Dr. Naveen Ballem, M.D.
If you have been struggling with your weight and its health-related issues, weight loss surgery may be a safe and effective treatment for you. New minimally invasive procedures make it possible for more people than ever to achieve long-lasting weight loss and better health.
The surgeons at Hunterdon Medical Center are board-certified and skilled at the latest minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures for weight loss. For you, that means smaller incisions, less cutting of muscle and tendons, less post-operative pain, and a faster recovery. Patients are usually able to get back to normal activity within days.
If you have considered weight loss surgery or would like to compare all of your surgical and non-surgical options, you might not know how to get started. That’s why the Center for Advanced Weight Loss offers a program coordinator to help you every step of the way. B.J. Jacobson, RN, BSN, CHPN can answer your questions, guide you through the process, and assist you with all aspects of weight loss.
Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?
Surgery is not for everyone and the decision to have surgery should not be taken lightly. At the Center for Advanced Weight Loss, our team of surgeons, nurses, registered dietitians and licensed clinical social workers will work with you to evaluate your health, relative to the benefits and risks associated with bariatric surgery. Surgery is only an option for considerably obese individuals who have not been able to lose weight in other ways. To be considered you must:
- Be at least 100 pounds overweight or have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or
- Have a BMI of 35-40 with additional medical problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- Make a strong commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle after surgery
- Be committed to long-term follow-up
- Be in proper medical condition to undergo surgery
- Health Risk
- Amount of Weight to Lose
- Eating Behaviors
The decision to have weight loss surgery should be made after careful consideration and discussions with your surgeon, family, and friends.
Many steps are taken to make sure you are a good candidate for weight-loss surgery. Pre-operative screenings and testing must occur prior to someone having surgery. Required testing includes nutrition consultations, a behavioral health evaluation, a sleep study, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, and blood work. Additional testing may include an upper endoscopy study and cardiac testing. All of your testing can be completed at Hunterdon Medical Center.
Hunterdon Medical Center Offers Many Surgical Options
Once you have determined that you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, you and your surgeon will discuss the many options available to you. At Hunterdon Medical Center we offer the latest laparoscopic methods including gastric banding, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy. Your surgeon will help you choose the most appropriate procedure for you. View a comparison of the three procedures.
Gastric Banding is a potentially reversible treatment that consists of an adjustable band that wraps around the upper part of the stomach, dividing the stomach into a small upper pouch and a larger lower stomach. This procedure does not generally require hospitalization, and you return to normal activity the following day.
In the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and then attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the pouch to allow food to bypass a portion of the small intestine, causing your body to absorb fewer calories. With this procedure, patients are normally in the hospital for two days.
During the Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of the stomach, about the size of a banana, is created using a stapling device. The rest of the stomach is removed. Patients are normally hospitalized for two days.
All of these options limit the amount of food you can consume at one time and enable you to feel full sooner and stay full longer. As you eat less food, your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat energy supply. All of the options have been shown to offer significant health benefits in clinical trials.
Life After Surgery
Weight loss surgery is the beginning of your journey toward reaching your weight loss goals and living a healthy lifestyle. Your success depends on your commitment to making the necessary changes. But you will not be alone. Our team will stay with you to monitor your progress, provide advice on healthy eating, and support you physically and emotionally. We offer support groups for patients who have had weight loss surgery so that you can share your journey with others while achieving your weight loss goals.
Days after surgery you will be able to resume a light exercise routine. We can offer you a referral to join one of the Hunterdon Health & Wellness Centers at a discounted rate.
Dr. Ballem has been named a “Top Doctor” by Jersey’s Best magazine and Castle Connelly as a leader in bariatric surgery.
Naveen Ballem, MDSurgeon
Vivek Bansal, MDEndocrinologist (Clinton)
Harvey C. Rainville, MDSurgeon
Additional Staff & Specialists
B.J. Jacobson, BSN, RN, CHPN
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