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Maintaining a Healthy Weight


By Gail Benner

*An individualized, multi-disciplinary approach is essential for maintaining a healthy, as what works for one person may not work for another.
A comprehensive weight loss surgery program can help patients get to and maintain a healthy weight. Michael R. Kammerer, M.D., Bariatric Surgeon at Jefferson, pointed to research that shows patients, on average, can see up to a 70 percent loss of their excess weight in an 18-month time period after the procedure. In addition, most patients with diabetes, hypertension and/or sleep apnea see usually improvements in these conditions after surgery.

"Weight loss surgery works because it is part of a full multidisciplinary approach to weight loss," said Michael R. Kammerer, M.D., bariatric surgeon at Jefferson. "A good weight loss surgery program will involve the patient in not only medical and surgical intervention from the surgeon, but also dietary counseling from a registered dietitian skilled in weight loss surgery, and exercise counseling from physicians, nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants."

Dr. Kammerer explained that weight loss surgery enables patients to feel full on a smaller volume of food, and also helps to decrease hormones involved in appetite stimulation. This means that patients are able to undergo a more significant calorie restricted diet to lose more weight and maintain a healthy diet for a longer term.

"Though the surgery is more successful than diet and exercise alone, it still requires diet and exercise in conjunction with the surgical procedure," Dr. Kammerer said. "Despite the physiologic benefits of the surgery, patients who do not engage the assistance of their weight loss surgery program are at risk of not maintaining their weight loss." Weight loss surgery will work for patients who qualify for surgery and are willing engage in a comprehensive weight loss surgery program. This involves surgery, medical management, dietary adjustment and a good exercise program.

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