Tag: weight loss surgery

Sculpt for Summer: CoolSculpting 101

Brunette woman running on the beach in a navy bikini with a yellow sarong.

In theory, fat loss seems easy. Just work out, eat clean, and avoid sugary foods, right? Not exactly. If you’ve been spending long hours in the gym, meal-prepping every last bite to eat, and fighting the urge to eat the pint of ice cream buried in your freezer, only to hit a weight-loss plateau—-it can be frustrating. If any of the above methods seem familiar, we’d guess you know exactly how hard it can be to lose those last few pesky pounds of fat.  

Luckily, with CoolSculpting® at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery (BMI), you can finally shed your exercise- & diet-resistant fat. While CoolSculpting isn’t a solution for weight loss, it can reduce up to 25% of fat in the targeted area! Learn everything you need to know about CoolSculpting, and how you can tone up just in time for summer.

What Is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting, also called cryolipolysis, is a non-surgical treatment for fat reduction that assists in a more toned, sculpted, and confident body in just a few sessions. FDA-cleared for numerous areas on the body, CoolSculpting can help you lose fat on your love handles, inner thighs, back, arms, abdomen, chin, and more. 

A popular alternative to liposuction, cryolipolysis can deliver outstanding results without invasive techniques. Before your CoolSculpting treatment, your provider will develop a treatment plan based on your weight, medical history, and desired results so that you can get the most out of this innovative, powerful treatment. 

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

CoolSculpting freezes fat cells at sub-40-degree temperatures. After CoolSculpting works its magic, the body naturally disposes of the frozen fat cells through the lymphatic system. For best results, most CoolSculpting sessions are anywhere from 35 minutes to three hours, depending on the treatment area and your desired results. 

Our team may also recommend multiple CoolSculpting sessions for certain areas of resistant, hard-to-treat areas of fat. Typically, most patients need two to three sessions to achieve a toned, sculpted physique. However, everybody is different, so you may need more or fewer sessions to achieve your optimal results.

What Are the Benefits of CoolSculpting?

There are numerous benefits of CoolSculpting in Birmingham, AL! Some premier benefits of this FDA-approved fat-blasting treatment include: 

  • Minimal to little downtime
  • Comfortable treatment
  • Slimmer appearance
  • Confidence-boosting
  • No scarring

At BMI Surgery, you can sit, back, and relax during your treatment. Many patients work on their laptops, watch a movie, or take a nap while shedding unwanted fat. It’s truly as simple as sitting back and relaxing—and our professionals will guide you through it every step of the way.

How Long Does CoolSculpting Last?

Since the fat is frozen and disposed of naturally, CoolSculpting is permanent! It’s important to note that CoolSculpting doesn’t prevent fat from reappearing in the targeted area, so we recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle to maintain results.

Most people at BMI Surgery achieve fat loss from CoolSculpting that lasts upwards of 10 years! If you have more questions about keeping your fat off for good, don’t hesitate to ask our team questions. 

Get Bikini Season Ready with CoolSculpting

Say goodbye to hours of cardio, never-ending ab crunches, and ice chips as your go-to snack. Instead, say hello to long-lasting results weight loss results with CoolSculpting! This treatment can help you ditch drastic efforts for sculpted definition while removing those stubborn pockets of fat. 

Whether you’re wanting to tone up for the summer, wow the crowd at an upcoming summer event, or just feel more confident when looking in the mirror, CoolSculpting, and the BMI team are here to help you. We’d be honored to be a part of your journey toward a confident, more fulfilled you!

Interested in CoolSculpting? Contact Us Today!

Proudly serving Birmingham, AL & surrounding areas, BMI Surgery is the premier choice for CoolSculpting. You can freeze unwanted fat in as little as an hour and feel more confident. Call us at (205) 833-6907 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for CoolSculpting!

National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month: Obesity 101

May is the national high blood pressure education month illustration.

Over 43% of adults in America are obese. Comparatively, nearly 47% of Americans have high blood pressure. But did you know they’re frequently connected? Not only can obesity cause insecurity and discomfort, but it can also lead to a worsening of high blood pressure, which can be life-threatening.  In fact, over 65% of people suffering from obesity fall victim to high blood pressure.

In honor of National Hypertension Awareness Month, the team at BMI Surgery is discussing everything you need to know about high blood pressure and obesity. Learn the ins and outs of obesity, high blood pressure, treatments, and more. 

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a condition characterized by excess body fat relative to a person’s height. Obesity is often diagnosed by the BMI (body mass index) Scale, which has four categories: underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. 

Your doctor may also measure your waist circumference to inform causes and treatments, with a BMI over 30 considered obese. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern but can change the way your body functions. It can cause heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and high blood pressure. 

