Summit Medical Center - Surgical Treatment Center Oklahoma City OK


Summit Medical Center Blog


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Combating Psychological Distress and Obesity

How often do you look in the mirror and beat yourself up over your weight? Do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? Well, you may be suffering from some psychological distress that stems from your weight and you are not the only one. In fact, obese individuals are 25% more likely to suffer from a mood disorder, like depression, compared to those who are not obese according to Everyday Health. While we all want to love our bodies, sometimes we might feel like we can't because it's hard to get in the right mindset.

The unfortunate reality is that we live in a culture that praises slim and toned bodies while shaming others who are obese and overweight. This harsh reality can be difficult to overcome, especially if you have been struggling with your weight your entire life. It is quite possible that you have tried everything in your power to get your weight under control, whether that was through diet, exercise or medication, but when it doesn't produce your desired results, it can make you feel defeated and depressed.

You may question why this happens - according to Harvard Health, over 400 different genes contribute to the development of weight and many affect metabolism rates, body-fat distribution and the feeling of fullness. This means that the struggle with your weight isn't necessarily due to diet, it can be due to genetics and that's one thing that no one can control.

While we all know obesity can cause adverse health problems, pairing that with the psychological toll doesn't make it any easier to overcome the problem. In fact, overweight people tend to have less energy than their normal weight peers and that makes it much harder for them get active. It ends up becoming a vicious circle where an obese person has a greater risk of gaining even more weight and that increases the chances that they are less likely to become more active.

So how can an overweight person battle their psychological distresses and obesity if all attempts to lose weight has failed? When all options seem like they have disappeared, they may be able to turn to bariatric surgery, which can change their life drastically for the better.

Bariatric Surgery By The Numbers
Bariatric surgery has progressed greatly since it was first put in practice and as medical technology improved, so did the procedure. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), approximately 16,000 procedures occurred annually in the early 90s. Fast-forward to procedure numbers in 2008 and an estimated 220,000 people underwent the surgery. Additionally, laparoscopic bariatric operations increased over 20% in 2003 to more than 90% in 2008. Plus, the in-hospital mortality rate decreased to a nominal 0.10% according to a study from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Opting for the procedure may give an obese individual numerous health and psychological benefits. For instance, the ASMBS cites that bariatric patients have a 60% reduced risk of cancer mortality, death associated with diabetes is reduced by more than 90% and mortality from heart disease declines by more than 50%. The surgery decreases the size of the stomach, which results in the patient feeling full much quicker and reduces the amount of food intake. After the surgery, the stomach will only hold roughly one cup of food in contrast to a normal stomach holding 4 to 6 cups of food. This, of course, cuts down the amount of calories an individual takes in and results fast weight loss.

However, depending on the specific weight loss surgery, food capacity can vary as there are three different procedures: lap band surgery, laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery. But, whichever bariatric surgery in Oklahoma that's performed at Summit Med Center, patients will immediately be put on the road to weight loss! Additionally, a bariatric patient may lose 30% to 50% of their extra weight within 6 months and maintaining a healthy diet with a proper exercise routine will allow them to continue to lose weight.

Once a bariatric patient begins to see results, they may also start to experience improved psychological well-being. Referring back to a study from Everyday Health, they found that patients who underwent surgery had 'an accompanying 18% reduction in their symptoms of depression and noted that younger patients, women and those who experienced greater weight loss were more likely to feel less depressed.' Additionally, they suggested that both, the procedure and visits with a psychologist, might be the best approach to combat the psychological distress associated with their obesity.

Is Bariatric Surgery Right For You?
The US National Institutes of Health only recommends bariatric surgery for obese people who have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40 or of at least 30 with an existing obesity-related medical condition like diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, severe arthritis or others. Your doctor will be able to determine your eligibility as each individual case is different and specific for the person who is considering the procedure.

If you think bariatric surgery in Oklahoma is right for you and you would like to learn more about the procedure, talk with the professionals at Summit Med Center today to go over your options!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For You?

Obesity is a common and widespread epidemic in America as it affects millions of adults and children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78.6 million adults (34.9%) are obese and 12.7 million children and adolescents (17%) are obese, which is a startling statistic. It's certain that many people struggle with their weight and sometimes it can be even harder to lose it; but did you know someone could be overweight due to their genes – it's not just diet or lifestyle factors anymore. In fact, some people who are overweight and obese have genetic mutations that contribute to the way their body's process food.
New discoveries have zeroed in on DNA-based markers that have shed light on the reason why it's so hard for people to lose weight. Recent research looked at the Mrap2 gene that's found in both animals and people, which affects certain bodily processes when it comes to food, appetite and metabolism. A study consisted of a group of mice that were fed the same number of calories as a group of control animals but they continued to gain weight despite having the same diet. This lead the researchers to figure out the mice with the mutated gene were sequestering the fat rather than breaking it down for energy use.

