Summit Medical Center - Surgical Treatment Center Oklahoma City OK


Summit Medical Center Blog


Friday, September 26, 2014

Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?

With the opening of more weight loss centers in Oklahoma, weight loss surgery has become more common. Oklahoma is the seventh most obese state in the U.S., with nearly one in three adults qualifying as clinically obese. That leaves many Oklahomans contemplating weight loss surgery and wondering if it's right for them.

To know whether a weight loss procedure is the best choice, it's important to understand what makes an ideal candidate. Most weight loss surgery is performed on adults. Although childhood obesity levels are also on the rise, children are not normally candidates because their bodies are still changing and there are many alternatives to surgery (in some cases, where extreme obesity threatens a child's life, weight loss surgery may be recommended). These alternatives also exist for adults, and doctors do not suggest weight loss surgery as a first option. Normally, you should try diet and lifestyle changes (exercise, etc.) first – and surgery is only recommended if these fail. Most adults who receive this surgery have a serious weight-related condition, such as diabetes or morbid obesity, which makes the benefits of surgery offset the risks.

Although weight loss surgery has been refined greatly over the years, people should be aware that it is still a surgical procedure and there can be complications. There are many forms of weight loss surgery: some use a device like a sleeve to restrict the size of the stomach, and some reroute portions of the stomach or small intestine, or remove the parts that absorb the most nutrients or stimulate hunger. All of these procedures involve one or more incisions into the body and some are irreversible.

For many patients, those risks are considered worth it to attain a healthier body. Patients generally lose weight consistently for up to two years after their surgery, achieving results they were not able to get from diet and exercise alone. After this initial weight loss period, most patients will regain some weight, but not usually all of it. The net result for most patients is very positive.

Finally, be aware that weight loss surgery is a commitment to a new diet, which will be tightly controlled for at least a year after your surgery so that the food a person eats does not irritate the stomach and intestines as they heal. Even after this recovery period, there will be restrictions on both what patients can eat and drink and how much. It may be a good idea to spend several months eating a post-surgery diet before deciding to try weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is not for everyone. However, for those whose obesity is causing health problems, it can be an excellent option. What questions do you have about weight loss surgery?

If you are living in Oklahoma and considering weight loss surgery, contact us at Summit Medical Center today for more information. We can help you to decide if this procedure is right for you!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that is sometimes used at Summit Medical Center for patients with chronic wounds. A chronic wound is one that doesn't heal normally. Most wounds, given time and proper medical care, will eventually close up, cover over and heal. Scar tissue then forms, protecting the wound as it heals and ultimately allowing many patients to regain normal use of the area. However, in some cases a wound refuses to heal and is then considered a chronic problem.

There are several causes for chronic wounds. One is an infection that has set into the area and inhibits healing. Diseases, such as diabetes and venous disease, can also restrict the body's ability to heal itself. These conditions may also be influenced by nutrition, with certain dietary changes facilitating wound recovery. Also, many chronic wounds are caused by a lack of oxygen flow to the affected tissue, typically due to a lack of circulation. This may be the direct underlying cause or may be associated with infection or disease.

In some cases, especially when circulation and oxygen are an issue, doctors will recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a gentle, safe procedure which can help improve the body's ability to naturally heal a wound. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments, often antibiotics for infection. 

In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the patient lies in a hyperbaric chamber—a long, tube-like container in which air pressure can be controlled. The air pressure inside the chamber is slowly increased so that the patient and the wound are in a high pressure (hyperbaric) environment. This increases both the pressure on the tissue around the wound, and the amount of oxygen available to the body. It has several beneficial effects:
  • The higher oxygen availability improves oxygenation of tissue suffering from poor circulation. In other words, if only a small amount of blood can circulate through the area hyperbaric oxygen therapy allows that blood to carry more vital oxygen. 
  • It is antibacterial. The highly oxygenated environment hinders bacteria in the wound area. Ultimately, it enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics.
  • The pressure serves to constrict the blood vessels in the body, decreasing swelling and further bolstering circulation. 
  • It enhances the development of new blood vessels in the area of the wound. 
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not right for every chronic wound, but it is a powerful tool that doctors can use without relying on drugs or surgery, or in combination with these other treatments. Many patients find that this therapy gets their healing process back on track rapidly. Contact us at Summit Medical Center today and ask if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is right for you!