Post Surgery Follow-up Online

For people who need it, bariatric surgery can result in significant weight loss. The result is even better if patients change their habits following surgery. Rod Rice reports that some patients

Candidates for bariatric surgery should meet the criteria set up by the National Institutes for Health for being morbidly obese.

"And that generally is defined by using something called the body mass index, which is a ratio of your weight to your height."

Dr. Erik Wilson is an associate professor of surgery at the UT Houston medical school and the director of bariatric surgery at Memorial Hermann.

"You take someone's weight and divide it by their height and create a specific ratio and if the BMI is over 35 and they have health problems related to their weight or if their BMI is over 40 then they qualify for surgery."

Dr. Wilson says an adjustable gastric band procedure, one of four types of bariatric surgery, adds a post surgical internet component to the process.

"The purpose of an internet based follow-up system is; the patients can put information into them and it can provide immediate feed-back to them as far as how they're eating, what they're eating, and then we can use that information by pulling it up from our side in the clinic and then go over that with them."

That's just what Sandra Kloeber did following her surgery about a year ago.

"I wrote down everything I ate, you know, I was able to see what I was doing right and doing wrong and adjust it that way."

Kloeber says she struggled for years with failed diets and when a surgical option was presented to her it was an easy choice to make.  Her life she says is dramatically better now, but even so, it is easy to get off track post surgery.  She says the web site helps in more than one way.

"Instead of just your eating and fitness regime that you start, they have chat rooms so you can talk to other people who've been through the same experience." 

As the months have past Kloebler's use of the internet has changed from using it primarily for her self to using it for others.

"And now I just kind of get on there and guide other people because I've been through a year of this now so I know what to expect and I help them stay focused  and stay positive and guide them."

This confirms some studies that Dr. Wilson says have shown that first; if people begin to use it they will continue to use it.

"The second thing is, they've looked at average weight loss comparing patients who use it frequently, as in more than once a week, versus those who use it less frequently. And the ones who use it more than once a week have better average weight loss at six months then those who have not. It's about a five to ten percent difference in average weight between the two."

For Sandra Kloeber, her weight related health problems have been resolved since the surgery and internet follow up and her transition to a mentor for others have combined to make her future brighter.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...