What Is High Blood Pressure?

In honor of National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month, we’re taking a deep dive into obesity-induced high blood pressure. But first, let’s define what high blood pressure is. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the force of your blood running through your blood vessels is too high. 

High blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” since there are usually little to no symptoms before the condition becomes severe. Hypertension can cause life-threatening problems like heart attack, coronary artery disease, and stroke. 

Can Obesity Cause Hypertension?

Obesity can cause hypertension or worsen it if you already have it. People with obesity have more fat tissue than usual, which can cause complex changes in the body in numerous ways. These can include sympathetic nervous system overactivation, insulin resistance, and kidney  and hormonal changes. 

Obesity-induced hypertension can be harder to treat and sometimes become resistant to medication. Since people with obesity often carry extra fat around their midsection, this excess weight puts pressure on the cardiovascular system. The heart must work harder to pump blood to organs, muscles, and tissues, which can quickly cause cardiovascular stress and other heart problems. 

How Is Obesity-Induced Hypertension Treated?

Medications are available to treat hypertension, but many people with obesity are resistant to their effects because of the physical changes the body undergoes when obese. Fortunately, weight loss surgery can help treat obesity-induced hypertension. With weight loss, a healthy diet, and physical exercise, your heart becomes stronger, which can lower high blood pressure. 

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, works by modifying your stomach size to reduce your appetite and reduce your calorie intake. There are different weight loss surgery techniques like gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND. Weight loss surgery should be combined with long-term lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a healthy diet to be successful. 

Live a Healthier & Happier Life with BMI Surgery

While obesity and high blood pressure can severely impact your health, each of these conditions is preventable and treatable. This May, we hope you join us in raising awareness about the negative  impacts of hypertension and obesity. With your help, we can lower the cases of both conditions nationwide. 

If you have obesity-induced hypertension, weight loss surgery can help! Our team of experts can create a personalized treatment plan for you so that you can lead a healthier, more fulfilled life. Our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Long, would be honored to be a part of your weight loss journey!

Interested in Learning More About Weight Loss Surgery? Call Us Today!

For over 20 years, Dr. Long and his team have performed successful weight loss surgeries. If you’re ready to begin your journey toward a healthier, happier life, don’t hesitate to contact BMI Surgery today! Call us at 205-850-1973 or contact us online!

Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Weight Loss Surgeon

A woman in a white two-piece with a surgeon making surgical markings on her stomach for weight loss surgery.

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, you probably want a surgeon with a track record of success. Beyond finding a successful surgeon, you’ll want someone you feel comfortable around and who aligns with your financial and communication preferences.

As you do your own research, you may have questions about how to find a surgeon who’s the whole package—successful, personable, and affordable. With these five tips, you can narrow your search and find a weight loss surgeon who will improve your life. At BMI Surgery, we’re dedicated to helping you feel confident in your upcoming operation. Keep on reading to learn more about what makes a great weight loss surgeon!

Check Out Referrals

Perhaps the best way to find out if a weight loss surgeon is right for you is through referrals. We recommend checking with your primary care doctor, friends, family, and neighbors about weight loss surgeons they have personally used or recommend. While these referrals may not be comprehensive, they can be a great place to start when you begin your weight loss journey. Similarly, looking online for reviews can be an eye-opening experience when searching for a surgeon. Once you find a few options, you can call each office and schedule consultations with the surgeon to better determine if they’re the right fit for your needs.

Consider Experience

As you narrow down your list, we recommend considering the qualifications and experience of your weight loss surgeon. We advise only partnering with fellowship-trained weight loss surgeons and those who are board certified in surgery. Furthermore, your surgeon should have performed numerous, successful weight loss surgeries and be able to provide you with before and after examples. Your surgeon should be an expert, whether it’s gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or another bariatric procedure.

Evaluate Pricing Options

While it may not be the most exciting thing to consider, finding a surgeon that matches your price point is vital. Depending on your insurance, you may or may not be able to find coverage for bariatric surgery. However, some practices offer loans and cash pricing options that can be helpful when planning your financial future. At BMI Surgery, we provide numerous cash pricing options so that you can live a healthier and happier life while staying within your budget! And, with our hassle-free payment offerings, you can avoid the headaches associated with insurance forms and requirements.

Assess Communication Style

Beyond your surgeon’s success stories, you want to feel comfortable and confident around your surgeon. Some questions to ponder while you meet with your potential bariatric surgeon include:

  • Do they answer your questions in a way you understand?
  • Do they stop to answer questions or concerns?
  • Do they work with you to develop a plan for your surgery?
  • Do they respect your decision-making process?
  • Do you feel comfortable speaking candidly and openly with them?