The researchers concluded that mutations found in the Mrap2 gene led the animals to eat less initially but still put on weight two times as fast than they normally would. The mice, like people, process two copies of this gene and even with one mutated copy, they will experience significant weight gain, and of course, it wouldn't be nearly as much if they had two mutated copies of Mrap2. After this finding, the scientists went on to study 500 obese people and found four mutations in the human version of Mrap2. In each person, they only had one bad copy of the gene but displayed similar results from the previous study with the mice.

With that said, people have believed for years that lifestyle and diet were the only contributing factors to weight gain, but with this new study, it could be due to a genetic mutation. It might make sense for some who suffer from obesity because they could be doing everything they could to lose weight but it is just not happening. Whether it's exercising, healthier dieting or weight loss aides, the weight could be a biological and genetically based.

Your Options
If diet and exercising isn't working for you, you might need to consider a different option that is a practically guaranteed way to drop the unwanted weight. By visiting Oklahoma City surgeons, you could be the ideal candidate for bariatric surgery that is one of the top ways to lose weight. The basics of this type of weight loss surgery involves altering the digestive tract in one way or another. This could include removing a part of the intestine or stomach, which will decrease the amount of food you could ingest. Ultimately, this would make a person feel fuller and more satisfied after a meal very fast and this would help your body lose weight.

After the surgery is completed, most patients experience weight loss at a very fast pace but some tend to put some of the weight back on because it was easy to initially lose it. However, patients who stick to a stringent diet and healthy eating choices can keep the weight off for years, making bariatric surgery a long-term solution to weight loss. In fact, depending on the specific bariatric operation, people will often lose between 30% and 50% of their extra weight in a 6 month time period after the surgery.

If you're struggling with weight loss and have tried every diet and exercise routine to lose weight, bariatric surgery might be the best option for you, especially in light of the Mrap 2 genetic mutation. 

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How Bariatric Surgery Continues to Improve Health

Have you considered bariatric surgery as a weight loss solution?

Bariatric surgery refers to a variety of surgical weight loss procedures,  including adjustable gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, roux en-Y gastric bypass, biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch and neuromodulation. Though bariatric surgery has been around since the 1960s, it first gained notable popularity as a weight loss solution in the U.S. in the early 2000s, as individuals sought out more long-term solutions to weight loss. In a culture of countless, often ineffective, diet fads, surgical weight loss is for many the sustainable solution needed to transform their habits, appearance and health. Today, approximately 220,000 individuals undergo bariatric surgery each year.

The Benefits

Bariatric weight loss remains a top choice for individuals struggling with obesity because unlike other options for weight control, bariatric surgery offers a more permanent, physical solution by actually shrinking the stomach. More importantly, it's highly effective. Studies find that, on average, in the three years following bariatric surgery patients lose 90 pounds.

The benefit of bariatric surgery extends beyond pounds lost; those that undergo surgical weight loss procedures can also reduce their risk of adverse health conditions related to obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality. One study even found that bariatric surgery decreased individuals' mortality rates by 89%. Research has also shown that bariatric surgery can  reverse existing Type II diabetes. The less disease and health risk, the fewer medications individuals need to take and the less money spent treating these preventable diseases.

Lower Costs, Decreased Risks

Bariatric surgery also remains a popular weight loss solution because it continues to decrease in cost and risk. Whereas initial approaches to bariatric surgery involved a significant abdominal incision, today bariatric surgery is minimally invasive  and is considered equivalent to other routine medical surgeries, like gallbladder removal. Patients also typically return home the same day of their procedure and can return to work after one week.

Bariatric surgery is further becoming a more affordable option for individuals. While the expense varies between states (Oklahoma has one of the lowest average costs for bariatric surgery), most insurance companies do cover at least one of the three main types of bariatric surgery, making it far less expensive for patients.

The fact that the American Medical Association officially deemed obesity a disease in 2013 may also explain, in part, the continued interest in bariatric surgery. Obese individuals are less burdened with the stigma that obesity is exclusively a "choice," and are more encouraged to treat their medical disease with a medical solution.

Who Is Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?

Candidates interested in bariatric surgery will need to consult with reputable healthcare organizations, like Oklahoma City surgery center Summit Medical Center. Candidates can't simply choose to have the surgery, they must be deemed eligible by a certified medical professional. This is for the health and safety of the patient, and surgery approval will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, bariatric surgery candidates must:

·         Maintain a BMI of 40 Kg/M2 or higher
·         Maintain a BMI of 30 Kg/M2  with at least one obesity-related medical problem

Specific obesity-related medical problems that may qualify an individual with a BMI of 30 Kg/M2 or higher include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, Type II diabetes, severe arthritis, acid reflux disease, joint pain and back pain.

