How Weight Loss Can Help Improve Surgical Outcomes

February 28, 2018 If you are like most baby boomers, you may have found that golfing, running or playing a pick-up basketball game are a lot tougher than they used to be.   Even if you are very active, you may have put on some weight over the years and now may be experiencing joint pain that is limiting your lifestyle. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, being overweight or obese is one of the common chronic conditions that affect joint health. For those that are considering surgery, being overweight or obese is a risk factor that can delay your procedure.

Justin M. LaReau, M.D., orthopedic specialist, who specializes in knee and hip replacement surgery, advises his patients to try and lose weight before knee or hip surgery. “Losing 10-15% of your total body weight can vastly improve your surgical outcomes. Even losing 10 pounds relieves 50-100 pounds of pressure on your knee alone.” Surgeons have seen improvements in wound healing, reduced blood clots and bleeding from pre-surgical weight loss. Additionally patients put less strain on new joints and find that their recovery time is much quicker.

That all sounds great, but how do you lose weight safely? According to Anthony Auriemma MD, Medical Director for the AMITA Health Bariatric & Weight Loss Centers, losing 10-15% of your total weight is an attainable, realistic goal. For many making small changes like avoiding sugary soda, alcohol, processed foods, white rice and bread can positively impact your ability to shed pounds. Add some moderate exercise like walking, swimming or yoga can boost your metabolism and contribute to weight loss. For patients that can’t go it alone, a medical weight management program that takes a team approach to losing weight, attacking obesity with intensive behavior modification and support, dietary changes, exercise, and sometimes medication or meal replacement can help achieve the weight goal needed to improve surgical outcomes. Often as a result of weight loss, patients are able to improve many other chronic conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol and arthritis.

Dr. LaReau and Dr. Auriemma will be discussing how weight loss can help improve outcomes in an upcoming program on February 28, 2018 presented at the Oak Brook Park District, Central Park West building. To attend this event, call 855-MyAmita (855-692-6482).