon. To reserve your seat at a seminar, click here or call SAMPA’s offices at (251) 433-2609. This seminar will cover a lot of information and give you a chance to learn about each procedure.

The seminar will address:

  • Health risks of obesity
  • Different options for bariatric surgery
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each procedure
  • Benefits and risks of surgery
  • Qualification process

What are the options for surgery?

We perform several different types of weight loss surgery at Mobile Infirmary. Which surgery is best for you is a decision you will make with your surgeon. Each surgery is different, just as each patient is different. Your surgeon may recommend one procedure over another based on your existing health conditions and needs. No matter which surgery you ultimately choose, we are committed to caring for you and helping you achieve your weight loss and health goals.

da Vinci Bariatric Surgery 

Instead of the large abdominal incision used in open surgery, most bariatric surgeries at Mobile Infirmary are either laparoscopic, or robotic, using the da Vinci system. Laparoscopic surgeries use small incisions, cameras, and special instruments to perform your surgery, while da Vinci robotic surgery uses similar small incisions, with your surgeon guiding the robot through your operation. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. These features enable your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. Both da Vinci robotic surgery and traditional laparoscopic surgery offer lower rates of complication and shorter hospital stays than traditional open surgeries.

As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci Surgery offers the following potential benefits:

  • Low rate of complications
  • Low rate of wound infections
  • Short hospital stay

As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci Bariatric Surgery offers the following potential benefits compared to traditional laparoscopy:

  • Much lower rate of gastrointestinal leaks
  • Lower risk of needing follow-up surgery
  • Lower risk of converting to open surgery
  • Reduced surgeon fatigue5 (due to the da Vinci Systemergonomics)

Weight Loss Procedures:

Gastric bypass (Bypass or Roux-en-Y)

During this procedure, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch and attaches a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a large portion of the small intestine, where calories and nutrients are absorbed. Having the smaller stomach pouch causes patients to feel fuller sooner and, therefore, eat less. The changes made to the anatomy during gastric bypass are fully reversible if needed in the future.

Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy, Vertical Sleeve Gastretomy or "the Sleeve")

During sleeve resection, the surgeon creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach, which is larger than the stomach pouch created during Roux-en-Y bypass. No changes are made to the intestines. Changes made to the stomach are not reversible.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS, or “the Switch”)

Biliopancreatic Diversion is a complex procedure. The gallbladder is removed, and the stomach is resected in a way similar to the sleeve gastrectomy above. Much of the small intestine is bypassed, greatly limiting nutrient absorption. This surgery is only available to patients who meet their surgeon’s specific criteria.

Adjustable Gastric Banding

A silicone band and an injection port are implanted during gastric banding. The silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach and molds the stomach into two connected chambers. The injection port is attached to the abdominal wall, underneath the skin and connected to the band with soft, thin tubing. The doctor injects saline solution into your band through the port. Adding saline increases the restriction of the band and helps the patients feel fuller sooner. Surgeons now utilize single incision laparoscopic surgery through the belly button for some gastric banding procedures. Reducing the number of incisions means faster recovery times, less pain and less risk of infection or bleeding.

 

What else can I do? 

Speak With Your Insurance Company:

Ask your insurance provider what benefits are available to you. You can look in your plan coverage booklet or speak to a customer service representative.

Questions to ask:

  • What procedures are covered?

  • What are my plan’s requirements to authorize surgery?

  • What is my deductible, and will I have a co-pay?

Select a Surgeon to Work With

Schedule consultations with surgeons, ask for recommendations and read reviews. Meet your selected surgeon to determine what pre-operative steps you need to take as you prepare for bariatric surgery. Establish a relationship with your surgeon and their staff, as they will be an important part of your care team going forward.

Prepare Your Body and Mind for Surgery

  • Educate yourself about surgery recovery, and learn about post-operative diet and lifestyle changes.

  • Begin a journal to track your eating habits, your exercise, and your moods and feelings.

  • Explore exercise you enjoy. Find a movement that is not only good for your body, but that helps you release stress.

  • Experiment with recipes, finding ways to make favorites in healthier ways, and trying new flavors and cooking methods.

  • Learn about goal setting, and create a map of your continuing weight loss goals. You may want to include goals with numbers such as weights and clothing sizes, but also include goals that are not about numbers. Goals like “fly without a seatbelt extender,” “have normal blood pressure without medication,” and “feel good wearing a swimsuit to the beach” focus on how weight loss improves your health, and the positive effects on your self-confidence and lifestyle. Setting many goals for yourself lets you celebrate every step of your progress.

What If I Have More Questions?

For more information about weight loss surgical procedures, seminars, and support groups, call Mobile Infirmary’s Bariatric Program Coordinator at 251-435-2780, or email Bariatric.Coord@InfirmaryHealth.org.