At the end of the day, your surgeon doesn’t have to be your best friend, but they should be someone who respects your thoughts and feelings.

Search for Pre & Post Operation Support

Weight loss surgery is an ongoing journey. It’s essential to find support and encouragement throughout the entire process, and look for practices that cultivate positive and meaningful preparation and recovery. Many weight loss surgery practices offer programs like nutrition prep classes, support groups, seminars, counseling, and more. Finding others who have undergone weight loss surgery is crucial for your recovery. Those who understand the procedure you’ve gone through can give you advice that can prove helpful as you prepare or recover from weight loss surgery.

We’re Your Partners in Your Weight Loss Journey

At BMI Surgery, we’re dedicated to making you feel at ease before, during, and after your surgery. Dr. Long and our team can answer any questions you may have, and work with you to formulate a plan that’s best for you. We offer numerous patient resources, including support groups and seminars, to support your physical and mental well-being.

Interested in Learning More About Weight Loss Surgery? Call Us Today!

Proudly serving Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Mississippi, BMI Surgery is your ultimate destination for weight loss surgery. We offer personalized solutions for a healthier, happier life. If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Long and his team, call us at (205) 833-6907 or online!

Gastric Sleeve FAQs: Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Safe?

A woman in a black top and blue jeans holding out the jeans' waistband illustrating weight loss.

If you’re considering gastric sleeve surgery, you probably have numerous questions about the before, during, and after. Gastric sleeve is a type of bariatric surgery designed to help you lose weight and improve your quality of life. At BMI Surgery, we always recommend our patients research, evaluate, and ask questions before gastric sleeve so that they can make an informed decision they’re proud of.

As you begin your journey towards gastric sleeve surgery, our team answers your frequently asked questions. From recovery time to post-operative diet and alcohol consumption, our weight loss surgeons answer all your pressing inquiries. If you have any other questions or are ready to schedule a gastric sleeve consultation, contact our BMI Surgery today!

How long does gastric sleeve surgery take?

Gastric sleeve, also called sleeve gastrectomy, is typically a quick procedure. From start to finish, the entire process usually takes less than an hour. Once you’re under general anesthesia, the actual procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Is gastric sleeve safe?

Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the safest elective surgery procedures. The operation is minimally invasive, which reduces the risk of severe bleeding and discomfort. Furthermore, the health ailments that accompany obesity, like sleep apnea, heart disease, and high blood pressure, are usually improved after surgery.

Most patients lose upwards of 50% of their excess body weight, making weight loss surgery well worth it for most patients. As with all surgeries, some risk is involved, and we recommend you speak with your weight loss surgeon about potential side effects.

How does gastric sleeve work?

Gastric sleeve is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laparoscopic approach, which means the surgeon can use smaller incisions and more precision movements inside your abdomen. The weight loss surgeon will make five small incisions across your abdomen and using the laparoscope and other surgical instruments, will remove a portion of your stomach.

With these tools, your surgeon will remove approximately 80% of your stomach and close the remaining portion. As its name suggests, your stomach will resemble a sleeve, or banana-shape, to promote the ingestion of fewer calories and reduced hunger cues.

What should I eat after gastric sleeve?

Right after surgery, you’ll want to follow a liquid diet, only drinking clear liquids, like water and broth. After a few days, you can add other beverages to your diet, like unsweet tea, milk, and coffee. You can begin eating strained and pureed foods like cottage cheese, fruits, and lean ground meat a few weeks post-operation. It’s essential to make sure there are no solid pieces of food in your meals during this time since your stomach is still healing.

Then, after a follow-up visit and with the doctor’s approval, you can begin to eat soft and solid foods, chewing each bite thoroughly to make digestion easier. At BMI Surgery, we’re with you every step of the way. If you have questions about what you should or shouldn’t eat after gastric sleeve, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts.

What is the average gastric sleeve recovery time?

After gastric sleeve surgery, you’ll most likely be able to go home the day of the procedure. The average gastric sleeve recovery time varies based on each body type, but most people easily return to their normal activities a few days after the operation.

Many patients can return to work as early as 3 days after gastric sleeve, but we don’t want you lifting more than 10 pounds for 4 weeks after surgery. It’s important not to push yourself too hard and be patient with yourself during the recovery process.

Do I need to exercise after gastric sleeve surgery?

The weight loss team at BMI encourages you to exercise as soon as possible after gastric sleeve, but we don’t want you lifting more than 10 pounds for 4 weeks after surgery. We recommend brief walks initially and then transitioning to cardiovascular exercises like stairs or cycling as soon as you feel like it.

After 4 weeks, you can add weight training into your routine, but be sure not to overdo it. While it is vital for your physical and mental well-being, exercising too vigorously too soon can cause complications, so make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations thoroughly.

