Author: bell

3 Things that Surprise Patients the Most After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

While it’s no surprise that many aspects of your life change after having gastric sleeve surgery, there are many “good surprises” our patients often tell us about. From looking at food in a whole new light to fewer cravings for unhealthy foods, here are a few things you might experience after having gastric sleeve surgery.


3 Surprises We Often Hear from Our Gastric Sleeve Patients

#1 They’re satisfied after eating only a small amount. Before having gastric sleeve surgery, patients are often concerned that they won’t feel satisfied after a meal because they’re not able to eat as much. Though this is understandable, many of our post-surgery patients tell us this isn’t a problem. While they can still eat what they’re family’s eating for dinner, they just don’t eat as much, and they’re totally satisified.

#2 They’re cravings are different, or non-existent. While many patients had cravings for unhealthy foods prior to surgery, we often hear them tell us they no longer crave those foods near as much, if at all. For many, it’s not uncommon to feel “out of sync” from eating sugary or processed foods once you’ve begun incorporating healthier foods into your diet.

#3 They look at food differently. Many who come into our office have a different outlook on food after gastric sleeve surgery. While before they may have looked to food for comfort, they now view it as a means to survive. Having a goal for each meal, whether that’s to get in protein or nutrients, makes them realize the importance of eating the right foods.

At Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery, we work to educate our patients on the surgery itself as well as life after surgery. We want them to be as prepared as possible to ensure they’re going to truly be happy with whatever surgery they go with. At the same time, every patient is different and has their own unique experiences post-surgery, but often we find these surprises end up being good ones that contribute to their overall health and wellness.

Discuss Your Weight Loss Surgery Resolutions at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery 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.

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.

What to Expect From BMI Coolsculpting

Do you struggle with stubborn body fat that won’t go away no matter how committed you are to diet and exercise? If so, Coolsculpting may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Coolsculpting isn’t for everyone, however. Here’s a look at what you can expect from BMI Coolsculpting to help you determine if it’s the right solution for you.

What Is Coolsculpting?

Coolsculpting is a non-invasive fat reduction procedure that eliminates stubborn fat cells that are resistant to diet and exercise. This FDA-cleared treatment is meant only for fat reduction purposes and not for weight loss. It uses a controlled cooling procedure that freezes fat cells and causes them to die and to be eliminated safely from the body. Coolsculpting can be used in various parts of the body, such as thighs, underneath buttocks, abdomen, back and chin.

What to Expect From Coolsculpting Treatment

Here’s a look at the steps you can expect when undergoing Coolsculpting treatment.

One-on-One Consultation

The first step is to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an approved Coolsculpting provider, such as BMI. During this consultation, your medical professional will complete a physical evaluation, discuss your fat reduction goals and determine your treatment options.

Customized Treatment Plan

If your physician determines that you are a prime candidate for Coolsculpting, they will create a customized treatment plan to meet your specific needs and goals. Your physician will let you know if you will need one or more treatments in order to obtain the results you want.

What to Expect on Treatment Day

Most treatments take between 30 and 60 minutes, so feel free to bring a book or mobile device to occupy your time. Your medical provider will apply a gel pad and applicator to the treatment area(s). As you physician applies the controlled cooling, the area may feel cold. You also may feel a slight tug or pull as the attached vacuum applicator pulls out fat tissues.

Possible Side Effects

Coolsculpting side effects are minimal but could include swelling, bruising, tingling, redness, skin sensitivity, itching, aching, cramping, tenderness and firmness. Typically, any side effects diminish within a just a few days or weeks.

No Downtime

Since Coolsculpting is a non-surgical process, the downtime after treatment is minimal. In fact, many patients return to their normal activities immediately after treatment.

When to Expect Results

Initial results of Coolsculpting can appear in as little as three weeks, but full results may take up to three months.

If you think Coolsculpting may be the solution to your stubborn body fat, schedule your one-on-one consultation with BMI today. As an approved Coolsculpting provider, BMI offers the safe and effective fat reduction treatment to help you get the body you’ve always wanted.

