Weight-loss surgery success relies on nutrition support

By Erik Morabito, Guest Blogger  |  2/26/2019

The Summer of 2017 was a tremendous turning point in life for me. At the age of 41, morbidly obese and in failing health, I finally took back control of my life and made an appointment with the Bariatric Program at Health Quest's Northern Dutchess Hospital. The need for help was apparent, perhaps years before, but it wasn't until that moment I realized my health was spiraling out of control. Prescriptions for blood sugar, edema and high blood pressure were not addressing my poor dietary and lifestyle decisions. I also had a family history of diabetes and heart conditions. I lost my father at the age of ten, when he passed away suddenly from complications from diabetes and heart issues. He was 36 years young. Oh and did I mention that I am professional cook? Food has and always will continue to be a huge part of my life.

I had done my homework on bariatric surgery and it was clear Northern Dutchess Hospital's program was the direction for me. After visiting with Dr. Brian Binetti, I was on the path to a healthier lifestyle. I attended nutritional seminars led by the hospital's nutritionist, Roufia Payman, and her team. These sessions were part of the pre-surgery qualifications. Roufia took into consideration my career and passion for cooking and offered valuable tips to be successful. All of this was incredibly helpful and it was evident that my relationship with Roufia and nutrition, both pre- and post-surgery, would be critical to my success. From healthy eating, to proper calories and carbs, to vitamins and exercise, I learned a great deal about the importance of proper nutrition, especially relative to a post-bariatric lifestyle.

I haven't had any complications from the gastric sleeve procedure and I truly believe it's due in large part to the pre-work I did with Roufia and the after-care guidance she and her team have provided. The surgery was indeed the easy part! Post-bariatric nutrition is no joke. To be successful, you can't do this alone. It's more than just eating right. It can be overwhelming. That goes without saying. Old habits truly die hard, and this new direction certainly has its fair share of "eating right" challenges. Roufia continues to be a vital part of my continued health goals and for that I am incredibly grateful!

To learn more about bariatric surgery, visit www.healthquest.org/weightlosssurgery