Can I drink alcohol after gastric sleeve?

Once you have completed your gastric sleeve procedure, we recommend avoiding alcohol for at least six months. Don’t worry, though…most patients can slowly reintroduce alcoholic beverages after the six-month mark. Drinking alcohol can deplete your body’s glycogen levels, which can lower your blood sugar and lead to blurred vision, numbness, and drowsiness. Also, alcohol is considered “empty” calories and will make weight loss more difficult.

Be mindful as you start drinking again, and check in with yourself after each drink to see how you’re feeling. Since your stomach is much smaller than before, you may find you become inebriated more quickly after weight loss surgery.

Feel Your Best for Years to Come with BMI Surgery

After gastric sleeve surgery, you can live a healthier and happier life! If you have any questions about gastric sleeve surgery or want to learn more about gastric sleeve at BMI Surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out. With years of experience, Dr. Long and his team are ready to help you improve your mental and physical well-being.

Your Experts in Weight Loss Surgery: BMI Surgery

Are you interested in learning more about gastric sleeve? At BMI Surgery, we can help you lose weight and lead a happier, healthier life. Call us at (205) 858-1211 or contact us online to learn more about weight loss surgery today!

BMI Weight Loss Surgery Testimonial: “I’m Finally Happy with Me”

A young girl in black sportswear measures her waist with a centimeter on a dark gray background.

The team at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery wants to help you live your life to the fullest. Often, being chronically overweight can negatively impact our lives and cause fatigue, high blood pressure, and other health related problems. Luckily, weight loss surgery can help you achieve a healthier and happier lifestyle. Don’t just take our word for it. Amber Jones, one of our most recent weight loss patients, said, “[After my surgery], I’m finally happy with myself.”

If you’ve been going back and forth about weight loss surgery, like Amber was, we hope this blog can answer some of your questions and help you decide whether or not weight loss surgery is right for you. Before we learn more about Amber’s 85 lbs. weight loss after weight loss surgery, let’s discuss all you need to know about this procedure in Birmingham, AL.

What Is Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, reduces the stomach’s capacity to retain food. Lessening food intake results in significant weight loss and often treats other conditions that accompany obesity, like high blood pressure, fatigue, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Each of these customizable procedures offers a specific technique to decrease the capacity of your stomach. Some standard weight loss surgery techniques include Sleeve Gastrectomy, LAP-BAND, and Gastric Bypass. Our most common weight loss surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, is performed laparoscopically, and reduces stomach size by two-thirds. At BMI Surgery, Dr. Long and his team will discuss your medical history and desired results before recommending a surgical procedure that’s the best fit for you.

What Are the Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery?

There are countless benefits of weight loss surgery—take it from someone who has experienced it first-hand! “Now that I’ve had my surgery, the best thing is feeling good about myself, feeling good waking up, not being so exhausted all the time,” said Amber. This experience is common after weight loss surgery. Many people find their energy levels and overall well-being significantly improve after weight loss surgery at BMI Surgery.

Beyond the physical benefits, many patients report feeling more fulfilled, satisfied, and confident after bariatric surgery. Amber said she feels “happy and healthy.” She added, “I’m more active in my kids’ lives, and I’m a lot more present in the here and now. I’m not so worried about what other people think about me.”

With BMI Surgery, you can stop worrying about your weight and start living your life to the fullest.

Can Weight Loss Surgery Help Me If I’ve Been an Avid Dieter?

Many patients have dieted intermittently for years with little to no results. Intense dieting can be stressful and disheartening, sometimes leading to people gaining weight instead of losing it. Amber frequently dieted before her weight loss surgery but said after she had kids, “I could never seem to get it [her weight] under control.” She added, “My health had gotten so out of hand and I was ready to change my life for the better.”

If you’ve reached a point where you know your weight has gotten out of control but don’t know where to turn, BMI Surgery can help. Our compassionate team of professionals can listen to your concerns and create a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Become the Happiest Version of Yourself

At BMI Surgery, we want to empower you to be the best version of yourself. Dr. Long and his team of experts are dedicated to your overall satisfaction and well-being. After her weight loss surgery, Amber said that she couldn’t be happier with the choice she made to use Dr. Long as her surgeon, and we want you to have that same feeling when you choose BMI. Discover how you can get back to living your life to the fullest at BMI Surgery in Birmingham, AL, by calling us at (205) 833-6907 or filling out our online form.

Your Trusted Weight Loss Experts: BMI Surgery

Dr. Long is a board-certified weight loss surgeon in Birmingham, AL. We offer customized treatment plans to help you reach your weight loss goals. Call us at 205-850-1973 or schedule an appointment online, or get started on your weight loss journey today!

