Dr. Johnell explains how he helps patients decide which bariatric procedure is best for them. Dr. Johnell is an advanced laparoscopic bariatric surgeon at the Banner North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado.
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Choosing a Bariatric Procedure to Suit the Patient Initially patients want to have obesity surgery. They don’t often know what they want. Most of our patients are very educated and aware of what’s out there. They will go on the internet and they will search. Initially they will search for obesity surgery or bariatric surgery or some other keywords. Some of them will come into our office not knowing what operation they want to have and most of our patients actually have done enough research on the internet that they will come in and ask for an adjustable gastric band. But there are some patients that are still not sure whether the best operation for them is a gastric bypass, for instance, or sleeve gastrectomy or a banding operation. They will ask me why I prefer doing the band procedures, even though I did gastric bypass for many years. What I tell them is that when patients in the past, a few years ago, asked me why they would choose a gastric bypass or another operation instead of a banding procedures, at some point in time I couldn’t really answer the question without telling them that if they wanted an operation that was as safe as could be, provided all the benefits of weight loss with the least risk then a banding procedure offered those benefits. The banding procedures are very, very safe. They are about as safe as doing a hernia operation or a gall bladder operation for patients. If a patient has a hernia they won’t even think twice about the risks of having that hernia fixed surgically – same thing with the gall bladder operation. They are symptomatic; their doctor tells them they have gall stones and they need to have their gall bladder out. If they trust their doctor and their surgeon they go ahead with the surgery. The banding procedures are about as risky as that, maybe even less risky, and the benefits of being able to have an operation, go home the same day, go back to work within a week and then within six months to a year seeing the results that we see with our banding procedures cannot be beat.

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