Author: bell

Natalie’s testimonial: gastric sleeve surgery is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself

Before and After Photo of Gastric Sleeve Patient

Before and After Photo of Gastric Sleeve Patient


I had always been small and petite throughout my life and even competed in pageants like Miss Alabama. Then, after having two children and gaining weight each time and going through menopause, I really packed the weight on and was never able to lose it all.

I became uncomfortable with myself after I gained weight. I stopped wanting to go out and it got to the point where all I did was go to work and come home. Once I realized I was over 200 pounds, I said “okay that’s it.”


I had talked to a few people who had gastric sleeve surgery, and I finally decided that I was going to go talk to a doctor and see if I was a candidate.


I decided to visit a few different doctors and get a better feel for what to expect. I met with one group and I just felt like I was in a cattle call there. There was no sense of personalized service so I decided to keep looking and that’s when I found Dr. Long.


I made an appointment to see Dr. Long and I felt totally comfortable with him from the start.


He spent an enormous amount of time with me going over everything and making sure I understood all of my options. After talking through everything, he told me he believed gastric sleeve surgery would be the best option for me.

The process leading up to the surgery was very simple. We scheduled my surgery about two weeks after I first met with Dr. Long. I went to the nutrition class on a Monday, had my surgery on a Tuesday and went home the same day. The following Monday I was able to help my son get to a doctor’s appointment and by Tuesday I was back to work.

After surgery, I noticed I wasn’t as hungry and I couldn’t eat much. If I did eat too much I would feel sick so I had to learn what I could and couldn’t eat. Luckily, I’ve always been a creature of habit, so once I found what worked for me it was easy to stick to.


I am so much more active now. I never sit down. Before, I would get home from work and immediately go to the couch, but now I have the energy and ability to do anything I want.


My advice for anyone considering gastric sleeve surgery, is if you’ve thought about it, think about it some more and do your research. It has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m 16 months out from my surgery and I’m back to a comfortable and healthy weight. 

Dr. Long and his staff are just wonderful. If you have any questions or need to call for anything they’re always there to answer your questions. I have had a great experience and I can’t recommend it enough. Since my surgery, my neighbor has also had gastric sleeve done and one of my best friends just had it about two weeks ago. I give it high praise.



Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.

The Risks of Morbid Obesity and the Importance of Taking Action Now

Body Mass Index Chart

Body Mass Index Chart


Obesity is a growing health problem that affects millions of people across the U.S. As the number of overweight Americans rises, so does the number of people who are considered severely or morbidly obese.

From poor eating habits to high levels of stress, many different environmental factors, as well as some genetic factors, can contribute to an increase in weight gain. Without the proper intervention and treatment, weight gain can escalate to dangerous levels, leading to a heightened risk of diseases, health problems, significant physical disability or even death.


What is Morbid Obesity?


Morbid obesity is a complex and progressive disease that increases your risk of developing comorbidities and weight related health problems, as well as interfere with your ability to perform many daily physical functions.

It is characterized as an extreme amount of excess body fat and is often measured by calculating Body Mass Index, or BMI, which is the amount of body fat a person has based on their height and weight.

A person is considered morbidly obese when they reach a body mass index of 40 or higher or are more than 100 pounds over what is considered to be an ideal body weight. Along with BMI, morbid obesity is also diagnosed when a person reaches a level of obesity that greatly increases their risk of developing life-threatening health problems.


Health Risks and Conditions Associated with Morbid Obesity


Morbid obesity is recognized as a chronic disease and if left untreated, can lead to the development of one or more serious health problems. Common conditions associated with morbid obesity include:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep Apnea and Other Breathing Disorders
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Stroke


Morbid Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery


For people diagnosed with morbid obesity, the risks associated with not having weight loss surgery are often higher than the risks of surgery itself. Obesity is considered a progressive disease because the excess weight gain causes a number of hormonal and metabolic changes in the body that increase the risk for even greater fat accumulation over time, making it difficult to fight using diet and exercise alone.

Luckily, treatment is available and surgery is an extremely viable option. At Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery, we work to educate our patients on their weight loss options, as well as life after surgery. To learn more about your options and begin improving your health, schedule a consultation with us today!



Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery. Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese. And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website! Insurance won’t pay? We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years. Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.

Establishing a Work Out Routine After Weight Loss Surgery

Shoes, workout equipment and water bottle on wood floor

Shoes, workout equipment and water bottle on wood floor


Establishing a workout routine after weight loss surgery is a major factor that affects the long-term success of your weight loss journey. Regular exercise will help you recover faster, reach your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. No matter what your activity level was prior to surgery, we recommend working with your physician and fitness professionals to establish an exercise plan to meet your unique needs and abilities.


The Benefits of Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery


We can’t stress enough the importance of developing an exercise routine after surgery. Regular exercise leads to measurable improvements in weight loss and better overall health. Setting attainable goals and gradually increasing your daily activity level post-surgery has many benefits including:

  • Maintaining weight loss
  • Improving circulation
  • Strengthening your heart and bones
  • Increasing your metabolic rate
  • Developing muscle strength and endurance
  • Improving blood sugar control
  • Relieving stress
  • Improving your mood


When To Start Working Out After Surgery


Patients can typically begin very light exercise within the first week after surgery. We understand that this can seem like a daunting task to take on so soon, but once cleared by your surgeon, the sooner you begin being active, the better.

The important thing to remember is to start small and set realistic goals. No one expects you to come straight out of surgery and run a marathon. Focus on adding activities to your daily routine that will encourage you to increase your heart rate, improve flexibility and build endurance.


Starting Your Post-Op Workout Routine


Week 1 – Week 4 Post-Op: Take this time to focus on getting back into the routine of your normal everyday activities. You should not lift anything over 10 pounds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active. Need to do the dishes? Try washing them by hand, so you have to stay standing longer. If you have stairs in your home, walk up and down them a few extra times each day to get your heart rate up.

Set a goal to walk for a certain amount of time and then push yourself to walk a little longer each day. Slowly increasing your daily activity level right after weight loss surgery will help you build up stamina and add more active habits in your daily life.

After 4 Weeks Post-Op: Each patient is different, but at four weeks post-op you should be cleared to perform most, if not all, exercises. This is when you can really start ramping up your workout routine and begin exploring different types of exercises to find what you like best.

Walking is a great option, but can be hard on your joints. If that’s the case for you, swap a few days of walking for a few days spent in the pool. Water activities, like aerobics, are typically lower impact and can be a fun new way to stay active.

The important thing to remember throughout your weight loss journey, is that you are not alone. It is easy to get discouraged at times, but there are great resources to help you along the way. We’ve found that patients who seek out support, follow an exercise routine and stick to a healthy diet are far more likely to lose the weight and keep it off.


Learn More About Post-Op Exercise from Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery

Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.

Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions With CoolSculpting

2019 New Year's Resolution

2019 New Year's Resolution


Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy in 2019? Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t seen the results you were hoping for yet. Even with a healthy diet and strict exercise routine, stubborn pockets of fat can still stick around and seemingly hide all of the progress you’ve made. If this is something you are struggling with, then CoolSculpting may be the perfect solution for you.


What is CoolSculpting?


CoolSculpting is an FDA cleared, non-surgical procedure that can help you eliminate fat with little to no downtime. It is often used to reduce stubborn fat cells that exist in areas of your body that are difficult to target with diet and exercise alone.

During the procedure, precisely controlled cooling is used to gently and effectively target the fat cells underneath the skin. Once frozen, the fat cells will begin to die and your body will naturally process and eliminate them. Because this is a non-invasive procedure, there is no risk of scarring and you can return to your daily routine almost right away.


How Can CoolSculpting Help Me Achieve My New Year’s Resolutions?


For many patients, CoolSculpting is the perfect incentive to help them stick to their New Year’s resolutions. It is a great option if you are looking to fine-tune your figure, look slimmer in clothes and regain confidence.