BMI Surgery Testimonial: The Weight Loss Surgery Experience

A man in a grey shirt measuring his waist line after weight loss.

At Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery, we provide patient-focused care and treatment. Our various weight loss surgeries help those with obesity regain control of their health and well-being. Our board-certified weight loss surgeon, Dr. Long, and his team support our patients not just during their initial consultation but for years beyond their surgery. At BMI Surgery, we can help you lose weight and live a healthier, happier life.

Don’t just take our word for it. One of our patients, Marco A. Williams, spoke with us about how his weight loss surgery drastically improved his life and health. If you’ve been considering weight loss surgery but haven’t fully decided, William’s words of wisdom may help you determine if weight loss surgery is right for you.

What Is Weight Loss Surgery?

Before we jump into William’s testimonial, we’d like to discuss the basics of weight loss surgery. Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is a surgical procedure that reduces stomach capacity, which minimizes food intake. If you’ve tried dieting and exercise with no luck, or have a genetic condition that makes it difficult for you to lose weight, weight loss surgery can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. With a decreased food intake, patients will lose weight.

There are various types of weight loss surgeries, each with a different technique and method to help patients lose weight. The most popular choices available at BMI include Lap Band and Sleeve Gastrectomy, but there are also other surgery options available. At BMI Surgery, Dr. Long and his team work one-on-one with each patient to decide which weight loss option best suits your needs.

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

Weight loss surgery can be an emotional decision to make, but the professionals at BMI make it the most comfortable experience possible. Take it from one of our success stories, William. Williams says his 215-pound weight loss wouldn’t have been possible without Dr. Long and his team. He added that “everyone I’ve sent to Dr. Long has had great success.”

At BMI Surgery, we don’t just provide successful weight loss operations but also care for you and your family. Throughout the process, we are ready to answer any questions you or your loved ones may have, while providing encouragement and support. Weight loss surgery is life-changing, and you want a team that will stand by your side before, during, and after your transformative procedure.

“I chose Dr. Long because of the way I was treated. Just the way they really cared, explained everything, and supported my family. I wouldn’t have chosen anyone else for my weight loss surgery,” says Williams.

We are honored to participate in our patient’s weight loss journey at BMI Surgery and are thrilled that Williams is as excited about his transformation as we are!

Is Weight Loss Surgery Safe?

At BMI Surgery, our provider, Dr. Long is trained in minimally invasive & bariatric surgery and certified by the American Board of Surgery. While all surgeries have possible complications, weight loss surgery has helped people with obesity for years. At BMI Surgery, Dr. Long has been performing weight loss surgeries since 2002 with outstanding results. Additionally, weight loss surgery can help those suffering from other health conditions caused by their weight.

“Without Dr. Long and BMI, I probably wouldn’t be alive today. Since then, I started doing things I wouldn’t be able to do,” says Williams. He now participates in go-karting, an activity he couldn’t do safely before his operation at BMI Surgery. Beyond the decreased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health ailments, many patients can live fuller, healthier lives—something Williams is experiencing first-hand.

Begin Your Journey Toward a Healthier You

Our patients are our mission at BMI Surgery, and we couldn’t be happier hearing stories of life-changing operations. Willams and many others found real results when there seemed to be no hope for a healthier life. If you’re interested in weight loss surgery or have questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at BMI Surgery!

Lose Weight for Good at BMI Surgery

Dr. Long is board-certified and the top weight loss surgeon in Alabama and beyond. Boost your confidence and live your life to the fullest with the help of our team. Call us at 205-850-1973 or schedule an appointment online or discuss your weight loss journey today!

National Heart Month: Preventing Obesity & Heart Disease

Red heart shaped hand exercise ball with doctor physician's stethoscope on white background.

Red heart shaped hand exercise ball with doctor physician's stethoscope on white background.

There’s no mistaking that obesity is on the rise in America. Data shows that 41.9% of Americans are obese. Not only can obesity be uncomfortable and diminish one’s quality of life, but it can also contribute to other health conditions, like heart disease. In fact, if you’re obese, you’re over 20% more likely to develop heart disease.

In honor of National Heart Month, the team at BMI Surgery is discussing the connection between obesity and heart health, specifically the higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Combat obesity and heart disease with the knowledge of how to prevent both. Keep on reading to learn more!

How Can Obesity Contribute to Heart Disease?

Heart disease is a general term for various heart conditions. When fat cells enlarge, chronic inflammation can occur by way of your hormones. Chronic inflammation can disrupt your insulin levels, which means your body may have trouble regulating blood sugar. The presence of long-term insulin resistance is called metabolic syndrome, which can make you much more likely to develop certain health conditions.

