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Bariatric Surgery and the $245 Billion Problem

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14
Jun

Ellen Evans, RD, is a registered dietician at Fletcher Allen Health Care in our Bariatric Surgery group.

Ellen Evans, RD, is a registered dietician at Fletcher Allen Health Care in our Bariatric Surgery group.

Did you happen to catch the story on WCAX last week about diabetes and bariatric surgery?

What you might not know is that the patient interviewed received her bariatric surgery at Fletcher Allen Health Care.  She is only one of many people to have successfully undergone a bariatric surgery procedure here at Fletcher Allen and saw her Type 2 diabetes go into remission.  Nationally, studies have shown that 55 percent to 90 percent of Type 2 diabetes can go into remission with bariatric surgery, depending on the type of surgery and the duration of the diabetes. Fletcher Allen’s surgeries include gastric bypass, the gastric sleeve, and the lap band.

Is the improvement in diabetes related to the weight loss seen after bariatric surgery? 

Yes, but – and it’s a very important but – improved diabetic control begins almost immediately after surgery even before significant weight is lost.  As Fletcher Allen endocrinologist Dr. Annis Marney explains in the WCAX-TV segment, the surgeries appear to change the hormonal signals coming from the gut. Insulin becomes more sensitive, chronic inflammation diminishes, and “belly fat” is reduced. This all leads to greater diabetes control. With diabetes costing the nation $245 billion per year, any decrease in this chronic disease is a good thing (Source: Economic Costs of Diabetes in the US in 2012, American Diabetes Association).

How do you determine if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery?

Easy. Just go to our web site and calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index), a number based on your height and weight that provides a way to estimate the effect of weight on your health. The higher your BMI, the greater the risk of some diseases.

If you meet the criteria, simply request information on the website and a packet will be mailed to you, including a health questionnaire.  Complete the Health Questionnaire, return it to us, and we will be in touch!

Now, your journey really begins.  Our program is interdisciplinary; that is, it has team members from various professions including surgery, nursing, psychology, and nutrition. The entire team works with you to prepare you for surgery and assisting you in making those lifestyle changes that can lead to permanent weight loss after surgery such as increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet. We look forward to helping you change your life.

Ellen Evans, RD, is a registered dietician at Fletcher Allen Health Care in our Bariatric Surgery group.

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