While CoolSculpting is not a weight loss solution, it can help you lose unwanted fat in areas of your body that are difficult to target with just diet and exercise. Additionally, because it is a non-surgical procedure, you won’t have to worry about taking a break from your fitness regime. You can continue to focus on getting healthy and fit, all while seeing the slimming effects of reducing unwanted fat in those troublesome areas.  


Getting Started with CoolSculpting


Every CoolSculpting patient is different and we at BMI Surgery take extra care to make sure we provide the best treatment options to meet our patients’ needs. We start with a one-on-one consultation, during which we complete a physical evaluation, discuss your desired results and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.

If we determine that you are a good fit for CoolSculpting, we will then create a customized treatment plan that will help you achieve your fat loss goals and get you one step closer to making your New Year’s resolutions come true.

Want to learn more about if CoolSculpting is right for you? Schedule a free consultation with us today!

Learn More About How CoolSculpting Can Help You Reach Your Fat Loss Goals from Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery

Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.

Health Complications of the Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the United States. In fact, obesity-related diseases cause more than 300,000 deaths every year. Taking care of your health by managing your weight is one of the best things you can do to maximize your opportunity to live a long, healthy and enjoyable life.

It’s worth noting that it isn’t necessarily the excess fat stored in an obese person’s body that causes so many deaths. Instead, it is the myriad diseases and conditions that frequently result from being so overweight.

Here are a few examples:


Gout is a disease that causes uric acid in the blood to rise to unsafe levels. This leads to painful flare-ups and pain in the joints.


Everyone has some risk of cancer, but being obese can significantly increase the risks associated with cancer — and particularly specific types of cancer. Some of the cancers with the greatest increase in risk include kidney cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. However, there is some evidence that other cancers can become more likely in some people who are chronically obese.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a particularly unfortunate obesity-related disease. While some people are unfortunate enough to be genetically predisposed to diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is frequently linked to preventable causes, like obesity.

Type 2 diabetes can lead to a significant reduction in quality of life and can severely reduce life expectancy for those diagnosed.

Heart Disease

One of the better-known complications associated with obesity, heart disease continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Heart disease is a broad term used to describe conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a number of other conditions. Individuals who are obese but take significant efforts to reduce their weight and improve their health can reduce the risk of heart disease.


The additional weight and strain that an obese person puts on his or her joints can lead to a number of conditions, including osteoarthritis. This condition is defined by the wearing down of cartilage in the joints, leading to pain, reduced mobility and numbness throughout various parts of the body.

Obesity can lead to many negative health conditions. Take charge of your health today by managing your diet and getting your body to a healthy weight!

Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Losing Weight

According to the CDC, more than 36 percent of adults in the United States struggle with obesity. Losing weight and getting healthy is a goal many people find difficult to achieve. Gastric sleeve is a procedure that can help you lose weight and eliminate a variety of weight-related health conditions.

Why Is Losing Weight so Difficult?

The diet industry will often tell you how easy it is to lose weight if you follow their plan or take their pills. You already know, however, there isn’t a simple fix. Taking off excess weight is hard because of several factors. In society, you are surrounded by poor food choices and often live a sedentary lifestyle. You may also struggle against a genetic predisposition to gain weight and a slow metabolism.

Many scientists also believe that set point theory may contribute to your inability to lose weight. According to MIT Medical, a set point is a system of controls similar to a thermostat that’s built into each person. This determines how much fat each person should carry. Changing a set point to achieve weight loss can be extremely difficult.

How Can Gastric Sleeve Help You Lose Weight?

Gastric sleeve is a procedure that can be far more effective in achieving and maintaining weight loss than exercise and diet alone. While you are under general anesthesia, a surgeon removes part of your stomach through a small incision. This procedure reduces the overall size of your stomach and allows you to only eat a small amount at one time.

You can expect to lose weight over the course of several months. While success rates will vary, you may reduce excess weight by approximately 70 percent. The Cleveland Clinic reports there are several health benefits that can be obtained through weight loss surgery. A few include improved cardiovascular functioning, remission of type 2 diabetes and joint pain relief.

What Are the Qualifications for Gastric Sleeve?

Gastric sleeve is a procedure that is usually reserved for individuals who are considered morbidly obese. Many patients will also have additional health conditions, such as sleep apnea or hypertension. Being able to handle the physical stress of surgery is also a requirement.