5 Tips to Help Improve Recovery Time for Gastric-Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery, or sleeve gastrectomy, is a medical weight-loss procedure to treat obesity when your body-mass index, or “BMI,” is between 35 and 40, helping to relieve serious, secondary health problems such as diabetes, cardiac disease, high blood pressure or sleep apnea. If you have had little to no success with other weight-loss methods, then gastric-sleeve surgery may be an option.

How Gastric-Sleeve Surgery Works

Sleeve gastrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that permanently reduces the size of your stomach by 80 to 90 percent, limiting your dietary and caloric intake. The procedure takes less than an hour, performed laparoscopically through several small incisions. Using a small surgical laparoscope affixed with a small camera and light, laparoscopic surgery generally has fewer side effects than traditional open surgery and improves the surgeon’s field of vision and overall accuracy.

What to Do After Gastric-Sleeve Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, the pre-operative process will include detailed instructions from your surgeon about recovery and what you can expect in the few days, weeks and months after your sleeve-gastrectomy surgery is complete. There will be a number of dietary and lifestyle adjustments that you will have to make in order to maintain lasting, healthy weight loss.

  1. Have a Plan
    Even after the procedure, you will have to practice good nutrition and exercise. Working with your medical team to design the diet, nutrition and exercise plan that is best for your lifestyle and medical needs before surgery will make for a smoother and more successful transition.
  1. Follow Doctor’s Orders
    You may feel better sooner than expected, but it is still important to take all of your medication according to the doctor’s prescription and follow the guidelines designed specifically for your recovery.
  1. Prepare Yourself Both Mentally and Emotionally
    Even with all of the research and planning in the world, the surgery will require a major lifestyle overhaul and adjustment. Ask for help when you need it.
  1. Establish a Support System
    From the gym to grocery-shopping buddies, recovery is easier with friends. Don’t go it alone.
  1. Keep Up With the Follow Up
    Ongoing check-ups are essential for keeping your recovery on track and to make any necessary adjustments to your recovery plan to ensure that you look and feel your best in the long run.

Sleeve Gastrectomy in Birmingham, AL

After you’ve tried everything else, minimally invasive gastric-sleeve weight-loss surgery may be the right option for you. For more information — and to take advantage of our deeply discounted pricing from $11,999 down to just $9,999 — contact our office by calling (205) 833-6907 to schedule a consultation today.

Health Risks Tied to Obesity

Obesity has been a big health problem in the U.S. for years, and there’s no sign of it going away soon. In fact, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, and they face risks of developing serious weight-related conditions.

If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher, get to know the health risks that come with obesity as well as the options available to help you lose weight.


Type 2 diabetes is just one of the health risks of obesity. It occurs because being obese puts extra stress on the cells, affecting the insulin receptors. Common symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst, frequent urination, headaches and infections that take a long time to heal.

High Blood Pressure

Having too much body fat means your heart has to work harder to circulate your blood. This puts pressure on the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure usually doesn’t result in obvious symptoms, so you should talk to your doctor if you’re at risk for this condition.

Cholesterol Imbalance and Heart Disease

Obesity can lower the levels of good cholesterol in the body, which in turn can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. These conditions are often life-threatening, so it’s important to get to a healthy weight as soon as possible.

Sleep Apnea

Obesity can also lead to sleep apnea. This is a serious condition that causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. Sleep apnea not only reduces your quality of sleep, but it can also deprive your brain of oxygen, which can result in life-threatening health problems.

How to Avoid These Conditions

The only way to avoid these and other obesity-related health problems are to lose weight. Of course, that’s easier said than done. If you’re having trouble losing weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can talk to a doctor about other options.

One method of weight loss right for some obese people is surgery. There are several types of weight loss surgery you can look into if you need to lose weight quickly. They include a gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and the Lap-Band, to name the most common options. With these surgeries, the point is to reduce the capacity of the stomach so you do not need to eat much to feel full, which should lead to major weight loss within months.

Of course, the effects of weight loss surgery are meant to be permanent, so talk to a medical professional to make sure you are a good candidate. Once you qualify, you can look forward to enjoying a healthy weight faster than you might imagine.