New technology and high obesity rates are making bariatric surgery more common, especially in the San Antonio area.
Dr. Sonny Cavazos, who specializes in Bariatric Surgery at Northeast Baptist Hospital, says South Texans have unique challenges when it comes to weight, including a warmer climate, and access to culturally-rich foods.
“Obesity rates in San Antonio are very high,” Cavazos said. “San Antonio is usually in the top 5 cities most obese cities in the nation.”
Because of that, Cavazos said many patients opt for bariatric procedures, which include gastric bypass and the Lap Band, when other methods of losing weight fail. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher are eligible for these procedures, but must attempt weight loss through other avenues first.
But in many cases, bariatric surgeries can be a patient's last choice.
“I think because the risks are so much less today, and because there are more and more patients that have had in the past,” Cavazos said. “Those people are out in the community and giving good word of mouth, so to speak, to encourage other people with the same problems to come out and seek the same solution.”
As with any surgery there is a risk involved, so Cavazos says to talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.