I hope every one had a good turkey day….and didn't eat too much! So lets talk about "Dr. Google", have you met him?……
You know Dr. Google, don't you….the one with all the answers? He may not always be right but he's never in doubt! The reason I've dedicated an issue of my newsletter to "Doctor Google" is it seems that almost everyday I'm answering questions from patients who have read something in a chat room or blog or somewhere on the internet (you know…Doctor Google!) and now have a question about what they read.
I would say this happens most often with new patients who are quite often nervous and have lots of questions/concerns before coming to see us. Because of their concerns and questions they do what it seems everyone does….look on the internet and talk to Doctor Google. Now, I'll confess I do this as well (not about bariatric surgery obviously!) but about other things that I may not know much about.
I don't expect our patients will suddenly stop consulting Doctor Google but I at least want to make sure you (or anyone you know who is considering bariatric surgery) takes what he says with a grain of salt. If you read something out there that seems a little hard to believe I would recommend that you check it out with a real doctor….the kind that actually went to medical school!
Since I knew I would be writing this newsletter I decided to do a little research. I pretended I was a patient who didn't know much about bariatric surgery and wanted to find out what kind of nonsense (excuse me, information) is out there about bariatric surgery. So I went to my friendly Google search engine and typed in search terms like: Weight loss surgery, Weight loss surgery complications, Bariatric surgery complications, Is bariatric surgery safe, etc.
To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. On the first 2 or 3 pages of the Google search (and lets face it, does anyone really go past the first 2 or 3 pages of a Google search!) most (but not all) of what comes back is relatively accurate and reliable. Sites like the NIH (National Institutes of Health), ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery), Mayo Clinic (a famous hospital in Minnesota), Cleveland Clinic, WebMD etc. represent about three quarters of what comes back when you search using the terms I mentioned. All of these sites are trustworthy and present an accurate view of the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery. I would also mention that the Wikipedia page for bariatric surgery is a reliable source as well.
Unfortunately, there are of course a few bad apples in every bunch, so the day I did my search Doctor Google told me a few things I have to confess I didn't know. Doctor Google told me there is a 1% chance of dying in the first month after bariatric surgery! (Wow, that sounds dangerous….who would sign up for that…not me!) He also told me that if your a man between the ages of 35 and 44 you have a 5% chance of dying in the first year after bariatric surgery, apparently for women there is a 3% of dying in the first year after surgery. All of these "facts" that you can find on the internet are completely false, of course. If there is indeed any "research" to back up these types of claims it must be decades old. The actual fact is that bariatric surgery is extremely safe.
The point of this newsletter however is not to find and correct every bit of misinformation that is out there (that would be impossible). It is to simply let you know that if you read something that seems incredible/outrageous or just downright not believable, then don't believe it, but talk to an actual expert in the field. Also, if you are someone who has had bariatric surgery and seen the incredible results in your own life and you recommend a friend, family member or co-worker to our practice because you know they could benefit as well, don't let them get scarred out of coming because they read something on the internet. That would be a shame indeed.
In fact, I have a suggestion…if you have a friend, family member or co-worker who could benefit from the surgery, invite them to our Holiday Party! It's fun, even better its free(!) and your guests can talk to actual patients who have had the surgery and find out what the actual experience of having the surgery is really like……
Holiday Party 2015
If you haven't RSVP'ed to the Holiday Party then please do so. Remember, its in a new location, the Addison Park in Aberdeen Township, just off exit 120 on the Garden State Parkway.
As is our usual tradition the Holiday Party will be the first Monday in December, this year that is December 7th. Also, as always, it is open to all of our patients and their guests. You should have already received an invitation in the mail. If you know you are coming, then you can let us know by emailing us at: Kathy@gsbwc.com
Just to tempt you a little more, here are some pictures of the Addison Park to give you an idea of the type of place it is:
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Again, please save the date, Monday, December 7th and if you know you are coming please email us to let us know how many people you are bringing. Email us at: Kathy@gsbwc.com
If you want to get more of a sense of the place (and check out some more pictures) the website is here
As always, the party is open to all of our patients and their guests (family, friends, co-workers, etc). See you on December 7th!
If you've been to our facebook or website then you already know about our 'Patient of the Month' but in case you haven't been to either I always like to give a shout out here in the newsletter. This month our Patient of the Month is Dawn Chokov. She had the Duodenal Switch surgery in August of 2014….I'll let her describe her journey in her own words:
My name is Dawn Chokov and I am 40 years old. I had the Duodenal Switch on August 25, 2014 and have since lost 164 lbs and I am not done losing yet! Having weight loss surgery was the best decision of my life. Before surgery, I was always tired and it was hard to move and forget about exercising. Today, I feel awesome and my energy level is through the roof so I can go all day long. I also love working out with my personal trainer, which is something I never had the energy or strength to do before (I actually like doing planks!).
The most rewarding part of this journey has been the fact that my 16 year old daughter has lost 50 lbs over this last year as well. She eats healthy with me and she also works out with my personal trainer. She is so motivated that she works out at home too – I am so proud of her and proud of the influence I have had on her!
As far as the way I look, the reaction I get from people who haven't seen me in a long time is crazy when they finally realize it is me. I have to admit, although I do it less often now, I have been known to pass a mirror and then back up to look at myself because I just can't believe the transformation.
I can't thank Dr. Bilof enough for giving me back my life. What I remember most was that when I was apprehensive about doing the Duodenal Switch, which Dr. Bilof recommended because it would yield the most weight loss for me, I asked him to convince me why I should choose that surgery. Surprisingly enough, he responded that he wasn't going to try to convince me because it was ultimately my choice. But he gave me one bit of advice that immediately changed my mind; he said you have to be happy with the results. So I decided right then and there that I wanted to go all the way that I could and didn't want to look back and wonder "what if", so I chose the recommended surgery and I haven't looked back!
The staff at Garden State Bariatrics is phenomenal. They are helpful, friendly, knowledgeable and caring. I especially look forward to our monthly support group meeting where I have met a lot of great people and have learned so much from them and the staff running it. I truly consider the staff and my fellow patients friends.
This surgery was a life changer for me and I just know that I would not have been as happy as I am today without it. I love this new lifelong journey that I am on and can't wait to see where it takes me!
Upcoming Free Informational Seminars
The next Free Informational seminar is Wednesday, Dec 2nd in our Millburn office (225 Millburn Ave, Suite 204)starting at 6:30pm. Dr. Yurcisin leads the discussion on weight loss, your surgical options and "Is 'Bariatric Surgery is Right for Me?
The next informational seminar in Toms River will be on Thursday Dec 3rd, in our office at 1430 Hooper Ave, Suite 203, Toms River, NJ. It starts at 5:30 pm