Expert: Gastric Bypass

Robert L. Korn, M.D., F.A.C.S. Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery

Surgical treatment for obesity

The Problem:

Obesity has become a national epidemic and is now the number one threat to public health in the United States. It is estimated that over 15 million Americans are morbidly obese, that is more than 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. Obesity greatly increases the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, degenerative arthritis, gastric reflux disease, as well as breast, uterine, colon and prostate cancer. Obesity is also known to significantly shorten life expectancy.

A Solution:

The medical literature has thoroughly documented that diets, even those supervised by physicians, simply donÕt produce long-term significant weight loss for patients that are 100 or more pounds overweight. Over 98% of morbidly obese patients who diet either lose only a small portion of their weight or subsequently gain it all back. Unfortunately, these patients usually end up weighing more after each attempt at going on a diet.

Of all the methods of weight loss, the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass provides the best profile of successful long-term weight loss, quality of life and patient safety. Laparoscopic gastric bypass is a much more effective weight loss procedure than laparoscopic gastric banding. With gastric bypass, patients loose, on average, 70% of their excess weight in the first year after surgery. This is more than twice the weight loss associated with gastric banding. This rapid weight loss is not only safe, but most patients are able to keep the majority of this weight off for 10 or more years. International data indicate that long-term weight loss has been disappointing with gastric banding, with 10 year weight loss of only about 25% of excess body mass.

Gastric bypass has also been shown to significantly increase life expectancy in obese patients, when compared to optimal medical management without surgery. Gastric bypass leads to resolution, in the majority of patients, of high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, reflux disease, urinary stress incontinence and chronic headaches. The health improvement, longevity of weight loss, quality of life and patient safety profile of laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is without equal.

How Does Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Really Work?

Gastric bypass offers overweight patients two very powerful tools to help them change their eating habits. After gastric bypass, patients consistently experience and report a major decrease in their appetite. They report little to no craving for food, even while consuming much less food than they did before surgery. In addition, patients report a feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating very small portions.

Everyone who has been on a diet knows the constant hunger that both becomes wearisome and dooms the dieter to eventually eat more, thereby regaining their weight. Gastric bypass works because it liberates the patient from this urge to eat and thereby helps them succeed in making long-term changes in eating habits.
More about the surgical procedure:

The laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure is performed in a little over 2 hours and involves a 2-3 day hospital stay. Patients begin drinking liquids the morning after surgery and are frequently able to go home on the second day after surgery. Patients are seen in Dr. KornÕs office 2-3 times in the first 10 days after surgery to ensure healthy, safe progress at home.

Exercise (walking) begins the night of surgery and patients are instructed regarding increased exercise, often in the gym, by the end of the first week after surgery. Patients are encouraged to take about three weeks off from work, so they can prioritize a healthy diet and exercise program before they return to their daily work schedule.

How to be successful Š choose the right program:

Learning how to use the gastric bypass procedure to build a new and different life is the key to success. Dr. Robert Korn offers monthly seminars that begin this educational process. Patients are instructed regarding their suitability for gastric bypass surgery and are taught about the thorough pre-operative work-up of medical issues. The clinical experience of the procedure itself is also discussed in detail.

Dr. KornÕs bariatric program includes extensive personal contact with the surgeon, as well. Nutritional instructions are provided before surgery, after surgery, and on a long-term outpatient basis by registered dieticians with expertise in bariatric nutrition.

Pre-operative psychological and medical evaluations are performed to insure the safety of the surgical experience and the peri-operative exercise program. Psychological evaluation and support are provided by licensed psychologists both before and after surgery.

Dr. KornÕs program is focused on providing the professional services that each patient requires to make the transition to a far more healthy body and a more healthful lifestyle.

Dr. Korn is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. He is certified in both general surgery and critical care by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Korn participates fully in the bariatric program at St. LukeÕs Regional Medical Center.

Is bariatric surgery right for you?

Dr. Korn offers information seminars to the public, free of charge. Seminars will be offered at St. Luke's Downtown Boise Campus, Anderson Center, fifth floor at 5:30p.m. on the following dates:

February 20, 2007 - Conference room Ada 1
March 20, 2007 - Conference Room Ada 1
April 17, 2007 - Conference Room Ada 1
May 15, 2007 - Conference Room Ada 1

Please call 367-7160 to register. Private appointments are also available with Dr. Korn. Please call 367-7160 to schedule a personal consultation.