Welcome to the Official SAMPA Blog
With Coronavirus making its way around the United States, many patients have very legitimate concern about the infection prevention protocols that we, as a practice, and the hospitals at which we perform surgery, use. After all, no one wants to go in for medical care and leave with an infection. As a result, we’ve had a number of patients questioning whether they should delay their office visit or their surgery as a result of coronavirus.
Currently we are trying to minimize the number of patients who come to our office. We have begun to use Telemedicine for follow up visits on our routine bariatric patients.
As you already know, the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has spread around the world and has affected over 100,000 people that we know of. We are seeing quite a bit of misinformation on the true effects of the disease as well as how to manage it. The result, unfortunately, is one of creating a great deal of panic which is evident by fights over toilet paper, food shortages at stores and other impulse buying.
It’s a scary prospect. Having surgery for something that most of our peers believe is a personal failing – just eating too much or exercising too little. Indeed, feeling that bariatric surgery is a cop out or taking the easy way out is a common thought amongst our patients. However, once they attend a seminar or visit us for a consultation, they realize that obesity is much like other chronic diseases and needs to be treated effectively and over the long term.
But for those of you reading this blog or wondering if bariatric surgery is right for you, how do you know when you’re ready?
Before we get into the best ways to stay hydrated after bariatric surgery, it is important to understand how much water/liquid you actually need. There are varying recommendations out there, but the most common number you will find is 64 ounces. This is the equivalent of eight regular cups of water. However, you should know that in the hotter weather we experience over the summer or if you are exercising vigorously, 64 ounces may not be enough. Conversely, you also get hydration from much more than just water, including coffee and tea, juices, foods and even alcohol. So, if you are eating lots of foods that are high in water content, you supplement your hydration.
Q: Why is the gastric sleeve so popular?
About a decade and a half ago, the gastric bypass was the most popular bariatric procedure in the United States, the Lap-Band® was just being introduced and the gastric sleeve was still the first part of a two-part procedure known as a duodenal switch. In fact, back then, the gastric sleeve, as a standalone procedure, was considered experimental. Over time, after we would perform the gastric sleeve, we noticed that many patients were losing a significant amount of weight and were very happy. We were often able to avoid the additional surgical risk and some of the main drawback to the duodenal switch by stopping with the sleeve. This eventually caught on and patients and surgeons now often prefer the gastric sleeve to other surgeries.
Almost half of patients, both men and women will experience hair thinning after their bariatric procedure. This occurs due to the trauma of surgery, combined with reduced caloric and protein intake, both of which can enhance the resting cycle of the hair follicles and reduce their active cycles.
Many patients become alarmed by the thinning of their hair, but for most, it should not be a major concern. That is because hair loss after bariatric surgery is usually reversible, unless a genetic condition such as male pattern balding is also at play.
Colonoscopy. The dreaded, but necessary exam that we all know we will eventually have to take. But why is colon cancer screening so important? First, colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States and the incidence is only going to rise as our diets continue to include processed foods and other detrimental dietary choices for our gut health. Further, colon cancer is also one of the most detectable and preventable cancers today. Much like breast cancer, a national consciousness of colon cancer screening has improved detection rates and has consequently saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives over the past several decades.
When you discuss the gastric sleeve with your surgeon, one of the risks that you will undoubtedly hear of is worsened acid reflux after the procedure. Recent data has shown that approximately 35% of gastric sleeve patients may experience new or worsened reflux. This research aligns with our own operative data.
Knowing that this is a very real risk, we place an emphasis on reducing the likelihood of acid reflux after gastric sleeve, but if it does happen to manifest, we take aggressive action to keep the patient comfortable and reflux-free.
On December 5, Dr. Forrest Ringold became the first surgeon worldwide to use the newly FDA approved Synchroseal device. The device has been developed by Intuitive Surgical, the makers of the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System that Dr. Ringold uses for most of his procedures. Synchroseal docks seamlessly with the da Vinci robot.
Synchroseal is a completely new and innovative energy device for robotic procedures. Using two separate energy probes, the device can seal small vessels by cauterizing them to prevent bleeding during surgery. Further, a second probe can cut tissue simultaneously. In other words, we are able to synchronize the cutting and sealing of tissue for a more reliable, procedure.
Protein is an essential nutrient for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. Too often, we don’t get enough protein; or we get enough protein, but we eat too much of the other bad stuff that goes with it. After any surgery, eating enough protein is helpful for a quicker recovery. It is particularly important after bariatric surgery when caloric intake is very limited, especially in the first few months after surgery. The typical bariatric patient needs between 60 and 80 grams of protein every day. However, with 70 to 80% of the stomach not receiving food after a sleeve or bypass procedure, is becomes truly difficult, if not impossible, to get that from regular food alone.