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Online Seminar Focuses on Weight Management Surgery 

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    Dr. Kendell Sowards

Obesity can wreak havoc on the body. Research indicates it is linked to the development of a variety of potentially serious medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

Bariatric surgery treats obesity—defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above—by restricting the amount of food you can eat and/or changes the route food takes through your body, resulting in less food being absorbed.

Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital bariatric surgeon Dr. Kendell Sowards hosts a free online weight loss surgery orientation to help you decide if the surgery is right for you. This information session will be conducted via Webex from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23.

The Houston Methodist Center for Weight Loss & Bariatric Surgery at Baytown offers personalized care through medical nutritional counseling and bariatric (weight loss) surgery for patients affected by conditions attributed to obesity.

“Weight loss surgery helps patients reduce their calorie intake, but the procedures are combined with counseling and dietary education to help patients learn about their own eating habits and stay fit after they lose weight,” Sowards said.

Orientation participants will have the opportunity to meet with Sowards virtually and learn about the types of bariatric procedures offered. You will also gain an understanding of what happens before, during and after surgery, and get to ask questions and hear from others considering weight loss surgery. Following the session, you will be given the opportunity to schedule a telemedicine consultation. 

Patients whose BMI is 40 and above are eligible for bariatric surgery, while those whose BMI is in the 35-40 range are also eligible if they have existing medical conditions considered to be caused by or associated with obesity. 

The most commonly performed weight loss surgery procedures are the sleeve gastrectomy, which re-shapes the stomach into a thin, sleeve-shaped organ that helps to limit the amount of food that can be consumed at a given time, and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. With this surgery, part of the stomach is stapled off, leaving a small pouch that will only hold a few ounces of food. The digestive tract is redirected to bypass the upper small intestine, which reduces total calories absorbed.

“The center offers comprehensive nutritional and counseling after-care programs to help our patients adjust to the physical and emotional changes that frequently occur after surgery,” Sowards said. “It is vital that patients be willing to make major lifestyle and dietary changes in order to achieve optimal results following any bariatric surgery procedure.”

To ensure the safety of patients and hospital staff, Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital is taking every necessary precaution during the coronavirus pandemic. These measures include ensuring only those without COVID-19 symptoms are seen in the office; wearing masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) while providing patient care; reorganizing waiting rooms and check-in lines to maintain social distancing, and implementing additional sanitation processes to disinfect all equipment and surfaces.

Visit or call 281-428-2273 to register for the online seminar. Once registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation email with a URL to the scheduled Webex meeting.



About Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital

Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital has provided Baytown and east Harris, Liberty and Chambers counties with quality medical care since opening its doors in 1948. The hospital has grown throughout the years with the community, providing comprehensive care at all stages of life. As a health care leader, the hospital is proud to have a fully integrated residency program focused on educating and inspiring future practitioners. Today, Houston Methodist Baytown provides some of the most advanced and innovative procedures while never wavering from its focus on compassionate and patient-centered care.