While high blood pressure isn’t a heart disease, it can lead to heart diseases like heart failure, heart attack, and arrhythmia. High blood pressure requires the heart to work harder to circulate blood to the rest of the body, which causes various heart problems, like heart failure, Peripheral artery disease (PAD), and coronary artery disease. In other cases, excess fat can build up in the arteries that carry blood to your heart. If these pathways are blocked, a heart attack or other heart ailments can occur.

Additionally, the extra work can cause the heart to enlarge, which can lead to heart failure. Obese people may experience heart arrhythmias (heart beats too fast or too slow) more frequently. This occurs when the left ventricle becomes too large with the extra effort required with excess body fat.

How Can I Prevent Obesity & Heart Disease?

The best measures to prevent obesity and heart disease are proper exercise and nutrition. If you have a family history of heart disease, your lifestyle and habits are especially important. We recommend speaking with your doctor about nutritional and exercise plans customized for your current weight.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may be raising your chances of developing obesity and heart disease. In fact, if you sleep fewer than six hours a night, you have a 20% higher risk of a heart attack. When you sleep, your heart rate lowers, and you’re less likely to crave salty and sweet foods that aren’t heart-healthy. To prevent heart disease and obesity, we advise seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Can Weight Loss Surgery Treat Obesity?

Weight loss surgery can treat obesity! Also called bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery can reduce your stomach size to decrease food consumption and absorption. Weight loss surgery may be right for you if other weight loss methods haven’t been successful, like diet or exercise.

There are various weight loss surgeries available, such as laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and LAP-BAND®. Each surgery is a little different, but each can effectively treat obesity. After weight loss surgery, you’ll still need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Celebrate National Heart Month & Reduce Your Risk

If you’re suffering from obesity, or know someone who is, we encourage you to seek treatment. A weight loss specialist can provide options for surgery, support groups, nutritional plans, and more. At BMI Surgery, we have been transforming bodies since 2002 and specialize in weight loss solutions that last for decades to come. Don’t let obesity affect your overall health and well-being– contact the experts today!

Begin Your Journey Towards a Healthier, Happier Life This February

Reduce your risk of heart disease this February! Our team at BMI Surgery can help you lose weight and offer expert advice to help you maintain your results! Call us at (205) 850-1973 or contact us online to transform your body today!

Obesity 101: Common Causes, Signs, & Symptoms

A female dietitian holding a diet plan during a consultation with a patient in the office.

A female dietitian holding a diet plan during a consultation with a patient in the office.

Over 40% of Americans are obese. While many of us know what obesity is, you may not know how dangerous it can be for one’s health. Those suffering from obesity are often at higher risk for health conditions such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

While obesity rates are rising in America, this condition is preventable. The experts at BMI Surgery discuss obesity’s causes, signs, and symptoms so that you can educate yourself and those around you about the dangers of obesity. If you are struggling with obesity, there are treatments available–don’t hesitate to reach out to weight loss specialists.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is characterized by excess body fat relative to one’s weight and is measured with the BMI (body mass index) scale. Obesity is often progressive and can change the way your body functions. Doctors consider anyone with a BMI greater than 30 as obese. However, there are three classes of obesity, each becoming more serious the higher the class.

The three types of obesity are broken into the first, second, and third classes. The following measurements are standards for doctors across America.

  • Class I obesity: BMI 30 to <35 kg/m².
  • Class II obesity: BMI 35 to <40 kg/m².
  • Class III obesity: BMI 40+ kg/m².

While often diminishing quality of life, obesity can impact one’s overall health. Obesity has been linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, pregnancy problems, and certain types of cancer.

What Causes Obesity?

On the surface, obesity is caused by eating more calories consumed than burned. But every case of obesity is different, and there are often other factors that cause obesity. For example, certain medications or hormonal changes can increase your appetite and lead you to become obese. Additionally, certain genetic mutations cause hereditary obesity.

If you’re depressed, anxious, or stressed, you may eat more than your body can consume to cope with challenging emotions and feelings. Fast food and convenience foods are at our fingertips, and these foods often increase the process of gaining excess body fat. Additionally, living a very sedentary lifestyle while over-consuming food can quickly lead to obesity.

What Are the Symptoms of Obesity?

Beyond gaining weight, there are a few other symptoms of obesity you may notice. Some of these signs include:

  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath

If you notice you or a loved one developing symptoms of obesity, don’t hesitate to seek medical care. You may feel nervous about finding treatment, but a doctor can provide remedies to improve your quality of life and health.

What Are Treatment Options for Obesity?

