LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It’s well documented that obesity can be the source of problems from head to toe, including headaches, heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, fatty liver disease, infertility, joint pain and depression.
Dr. Amir Aryaie is a Texas Tech Physician who specializes in bariatric surgery. He says it is because of all those health problems that bariatric surgery is mostly covered now by insurance. Coverage is based on a formula that combines height and weight to come up with a BMI, or body mass index. But Dr. Aryaie says there are several combinations of numbers to consider when you include health issues with a certain BMI. He explains all that in the interview attached here.
Dr. Aryaie adds one thing that is misunderstood by many is that bariatric surgery does not bring a cure when the patient is healed. He says patients should plan on months of dieting and counseling after that first appointment, long before the day of the surgery. He explains, "We put them on a liquid diet, that includes clear liquids and protein shakes two weeks before the surgery and the purpose of that is #1, to show us that they are committed and #2, to help shrink the liver because fatty cells store in the liver, and a fatty liver gets enlarged and can get in the way of us doing the surgery."
After the surgery, he says the patient returns to a liquid diet for a period of time before a healthy diet is gradually introduced. Dr. Aryaie says the success rate and the rewards are great among patients who understand this is not a cosmetic improvement, but a major life change that calls for a lifetime commitment.
So, where is the first place to start if you’d like to learn more?
Dr. Aryaie suggests you discuss your weight concerns with your Primary Care Physician, who will consider your personal medical history and refer you to a surgeon if that appears to be the best option.