SEATTLE — According to the CDC, obesity affects more than 93 million men and women in the US, putting them at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. Following repeated attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise, many turn to bariatric surgery.

The team at Swedish Weight Loss Services can help you choose the surgical or non-surgical option that's best for you. Bariatric surgeon, Dr. Samer Mattar, Endocrinologist Dr. Fran Broyles, and bariatric surgery patient Edie Henderson, shared more about the benefits of bariatric surgery, as well as advancements in surgical procedures for long-lasting success.

"I wish I would've made the decision 20 years ago to do it," says Edie, who lost 100 pounds so far.

"The benefits are huge," says Dr. Broyles, "The reduction in the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol lowering, decreased cardiovascular events, joint pain, the improvement in the quality of life is profound."

Swedish follows the NIH criteria for bariatric surgery. "That is what most insurance companies will cover," says Dr. Mattar, "Patients who have a BMI above 40 or patients whose BMI is above 35 with the medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea."

Dr. Mattar says when considering Bariatric surgery, patients need to fully understand what they are getting into. Swedish has a comprehensive multidisciplinary program to evaluate patients and optimize them for surgery.

There are different types of Bariatric Surgery to consider. Dr. Mattar explains the Sleeve Gastrectomy is, "An operation where we change the shape and size of the stomach from that of a football to that of a banana or a hot dog." This decreases the stomach's capacity for food and removes the appetite stimulating hormone that is produced in the stomach, leaving patients less hungry and more satisfied.

Gastric Bypass surgery is more complex. "In that operation," says Dr. Mattar, " We create a small pouch out of the stomach and reroute the intestine to connect it to that."

Swedish holds free weight loss seminars for people considering bariatric surgery to get in depth information. "The surgery has come a long way in terms of safety," says Dr. Mattar, "The safety of these operations is now equivalent to natural childbirth." Registration is available online or by calling one of their locations:

  • Weight Loss Services at Issaquah Highlands Campus: 425-313-7948
  • Weight Loss Services at Seattle First Hill Campus: 206-215-2090

This segment is brought to you by Swedish. Watch KING 5's New Day Northwest 11:00 weekdays and streaming live on Connect with New Day via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.