There are many treatments available for obesity. At BMI Surgery, our doctors recommend losing a minimum of 5% to 10% of your total weight. This percentage may not seem like much, but even the most minor weight loss can significantly reduce your risk of developing health problems. Your weight loss specialist will recommend dietary treatments, exercise regimens, and other lifestyle changes.

Likewise, your doctor may prescribe certain medications that can decrease your appetite. Medication isn’t a long-term treatment but may be beneficial in the beginning. Similarly, another treatment option for obesity is weight loss surgery.

Is Weight Loss Surgery an Effective Treatment for Obesity?

Yes! Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, reduces stomach capacity to lower food intake. Weight loss surgery isn’t performed unless other treatment methods haven’t worked, like diet or exercise changes, and your obesity must be impacting your health.

Common weight loss procedures include:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Laparoscopic gastric bypass
  • Orbera® gastric balloon
  • Revisional weight loss surgery

Begin Your Journey Towards a Happier & Healthier Life

Obesity can cause various health issues that may impact your well-being for years to come. Luckily, with some help from experts, you can find effective ways to treat obesity. While it may seem overwhelming to seek treatment, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor for the betterment of your physical and mental health.

If you’re interested in weight loss surgery or know of a loved one who may benefit, a Board-certified weight loss surgeon can help you lead a healthier, happier life. At BMI Surgery, we offer various types of weight loss surgery, support groups, nutritional and exercise advice, preparation class, and more.

Discover Weight Loss Surgery Options at BMI Surgery

Our surgeon, Dr. Long, is board-certified and has successfully performed weight loss surgeries for 20 years. Don’t wait to become the happiest, healthiest version of yourself—contact BMI Surgery today. To schedule an appointment or discuss your weight loss journey, call 205-850-1973 or contact us online.

How To Lose Weight: Set Small Goals for Weight Loss

A woman filling out a meal plan on a wooden desk near a green apple and pink hand weights.

A woman filling out a meal plan on a wooden desk near a green apple and pink hand weights.

During the holiday season, festive parties, work events, and socializing with family fill our calendars. Many of these celebrations are filled with tasty treats and delicious cocktails, causing many of us to overindulge and feel discouraged about our weight loss goals. Instead of feeling frustrated and trying to make monumental lifestyle changes the following day, we recommend incorporating small changes that are manageable and motivating.

Small goals may feel useless, but they can make a big difference. Small wins over a period of time can amount to one giant success. As you consider weight loss, take a look at some manageable goals that you can practice throughout the week from the experts at BMI Surgery.

1. Drink More Water

We all know water is great for our health, but you may not know that it’s excellent for weight loss too. Water can lessen appetite, boost metabolism, and enhance workouts. Your stomach becomes fuller as you drink more water, creating less room for food. The body also expends energy to raise body temperature in reaction to cool water, called thermogenesis, which promotes a faster metabolism.

The recommended amount of water is about 64 ounces per day. We advise drinking water throughout the day, especially before and after exercise. As you sweat, your body’s overall water content is lost and must be replenished. Keep track of how many glasses you’ve drunk throughout the day and mark your overall progress. If you intentionally drink a few more ounces of water than usual, you’ll be on the way to your next weight-loss goal in no time!

2. Take Quick Exercise Breaks

Multiple quick exercise breaks throughout the day can keep you motivated and promote weight loss. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. When this happens, your body is in a caloric deficit and burns stored fat for energy. As you burn stored fat, you lose weight.

Exercise can burn extra calories to help you into a calorie deficit. And exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be long hours in the gym—instead, it can be frequent moments of movement throughout the day. For example, calf raises while washing the dishes, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and taking a quick walk around the block can all be accomplished in 10 minutes or less. As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can up the amount of time you’re exercising for further weight loss.

3. Fill Half Your Plate with Veggies

Like exercise and water intake, vegetables can aid in your journey to shed some pounds. Most vegetables are low in calories but high in water content, making them the perfect food to include in your meals for weight loss. Vegetables can fill you up, and you can eat lots of vegetables guilt-free.

As you prepare your meal, aim to fill half your plate with vegetables for a healthy, satisfying meal. We recommend broccoli, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, and zucchini—but you can’t go wrong with any vegetable. While vegetables can get a bad reputation for lacking flavor, dress up your favorite veggies with seasonings or low-calorie sauces.

4. Eat Meals Slowly

The hormones released by the human body control almost every process—from sleep to emotions. Before you consume a meal, a hormone called ghrelin is released. This hormone is a signal to alert your body of hunger. After we eat, it can take our brains some time to catch up that we’re full as ghrelin levels may not have decreased yet.

If you eat meals more slowly, your brain has time to catch up that you’re eating a filling meal. Slower eating can aid in a calorie deficit since you may feel fuller quicker. We recommend chewing your food about 15 to 20 times to help slow down your eating.

