Dr. Atwa Interviewed on Obesity After Weight Loss Surgery

December 16, 2022 | Obesity

At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, we realize that our patients’ struggles with obesity don’t end with weight loss surgery. Obesity is a chronic condition, which means that even after surgical treatment, our patients can experience relapses. This can be difficult for patients and their families to understand, which is why it’s so important that Dr. Hesham Atwa spoke on this issue in a recent interview for Long Island MD News.

In the article, titled “Treating Chronic Obesity Beyond the Initial Surgery,” Dr. Atwa states that a poor diet and insufficient exercise aren’t the only factors that contribute to less-than-satisfactory bariatric surgery results. Genetics and other factors can also play a role, so patients may not be successful in maintaining weight loss with lifestyle changes alone. It is crucial that weight loss doctors address all factors while offering patients support to achieve successful, lasting weight loss.

Genetics and Chronic Obesity

Weight loss surgery is an excellent tool in the fight against obesity, but it is not the final solution. As Dr. Atwa points out, even after bariatric surgery certain genetic factors can make a person more likely to gain weight. For example, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors (GLP-1R) may not respond to weight loss surgery. In people who respond well to weight loss surgery, GLP-1R levels increase, giving them a feeling of satiety after eating. In patients who aren’t fully responsive, the levels of GLP-1R don’t go up as high. This means they still feel hungry after eating, and this causes them to eat more.

Blame and Shame are not Helpful

One thing Dr. Atwa is careful to stress regarding weight gain after bariatric surgery is, “It’s important to take away blame from the patient.” He says, “Obesity is a chronic disease. When we treat somebody for cancer and the cancer comes back, we don’t say that we’re not going to do anything else because the cancer recurred. We attack it again. It’s the same with obesity. It can be in remission and come back, and we’re going to treat it again.”

Support is Key to the Fight Against Obesity

Not every bariatric surgery is successful, but patients still have options. If, after weight loss surgery, a patient regains significant weight, Dr. Atwa and the LILD team evaluate that patient to find out why. This includes monitoring diet and exercise as well as psychiatric counseling, and it also includes medical testing.

Once the doctors at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors understand the reason behind a patient’s post-surgical weight gain, they formulate a treatment plan. This may include nutritional counseling, therapy, weight loss medication, or even a second procedure. Patients are also strongly encouraged to participate in support groups, not only during the recovery period but for the rest of their lives.

Contact Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors

At LILD, our holistic approach allows us to understand the unique factors that contribute to each patient’s obesity so we can formulate a customized treatment plan that paves the way for lasting success. To learn more about our weight loss program, please contact us to schedule a consultation.