How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Dan Your Own Question

Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Bariatric Physician (MD)
Category: Bariatrics
Satisfied Customers: 385
Experience:  ASMBS Centers of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon
Type Your Bariatrics Question Here...
Dr. Dan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a 63 year old female. I am 55 tall and weigh 274 with

Resolved Question:

I am a 63 year old female. I am 5'5" tall and weigh 274 with a BMI of 45. I have been
healthy all my life but for the past 20 years have worked to lose weight without success.
I need to weigh 145lbs. I have been treated for high blood pressure 140/80, high cholesterol 210, and prediabetes 104-115 range plus fibromyalgia (mild) and osteoarthritis.
My most recent weight loss effort was using the HCG hormone on a 500 calorie diet and I lost 15 lbs. over a six week period. I tried to continue with it but the lack of energy and boring food made it hard to maintain - that was last May - July and then again Nov - Dec of 2010. I have since gained it all back.

Is it feasible to have bariatric surgery for a lapband at my age? What percentage of
patients have good results? What kinds of problems/risks/rewards should I anticipate?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Bariatrics
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 3 years ago.
Hi Joan,

First of all, to answer your question directly, no you are not too old to have weight loss surgery. I have surmised from your your previous weight loss attempts that you are in pretty good health and would likely tolerate Lap Band surgery very well.

How well patients do depends in large part on how much time and effort they put into the program, and how robust the program is in helping to motivate patients towards weight loss. For patients that don't really put much effort into making a lifestyle change, they may lose 30-35% of their excess weight with the Lap Band.

On the other hand, patients that make a lifestyle change, eat every 2-3 hours, get balance in meals (lean protein, brown starch carbs, veggies, and 1-2 servings of fruit per day), and exercise 2-3 times per week will oftentimes lose >90% of their excess weight. In those circumstances, the band is the missing link for them, allowing them to feel full and satisfied, but with less food.

A lot of the patient success comes from a robust aftercare program, usually provided by the bariatric surgeon's office. My office provides comprehensive nutritional and exercise counseling, as well as a robust support group that meets weekly. We have 1800 sq. ft. gyms in both of our offices (with trainers on staff) to help our patients develop a good exercise regimen.

When you choose your bariatric surgeon, look for an office that has a similar aftercare program and is dedicated to helping patients with their long-term goals. There are, unfortunately, a number of programs that are only interested in giving you the operation and not much else. ASMBS Centers of Excellence programs, in general, all have robust aftercare programs that will better assist you with your lifestyle change. If the surgeon does not have this certification (or a similar COE certification from the American College of Surgeons), I would avoid that surgeon.

As far as problems are concerned, band patients sometimes get food stuck in the band if it is too tight or the patient takes too big a bite of food. Most of the time that problem can be avoided completely by eating every 2-3 hours and never letting yourself get ravenously hungry. Hunger makes patients gobble food and eat too fast, so you want to eat before you get too hungry, and can take the time to slow down and chew the food well. Bands can get infected or leak long-term (each about 1% of the time), and very rarely the band can erode into the stomach (0.1% risk). Probably the biggest problem that crops up with band patients long-term is stretching of the pouch and/or esophagus. This comes from chronically using the band inappropriately, when patients wait for the band to tell them to stop eating. Proper band use is to start with a small portion, eat it, and wait and see how long it takes to get hungry. Most patients find that, when using the band this way, they are no longer hungry with much less food than they anticipated.

Good luck with your journey,
Dr Dan
Dr. Dan, Bariatric Physician (MD)
Category: Bariatrics
Satisfied Customers: 385
Experience: ASMBS Centers of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon
Dr. Dan and other Bariatrics Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
< Last | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Dan

    Bariatric Physician (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    377
    ASMBS Centers of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccullough52/2010-5-20_11217_dm2.jpg Dr. Dan's Avatar

    Dr. Dan

    Bariatric Physician (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    377
    ASMBS Centers of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrThomasMd/2012-7-25_134438_Imagess1.64x64.jpg Dr. Thomas, MD's Avatar

    Dr. Thomas, MD

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    46732
    Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, also Integrative, CAM, etc
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    76
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MY/mysticdoc/2014-6-23_23155_mysticdocimage.64x64.jpg Dr Basu's Avatar

    Dr Basu

    Experienced Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    15223
    MD
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2563
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drappapo/2013-8-16_22576_drdavid.64x64.jpg Dr. David's Avatar

    Dr. David

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    Treat children/young adults, former chief resident, multiple publications