5. Track Your Progress

As you embark on your weight loss journey, tracking your progress is crucial for success. These progress goals can be anything from how many pounds you want to lose to how much exercise you aim for throughout the week or how many vegetables you want to consume. Whatever you choose, write it down and track your progress.

Once you reach your goals, you can celebrate! Planning out small gifts for each goal reached can keep you motivated, excited, and optimistic about your weight loss. Small celebrations can include a little retail therapy, a healthy takeout meal, or anything else that is a treat for you but doesn’t sacrifice your upcoming goals.

Small Goals Lead to Big Changes

This holiday season, say goodbye to juice cleanses, extreme workouts, and other diet fads, and hello to sustainable, healthy weight loss. While it can be tempting to rearrange your lifestyle the morning after too many sweets, you’re more likely to stick with your healthy alternatives if you adjust your habits slowly.

We can help you on your weight loss journey at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery. Our team provides quality care, expert advice, and innovative solutions so that you can achieve your dream physique. Learn more about setting goals and losing weight from the experts at BMI Surgery!

Begin Your Weight Loss Journey at BMI Surgery

Our team at BMI Surgery can help you with quality care and expert advice to help you achieve your results! Dr. Long and his team specialize in all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND. Call (205) 850-1973 or contact us online to transform your body today!

A Guide to Sugar Intake After Weight Loss Surgery

Sugar cubes spilled from the overturned glass sugar bowl and wrapped by tape measure

Sugar cubes spilled from the overturned glass sugar bowl and wrapped by tape measure

During the holidays, it can feel like sugary foods are around every corner. From festive cookies to hot chocolate to decadent cakes, many folks celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with sugary indulgences. And while many of us know the dangers of consuming too much sugar, it’s especially important for those who have undergone weight loss surgery.

After your weight loss surgery journey, we understand you want to maintain your results while feeling your best. Unfortunately, eating too much sugar can cause cramps, bloating, and lightheadedness right after your meal and in the following hours. Learn more about sugar intake after weight loss surgery, and how it can impact your results.

What Happens If I Consume Too Much Sugar?

If you consume too much sugar after bariatric surgery, you may experience an unpleasant condition known as dumping syndrome. Also called rapid gastric emptying, dumping syndrome can happen after eating various foods, but is especially common after consuming foods high in added sugar. There are two types of dumping syndrome—early and late.

In early dumping syndrome, as food enters the small intestine, the sugar draws water from the intestinal tissue and surrounding vessels. This lack of water leads to light-headedness, cramping, nausea, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and an irregular heart rate.

On the other hand, late dumping syndrome occurs one to three hours after eating and can cause different symptoms, such as sweating, skin flushing, dizziness, weakness, and rapid heart rate. The pancreas releases insulin to absorb the excessive sugar, leading to low blood sugar and the associated symptoms.

What Is Added Sugar?

Added sugar is sugar added during food processing, like sucrose or dextrose. These sugars aren’t naturally occurring, like the sugar in apples, milk, or vegetables, but are manufactured to add sweetness. Some common names of added sugar include corn syrup, honey, lactose, maple syrup, molasses, and agave.

How Can I Reduce Added Sugar in My Diet?

If you’ve had weight loss surgery, we recommend no more than 2.5 teaspoons of sugar per meal. If you stick to natural, whole foods, staying under this limit will be a breeze. Some common foods to avoid include ice cream, pastries, cakes, sugar-sweetened beverages, and other desserts.

It’s important to note that added sugars can be sneaky and can be found in many sauces and salty foods, like ketchup, low-fat yogurt, and cereal. Other sweeteners like honey, syrups, and table sugar should also be limited.

Try eating small meals throughout the day. Smaller meals can slow down digestion, making it easier to stop eating once you feel full. Similarly, adding foods high in fiber and protein, like meat, nuts, and cottage cheese, can keep you fuller for longer while slowing down gastric emptying. We advise against drinking lots of water during your meal, as it can increase stomach volume and lead to hurried digestion.

Achieve Your Dream Body & Maintain It

Enjoy whole, natural foods this holiday season and feel confident in your weight loss! With these tips for reducing sugar intake, you can avoid dumping syndrome and all the uncomfortable symptoms that come with it. If you want to learn more about weight loss surgery or have questions about your diet, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at BMI Surgery for quality, knowledgeable advice. If you’re intentional about your diet after weight loss surgery, you can maintain your dream body for years to come!

Interested in Learning More About Weight Loss Surgery?

Maintain your weight loss this holiday season with Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery. Dr. Long and his team specialize in all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND. Contact us online or call us to set up a consultation at 205-850-1973.