It’s important to remember that even though gastric sleeve can provide effective and dramatic weight loss, long-term success is maintained by incorporating good exercise and eating habits into your daily routine.

Many insurance plans now cover weight loss procedures including gastric sleeve. If you’ve been struggling with losing weight, now is the time to consider gastric sleeve to help you reach your weight loss goals. Gastric sleeve can be part of an effective and lasting weight loss plan.

Why You Should Use Google Fit After Gastric Sleeve Surgery!

Around 106,000 Americans had gastric sleeve surgery in 2015 — significantly more than the previous year. Experts recommend exercise after a major weight-loss procedure in order to strengthen the heart and bones, build muscle, reduce stress, improve mood and burn calories. Walking is a great idea after gastric sleeve surgery, and the latest technology makes it easy to track this type of exercise. If you have recently undergone a gastric sleeve operation, Google Fit lets you monitor your walking goals and weight loss progress directly from your smartphone.

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

A gastric sleeve operation is a procedure where surgeons reduce the size of your stomach by around 15 percent of its original size. This surgery limits the amount of food you can consume, so you should feel fuller after eating small meals.

Why is Walking Important After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Walking improves your blood flow and expedites wound healing after surgery. Lack of exercise after a major operation could put you at a higher risk of developing a blood clot and conditions like pneumonia. Walking also helps you burn calories. A 180-pound person burns, on average, 100 calories for every mile they walk, while a 120-pound person burns 65 calories per mile.

The Benefits of Google Fit

Google Fit is a mobile app that uses the built-in sensors on your smartphone to detect walking steps. This platform tracks more than 120 activities, from slow walking to brisk jogging.

How to Use Google Fit

Download Google Fit from the Google Play Store on your Android device. You can then customize your exercise goals from the Daily Goals tab in the Settings menu. Google Fit will track the number of steps you take every time you hold your phone.

Want to track your progress over time? Head over to the See Graph Details tab for an overview of your walking steps from the previous days, weeks and months. You can also connect third-party exercise apps — RunKeeper, Strava, Runtastic, etc. — with Google Fit.

Google Fit monitors your fitness goals after gastric sleeve surgery. The result? You can improve recovery times and boost your overall health.

Avoid These Common Mistakes After Bariatric Surgery

If your focus is long-term weight loss, bariatric surgery is a proven way to accomplish this goal. But just as with anything worth having, you have worked hard and follow the guidelines provided by your physician in order to lose the weight and keep it off. Avoiding these common mistakes is a great way to ensure you finally reach your goal weight and stay there.

1. Neglecting Important Vitamins

Your physician will recommend vitamins to help your body recover from the surgery and maintain the best health possible. Don’t try to save money by purchasing over-the-counter vitamins. Take the ones recommended by your doctor to ensure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

2. Not Getting Proper Nutrition

Surgery is serious business, and it is important that your body heals properly. Now that your caloric content is constructed, it’s vital that you pack your diet with healthy nutrients. Your body won’t function well if you use your calorie rations to only eat potato chips or other foods that have no nutritional value. If you don’t eat the foods your physician recommends, you are at risk of developing medical problems, such as heart disease, memory loss, fatigue, etc. Stomach and gastrointestinal problems are also a concern.

3. Forgetting to Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water or healthy liquids is one of the most important things anyone can do to enjoy maximum health. Water helps every part of your body function well. Staying hydrated is particularly important for surgical patients since it helps the body heal provides energy and hastens weight loss. If you don’t like tap water, buy flavored water, add lemon to your water or drink another healthy beverage, such as unsweetened ice tea.

4. Not Watching Your Calories

You may think that a tiny handful of nuts, chips, crackers or candy won’t affect your diet, but these foods pack a lot of calories in small portions. If you don’t count the calories of every morsel, you may wind up consuming hundreds more calories each day. This common mistake is one of the ways bariatric patients fail to reach their long-term weight goals.

