Am I suitable for weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is most effective for patients who demonstrate medical need for weight loss. This is usually determined through a measurement called the body mass index (BMI). The BMI is calculated using your height and weight and is frequently used as an indicator of the amount of body fat. Individuals qualify for weight loss surgery if they have a BMI greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 accompanied by other health problems (known as comorbidities). These include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and high cholesterol. Calculate your BMI >
Successful weight loss is a continuous process that does not end at surgery. It involves dedication and a commitment to making sustainable lifestyle changes. As a result, we recommend that our patients have a good support system prior to weight loss surgery. Whether it be a family member, friend, or group of like-minded individuals, having the right support system improves the journey.
Does weight loss surgery last? Will the weight come back?
It is common for patients to regain some weight (about 5%) back following surgery. However, long-term studies demonstrate that most bariatric surgery patients are able to achieve and maintain sustained weight loss.
Patients experience an average excess weight loss of 66.5% after gastric bypass surgery. Most often, patients are able maintain this level of weight loss for 5 years. In some cases, the effects of gastric bypass surgery may last 15 years. For other procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy, studies have shown that patients are able to maintain their weight loss beyond 5 years after surgery, with the average excess weight loss remaining at greater than 50%.
To learn more, visit our Bariatric Surgery site.
I have a thyroid nodule. Could it be cancerous?
Thyroid nodules are very common, especially in older women. The good news is that most thyroid nodules are benign (not cancerous). An ultrasound of the neck is the best way to evaluate thyroid nodules. Most nodules that are larger than 1 cm and have suspicious characteristics on ultrasound are evaluated with biopsy. This will determine whether the nodule is benign or suspicious for cancer.
I was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Does my entire thyroid gland need to be removed?
Recent guidelines from the American Thyroid Association support either removal of half of the thyroid (thyroid lobectomy) or the entire thyroid (total thyroidectomy) for low-risk thyroid cancers. This includes papillary thyroid cancers that are up to 4 cm in size. The extent of surgery can now be individualized based on characteristics of the tumor and the patient. We carefully examine the tumor with ultrasound to look for any extension or break outside of the thyroid capsule and any spread of cancer to the lymph nodes in the neck (which would make a total thyroidectomy necessary). If these high-risk features are absent, removal of half of the thyroid may be appropriate in many cases.
My calcium level has been high in my blood test. What could be the cause?
The most common cause of high calcium is hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid gland). This can be determined by checking the calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, which are both high in hyperparathyroidism. Other causes of high calcium include cancers, inflammatory conditions such as sarcoid, and medications (such as certain diuretics).
To learn more, visit our Endocrine Center site.