In a world where obesity is becoming a norm, Dr. Erica Podolsky at South Palm Beach Surgical Associates in Boca Raton, Florida specializes in helping her patients find a healthy and sustainable weight. Through medical weight loss management services and bariatric surgery, Dr. Podolsky creates an actionable weight loss plan that improves not just quality of life but reduces the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term for a variety of procedures designed to promote weight loss in patients who are clinically obese. These types of surgeries strive to induce weight loss by making changes to the digestive system to limit food absorption. The various forms of bariatric surgery include gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, both specialties of Dr. Podolsky.
Gastric bypass is one of the more common types of bariatric surgeries, and probably the best-known by healthcare consumers. Often surgeons prefer this method as well, because it tends to be less complex than other forms of weight loss surgery, so it leads to better patient outcomes with fewer complications.
Gastric bypass involves dividing the stomach into two pouches. The top one is for food collection, and the bottom is considered a remnant pouch. Dr. Podolsky rearranges the small intestine so it connects to both pouches. The goal is to limit the food intake a patient can manage in one sitting. The top pouch is generally about the size of a thumb, meaning there is a significant reduction in storage space for food intake.
Gastric sleeve surgery involves the actual removal of part of the stomach. The "sleeve" comes from the tube-like organ left once Dr. Podolsky takes out about 15 percent of the stomach. The goal is much the same as gastric bypass. Although the stomach left in place is a little larger than the pouch created through gastric bypass, it still limits the space for food intake.
Today, laparoscopic technology makes these two complex procedures much easier. Instead of making one large incision, Dr. Podolsky is able to make smaller ones and works using a tiny camera inserted into the abdomen. This means shorter hospital stays, less bleeding and patient discomfort, and fewer potential complications.
This is an extreme form of weight loss, usually reserved for those patients with a BMI of over 40 or for those with a BMI ranging from 35-39.9 who have a medical necessity, such as diabetes or sleep apnea. The patient must also attempt to lose weight using more conservative methods like diet and exercise.