Dr. Clifton Thomas

Bariatric Surgery

What You Need to Know about Bariatric Surgery in Texas

The decision to have bariatric surgery, also called metabolic or weight loss surgery, is a weighted choice. Bariatric surgery can improve the health and quality of life of a very obese person, but you should also consider the disadvantages of undergoing major surgery. However, if you have been struggling with obesity for a long time and a change to your diet or exercising has not helped you to lose weight, you should do as much research as possible and find out everything you can about this surgery before starting treatment. If you have decided to pursue bariatric surgery or are considering it and want professional advice, consider contacting the office of Clifton Thomas, M.D in Harris County, TX. Dr. Thomas is an experienced and qualified surgeon who is known for going above and beyond to help his patients get through surgery smoothly.

Pros and Cons of Surgery

Different types of weight loss surgery can help obese people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems. However, this is a major surgery that can be very hard on your body and requires a substantial lifestyle change following the surgery. After surgery, you will be on a diet of liquids and soft foods for a while to let your stomach and/or intestines heal. You will gradually move back to solid food but will need to stay on a balanced diet and exercise regularly for the rest of your life. You will also likely have to take supplements to ensure that your body gets enough vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, you will need to attend regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to make sure everything is going well and get additional advice and support, if needed.

In addition to the stress on your body and the various commitments you will have to make for the surgery to be a success, you should also consider the risks involved with this kind of surgery. You might end up with excess folds of skin which may need to be removed with plastic surgery; in addition to the stress of putting your body through yet another surgery, this could be very expensive if your insurance will not pay for it. There is also an increased risk of gallstones and blood clots in the leg or lungs, as well as the possibility of the gastric band (explained in detail below) slipping out of place, resulting in leaks or blocks in the gastrointestinal system. The harsh disadvantages and painful risks make this a complicated surgery, and you should only pursue it if you have tried everything else to lose weight.

Different Types of Bariatric Surgery

The three most common types of weight loss surgery are a gastric band, a gastric bypass, or a sleeve gastrectomy. All three surgeries have the same effect: adjusting your gastrointestinal system so you will not need to eat a large amount of food to feel full.

A gastric band surgery is when a surgeon places an adjustable gastric band around the top of the stomach.

In a gastric bypass surgery, the top part of your stomach is attached to your small intestine. 

In addition to making you feel fuller faster, this type of surgery will cause your body to absorb less calories from food. 

The final type, a sleeve gastrectomy, is when a part of the stomach is removed. 

While Dr. Clifton Thomas has experience with other types of weight loss surgery, he only offers the sleeve gastrectomy at his practice because he has found that it is the safest and the most effective in helping patients change their eating habits. Choosing a surgery with the greatest success rate is key because it will decrease the chance of needing another surgery, which will entail more stress on the body and more risks. Dr. Thomas also specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic repair and surgery, so you may not be required to have an open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is also known as keyhole surgery because rather than making large incisions, the surgeon can access the inside of the stomach through small incisions in the abdomen. Dr. Thomas strives to lessen the stress and harm to your body by performing the least invasive, safest, and most effective surgery possible. He also hosts a “Change your Eating” podcast and will soon be offering a course to help patients and others improve their health.

About Clifton Thomas, M.D. and Why You Should Choose Him

Dr. Clifton Thomas is committed to helping his patients achieve a better, healthier quality of life, which is why he not only uses his experience with different types of surgery to inform what procedures he performs on his patients but is continuously involved with their recovery and post-op diets. He was the first to complete a fellowship in Bariatric Surgery at Southwestern Medical School, is a board-certified General Surgeon, and started his career as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Marshall University in West Virginia. Dr. Thomas has 21 years of experience as a Bariatric Weight loss Surgeon and 29 years of experience performing outpatient hiatal hernia surgery for heartburn and reflux. He is a pioneer of the Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication for GERD as a treatment for Heartburn symptoms and Hiatal Hernia, has wrote two books on weight loss, and appears in several shows and documentaries.
Clifton Thomas MD Logo

Dr. Thomas is also a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the largest non-profit medical organization dedicated to metabolic and bariatric surgery in Harris County as well as obesity related problems and conditions and their treatments. The ASMBS awarded Dr. Thomas the Center for Excellence designation, making him one of the first surgeons in Houston to receive this honor. We hope this description of Dr. Thomas’s qualifications, experience, and expertise will reassure you that he is the best person to work with as you go through this process to improve your health and quality of life.

Making an Appointment

If you are ready to take your first steps towards bariatric surgery or are not sure if it is right for you, give us a call today or schedule an appointment online. In person visits are virtual appointments are available; we recommend you begin with a virtual visit and follow up with an in person one. Depending on availability, you may be able to schedule a same day online appointment and get your questions about bariatric surgery answered almost immediately. You should know that weight loss surgery is typically restricted to persons with a body mass index of 40 or more. You might be eligible for surgery if you have a BMI between 35 and 40 and you also have an obesity related condition, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Dr. Thomas serves the residents of East Texas, including the greater Houston area; he has three offices in Houston, one in Nacogdoches, and one in the Woodlands, with the office at the Houston Galleria being his primary location. We know that major health problems have likely led you to consider weight loss surgery and are eager to let us help you through this time in your life. Get in touch with us today, and Dr. Thomas will share his expertise to help you decide and the best route for you to a healthier lifestyle.