Bariatric surgery candidates may also be those that are unable to lose weight even after medically-supervised dieting; in other words, bariatric surgery is typically not the first course of action for weight loss.  

Looking Ahead

A report from BCC Research predicts that the bariatric surgery industry in the United States will increase to $1.9 billion by 2018, up from 2013's 1.2 billion. Though a recent article from The New York Times reveals that the obesity rate in the U.S. has demonstrated a sustained decrease for the first time in 40 years, nearly 35% of adults are still obese. Bariatric surgery will thus likely remain a popular option for addressing the persisting obesity epidemic, particularly as procedures like laproscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laproscopic mini gastric bypass surgery, two of the safest and most effective gastric bypass procedures, continue to improve.

Learn more about the gastric bypass surgery options offered through Summit Medical Center's Wiseweight Bariatric Program by contacting us today! 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Signs of a Good Surgery Center

There are many doctors who offer surgery in Oklahoma City and a fair number of surgery centers. However, if your doctor has recommended a surgical procedure, it can be hard to know which center to head to, or to tell which ones are best. Here are five signs of a good surgery center that you can use to guide your search:

people performing surgery

1.  Specializes in surgery – A good surgery center is exactly that—a specialized clinic that focuses its practice on providing surgeries. They have devoted their resources to creating the ideal surgical environment, complete with the latest and best equipment. Generally, a doctor working out of a private practice without a complete surgery center will not have the same equipment and resources at his or her disposal. Dedicated surgery centers provide patients with more options and have protocols for emergency treatment where needed.

2.  Track record of good outcomes – Does this surgery center do the best job possible for its patients? Do they follow all best practices and have a high rate of good outcomes for their patients? What do doctors, professional associations, consumer reviews and the Health Department say about the center? These are questions you should ask when choosing the venue for your surgery. A little bit of homework can go a long way!

3.  Configured for wide variety of surgeries – Generally, a surgery center should have a variety of specialties and be fully-equipped for each one. For example, the equipment used in vascular surgery is different from than that used in many weight loss surgeries or gynecological surgeries, and all of them are different from neurosurgeries for nervous system disorders. Check which specialties your surgery center offers and make sure they cater to your specific type of procedure.

4.  Additional treatment options – A surgery center may offer specialized treatments such as a hyperbaric pressure treatment. They should have a pain management department as well and be capable of providing follow-up care after your surgery.

5.  Experienced, highly-trained surgeons – Perhaps the single factor that makes the biggest difference in patient outcomes after procedure is surgeon experience and training. A surgery center should understand this and have staff with specific areas of expertise, licensing and training in their respective surgical specialties, and experience performing such surgeries before. You should be able to meet the specific doctor who will be performing your surgery before the big day and ask questions about your procedure.

What else do you look for in a surgery center? Summit Medical Center offers the most comprehensive care for every surgical procedure. Call or contact us today to set up a consultation!


Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Things You Need To Know About Bariatric Surgery

There are more options than ever for bariatric surgery at our Oklahoma City medical center. However, many people aren't sure how it works or if it is for them. There are a few ways to determine whether bariatric surgery is right for you – talking to your doctor being the foremost. However, in the short term, here are five basics that you should know about the procedure that will help you make a decision:

1.  Can it help you lose weight?

Bariatric surgery refers to a number of different surgical procedures and all of them help with weight loss, changing your body shape or both. However, not everyone who wants to lose weight is a candidate for bariatric surgery. These procedures are generally recommended for weight loss only when other methods, such as diet and exercise, have failed. Additionally, bariatric surgery is mostly used for individuals who are extremely overweight—particularly if their weight is contributing to health problems in their life.

2.  Can it improve your life?

Bariatric surgery is most often recommended to help address specific health problems. In particular, if extreme obesity is contributing to health conditions such as heart disease, bariatric procedures can not only take off the weight, but alleviate these other conditions. An individual with heart disease, for example, is at much higher risk of heart attack if they are significantly overweight. Bariatric surgery can help patients manage a variety of conditions, including mobility issues and arthritis.

3.  How it's done

While there are many types of bariatric procedures, all involve removing or altering part of the digestive tract in some way. This can include removing part of the stomach or intestine, which reduces the amount of calories you can absorb from food, or controlling the size of the stomach or intestine with a "band" so that you feel full faster, or both. The surgeries aim to reduce the total amount of energy you take in from food, so that your body loses weight.

4.  What to expect after

Some bariatric surgeries are a permanent choice and cannot be undone; others, such as the lap band, can be removed with another surgery. None of these procedures are intended as short-term solutions, however. You will need to maintain a special diet after your surgery and stick with it. In the initial months after the surgery, this diet is very strict but you will have more options after about a year; nonetheless, you will always need to be very careful to eat small quantities and to exclude certain types of food. This is a matter of medical necessity – not just a recommendation.