5. Indulging in Alcohol

Almost everyone enjoys an alcoholic beverage at times, especially if there is a special occasion. Be cognizant of the fact that alcoholic beverages are full of calories and can quickly cause you to go over your calorie limit.

6. Drinking Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated beverages are quite refreshing but shouldn’t be your beverage of choice when you’re thirsty. They are full of sugar, which substantially increases your calorie intake. Carbonated drinks can also cause gas pain. At times, more serious issues can be mistaken for gas pains, and this can cause you to neglect medical care when you really need it.

Having bariatric surgery is your chance for a new life filled with the quality living you crave. Following the guidelines the doctor gave you ensures you stay focused on this long-term goal and eventually reap the rewards!

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

Do you struggle with weight loss? You’re not alone. Losing weight is a challenging process that stumps millions of people around the world. Some of the most promising diets oftentimes fail because the weight comes back as soon as you stop dieting. CoolSculpting is one of the newest FDA approved procedures that can be an effective, long-term solution for stubborn fat. Here’s how it works:

What Is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is based on a proven scientific process called cryolipolysis. In cryolipolysis, fat cells located underneath the skin are targeted by doctors to be eliminated. These cells are then frozen in place. The frozen cells eventually die and are cleared away by the body’s natural processes.

This enables the body to get rid of fat cells in a much more natural manner as compared to invasive procedures like liposuction.

What Are The Advantages?

Here are a few of the advantages you can expect from CoolSculpting.

Safe Procedure

CoolSculpting is a safe procedure that uses minimally invasive techniques to freeze fat tissue in localized areas. This allows doctors to deliver the results that will make you look sculpted without the use of more invasive procedures.

Effective Treatment

CoolSculpting is rapidly becoming a more preferred option among patients and with good reason. One study found that targeted fat removal of enlarged male breasts using cryolipolysis was extremely effective with producing visual improvement in their condition.

Cost Effective

Normal fat removal procedures require anesthesia, surgical equipment and can cost thousands of dollars. This can be devastating to some people who desperately need the treatment.

By doing away with costly anesthesia and hospital beds, fat removal can be much more affordable than many people realize.

Controlled Procedure

When compared to more invasive procedures like liposuction, CoolSculpting is a much more controlled method of fat removal with fewer side effects. Traditional methods can lead to changes in the skin or change lipid pools. CoolSculpting reduces the risk of both while significantly reducing fat and providing a contour to the body.

If you think CoolSculpting could work for your stubborn body fat, schedule an appointment with BMI today. With our experienced specialists, we can provide you with the treatment you have been waiting for.

Lose Weight Fast with Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Around 45 million Americans diet every year, according to research from the Boston Medical Center. Still, some people struggle to shed the pounds. As a result, more drastic weight loss procedures, such as gastric sleeve surgery, have become attractive. This surgery reduces part of your stomach, so you feel fuller after consuming food. The result? You eat less and lose more weight.

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery removes around 80 percent of your stomach and leaves behind a vertical tube — called a “sleeve” — that is around the size of a banana. After this operation, you will notice that you feel much fuller than you normally would after consuming food. Therefore, you will need to select small portion sizes at meal times.

Gastric sleeve surgery produces rapid weight loss, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. One study suggests that people can lose more than 50 percent of their total body weight in a three- to five-year period. Moreover, weight loss is comparable to that of a gastric bypass — another bariatric surgical procedure.

Here’s the science behind gastric sleeve surgery: this procedure causes positive changes in your body’s gut hormones. Consequently, it reduces appetite, increases satiety and suppresses hunger. The surgery itself is relatively simple — it takes between 60 and 90 minutes.

What Are the Other Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Research shows that gastric sleeve surgery is beneficial for specific health conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Diabetes remission rates post-surgery are more than 60 percent and, as shown in some studies, are similar to the results experienced after gastric bypass procedures. Other research suggests that gastric sleeve surgery reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, overcomes depression and improves sleep apnea.

Gastric sleeve surgery is an option for adults who struggle to lose weight using conventional methods. This procedure might also benefit people who have type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.

Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery (BMI) specializes in gastric sleeve surgery. Do you qualify for this procedure? Contact us here to find out more.