Adolescent and Young Adults Bariatric Surgery

December 22, 2023

Dr. Jacobs’ Key Points

  • Adolescent bariatric surgery in a well-chosen patient can improve quality of life and reduce risk factors for adult metabolic disease.
  • Adherence to the post-operative lifestyle change is surprisingly strong in adolescent patients.
  • Concerns about growth and the developing body are legitimate but are well managed with proper follow-up care and nutritional supplementation.
  • In a specialized weight loss center, bariatric surgery in these populations is effective, safe, and long-lasting.
  • Weight loss medications are an option, but we don’t know their long-term effects.

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New Research Shows Long-Term PPI Use Increases Risk of Dementia

December 8, 2023

PPI medicine pouring out of medicine bottle

Dr. Jacobs’ Key Points

  • GERD is serious and must be addressed through lifestyle change, medication, and/or surgical means before it progresses.
  • PPIs can be an appropriate but TEMPORARY intervention for chronic acid reflux, known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease / GERD.
  • PPI should not be taken for longer than six weeks, and their over-the-counter (OTC) status does not mean they are appropriate for long-term use.
  • We’ve got options beyond the traditional surgical fundoplication.
  • Research the LINX reflux management device – a 15-minute, highly effective surgery with minimal downtime.

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Lilly’s Zepbound Is FDA Approved. Let’s Discuss This New Weight Loss Drug

November 24, 2023

injection medication being held by person with white glove

Dr. Jacobs’ 6 Key Points

  • Zepbound™ is the weight loss version of Mounjaro™, Lilly’s wildly popular diabetes medication prescribed off-label for weight loss.
  • This is a GLP-1 receptor agonist like Wegovy® but using a different compound (tirzepatide vs semaglutide).
  • The risk profile of Zepbound is similar to other weight loss drugs currently available.
  • This medication may be slightly more effective than Wegovy. However, they are virtually interchangeable, and some patients may do better with one or the other.
  • As with any weight loss option, patients must start changing their lifestyle through diet and exercise. Very obese patients should consider bariatric surgery.
  • Bariatric patients can speak to Dr. Jacobs about using medication symbiotically with their surgery to improve or maintain results.

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Will I Need a Revisional (Second) Bariatric Surgery or Conversion?

November 10, 2023

Surgical robot with operating room light behind

Dr. Jacobs’ Key Points

  • Revisions are reserved for a small number of patients who are regaining weight or having problems with their procedures.
  • Gastric bands are commonly removed and converted to gastric sleeves.
  • A gastric sleeve can be converted and revised, often for GERD or chronic acid reflux.
  • Weight loss medications may help some patients restart their weight loss or maintain their results.
  • The Gastric Sleeve Center is a leader in revisional surgeries.

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Can I Stretch My Gastric Pouch After a Sleeve?

October 20, 2023

Woman placing both hands on stomach

The gastric sleeve is the most commonly performed bariatric surgery in the United States and represents one of the most popular surgeries worldwide. The benefit of the gastric sleeve revolves around its simplicity; approximately 80-85% of the stomach is cut away and removed from the abdomen. This provides restriction, limiting how much food a patient can eat. In addition, however, the sleeve has a hormonal component that reduces hunger in most patients. Because the fundus of the stomach is removed, the main production center of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is also eliminated. The result is that patients may lose 60%, 70%, or even more of their excess body weight and maintain that weight loss for a significant amount of time – potentially for the rest of their lives.

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Comparing LINX to a Fundoplication

October 6, 2023

Woman experiencing GERD symptoms placing both hands covering chest area

With an increase in excess weight and obesity across the United States, there has been a commensurate uptick in chronic reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD is distinct from the occasional reflux (GER) we all get as it is more consistent and persistent. GERD can be loosely defined as having a reflux episode more than a few times a week for several weeks.

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Laparoscopy vs Robotic Surgery

September 22, 2023

Surgeon glove holding surgical instruments while performing surgery

Dr. Jacobs’ 5 Key Points

  1. In modern-day surgery, laparoscopy is the gold standard of care.
  2. Abdominal surgeries can be done laparoscopically or robotically. They are both minimally invasive techniques. The difference is in one (robotically), the surgeon sits in a console away from the patient in a non-sterile field, and in the other (laparoscopically) the surgeon is hands on at the patient’s side in the sterile field and operates.
  3. Robotic surgery and traditional laparoscopy are similar in safety and efficacy – the method depends on surgeon preference. In Bariatrics, robotic surgery has NOT shown a benefit to patients, and the robot is significantly more expensive than the standard laparoscopic equipment. The robot costs over $2 million plus a maintenance fee of hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly and more expensive instrumentation.
  4. I have had one leak in primary bariatric surgeries (gastric sleeves, gastric bypasses) in the last 14 years and two leaks in revisional surgeries during that same period of time.
  5. Performing bariatric surgery in an accredited Center of Excellence is also mandatory in my view. If a complication were to occur, this is where you would want to be.

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Fatty Liver Disease – An Underappreciated Concern in the Obese Population

September 8, 2023

Person holding fake liver in place of where real liver is located in bod

Dr. Jacobs’ 4 Key Points

  1. Fatty liver disease is prevalent (about 66%) in patients with excess weight and obesity.
  2. While most primary care physicians discuss cholesterol and blood pressure regularly, fatty liver disease represents an underappreciated but very real and potentially chronic problem for patients carrying excess weight.
  3. Bariatric surgery is an effective way to improve or eliminate fatty liver disease.
  4. The number one cause of cirrhosis today is fatty liver due to obesity.

As bariatric surgeons, we see the liver in every procedure we perform.

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Weight Loss Medications (Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, Zepbound) – What You Need to Know.

August 25, 2023

Two injections lying side by side on table

Dr. Jacobs’ 5 Key Points

  1. I encourage patients to lose weight. How it’s done doesn’t matter, as long as it’s safe. If you don’t want surgery, these medications can help you lose significant body weight and can improve cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk as a result. That’s great!! Be aware, high BMI (very obese) patients, may not lose enough weight on these meds.
  2. If you’ve had bariatric surgery and have regained weight, these medications may reboot your surgery and help you lose what you have gained. Weight loss medications and bariatric surgery can work hand-in-hand.
  3. When you stop taking these medications, studies show you regain the weight. It’s a long term commitment. This is why, if you don’t want to take lifelong meds (especially adolescents and young adults who need to be on meds for many many years), will benefit more from surgery. Some people may want to take these meds intermittently, we don’t know enough about that yet.
  4. If these medications don’t work for you, consider bariatric surgery (still the gold standard). Being obese or overweight is not good. Surgery is very safe and effective.
  5. These drugs are generally well tolerated but look out for pancreatitis, gastroparesis (paralysis of your stomach), severe constipation, nausea and vomiting, and unusual behaviors, including ideations of self-harm.

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Two Ways We Revise a Gastric Sleeve

August 11, 2023

Revision of gastric sleeves can be done in 2 ways. Either re-sleeve the stomach if it’s dilated or convert to a gastric bypass.

Which revisional procedure to perform depends on the individual scenario. But before proceeding with how to treat recidivism and/or reflux, one word of caution. These surgeries are technically more demanding, and only surgeons with extensive bariatric experience should be performing these surgeries.

I am proud to note that in the last 14 years, we have not had a staple line leak from these surgeries, encompassing approximately 30% of my practice.

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