5.  Will the weight stay off?

After the surgery you will probably lose weight at a dramatic pace. Eventually, your weight will stabilize and you may regain a small part of the weight you lost; however, if you follow all of the dietary requirements, you should keep the majority of the weight off long-term.

For more information on weight loss surgery at Summit Medical Center, you can talk to either of our excellent bariatric surgeons, Toby Broussard, MD, and Gregory F. Walton, MD. Contact us to set up a consultation today!


Friday, May 29, 2015

How Does Pain Management Work?

pain management sign held by doctor
Living with pain is much harder than people imagine unless they have been through it themselves. Chronic or long-term pain can affect every aspect of life, from your mobility to your ability to work at your job, and from your day-to-day happiness to your ability to concentrate or enjoy fun activities. But as severe as pain can be, most people don't just want to be given a prescription for pain pills—they want real pain management, and luckily there are many options for pain management in Oklahoma City that we offer here at Summit Medical Center.

Pain management refers to the process of eliminating the cause of pain, reducing pain, or making it easier to engage in everyday activities affected by the pain. It is a holistic approach to dealing with pain in your life. There are several aspects to pain management, including the following:
  • Physical/occupational therapy – This is a huge source of relief to many patients who experience pain as well as mobility issues or challenges working. Depending on the source of the pain, simply making sure to use the affected area in the proper way (avoiding movements that damage it) could make a difference. Additionally, exercises to strengthen the muscles involved or to stretch and mobilize them can go a long way. This will include both treatments in our pain management clinic and exercises at home.
  • Nurse practitioners – Nurse practitioners are experienced at helping people practice good self-care and make sure that their daily habits do not aggravate their pain.
  • Clinical psychologists – Some pain is caused by or exacerbated by stress. This does not mean the pain is "all in your head." It is very real pain that can be treated by identifying and reducing the sources of anxiety and stress in your life. Clinical psychologists can use proven therapy methods to intervene and reduce or release anxiety, potentially reducing pain.
  • Pharmaceuticals – In some cases, medications really are the best way to go, or should be used in tandem with the approaches mentioned above. A responsible approach to pain management uses pain killers where needed, but not as a "cure all" for every patient.
Of course, these are just the basics of how pain management works at Summit Medical Center. Our quality pain management program takes an in-depth, multi-pronged approach that depends on your specific needs and case history. This can lead to more comprehensive treatment of pain, greater pain relief right away, and better outcomes long-term. Call or contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Recovery after Weight Loss Surgery – What You can Expect

Weight loss surgery is a potentially life-changing operation and, while never something to take lightly, it offers hope to millions of obese individuals and those unable to shed weight through conventional methods. "Bariatric surgery" refers to the types of procedures that involve surgical weight loss. These operations have become increasingly popular in recent years, but how effective are they?

According to research from the National Institute of Health, surgical procedures for weight loss greatly reduce the health risks associated with obesity, including diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Many similar studies have backed up these findings, as well. The health benefits are clear, but you still need to know what to expect and Summit Medical Center is here to help you with that!

After Surgery

The actual procedure is a relatively fast one, typically lasting between one and two hours and recovery time varies depending on the specific procedure. Patients typically stay in the hospital for several days and most are able to return to normal activity in a few weeks. For the first week, you will likely experience some pain around the area operated on, but your doctor can provide you with medications for the pain, as needed.

During recovery, remember not to engage in any physically strenuous activity: avoid lifting any heavy objects for the first few weeks and be extra mindful around the house.


Because the procedure reduces the size of your stomach, it drastically changes how you eat. After the surgery, you will become full more quickly and will have to maintain a strict diet to ensure that you get enough vitamins and proteins. Ask your doctor if you should take supplements in order to prevent vitamin deficiencies.

For the first month, your stomach will only be able to handle small amounts of soft food and liquids. Avoid large meals and remember to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. You will be able to gradually reintroduce solid foods into your diet, but you will still need to monitor your portions carefully and avoid certain foods that are harsh on your stomach. While changing your eating habits in this way takes some time to get used to, you will see great results as you start to recover.

Follow Up Appointments

Your follow up visits are one of the most important parts of the recovery process. Your doctor will schedule an appointment seven to ten days after the surgery to remove the skin staples, but the visit will also include a review of your new lifestyle and changes in your diet.

The second follow up will be scheduled for approximately one month later, at which time your doctor will review your progress and make recommendations to assist with your recovery. Additional appointments will be made on a case by case basis. Between follow ups, it's important to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet.

If you decide on weight loss surgery in Oklahoma at Summit Medical Center, it helps to know what to expect. While there will be certain aspects of the procedure and your new diet that will be challenging, the results will be such a dramatic improvement that it'll be well worth it!