By Jennifer Sellers
There’s something that happens to people after bariatric surgery. Garth Davis, MD, medical director of Mission Weight Management, has seen it many times. It’s a transformation of sorts. And it’s not just physical. These people become a new person. Or, depending on how you look at it, they become the person they always were.
A Transformative Tool
Dr. Davis is quick to point out that surgery isn’t a miracle. “It’s very effective, but not a miracle,” he said. “I always tell my patients it’s a tool to overcome some of the biologic and physiologic mechanisms that can make it hard for them to lose weight.”
But in the right hands, this tool can be transformative, said Dr. Davis. That’s because, surgery requires more than simple modifications; it requires dramatic change. And dramatic change creates dramatic results.
“Just controlling how much you eat is not enough,” said Dr. Davis. “You’re not going from a double cheeseburger to a single cheeseburger — that’s not something that really changes your life. What you’re doing is going from a double cheeseburger to a completely and utterly new way of eating. You’re reinventing not only your daily diet; you’re reinventing yourself in the process.”
Dr. Davis said this is why he sees many patients use the surgery as a reset button — their one big chance to start over in life. “They have respect for the surgery, but also for their own ability to reinvent themselves,” he said. “I’ve had patients who’ve gone from couch potatoes to iron man athletes. They’ve completely transformed themselves as people. So much so that some of them celebrate their surgery date as their birth date.”
Support and Data Equal Success
It’s this kind of care and attention, along with a full menu of services, that drew Dr. Davis to Mission Weight Management in the first place.
“I was very attracted to move here based, in large part, on the Mission Weight Management program,” Dr. Davis said. “I was so impressed that I’d be able to give my patients such an amazing array of services and help them be successful with surgery.”
Just a sampling of these services includes: support groups, cooking classes, grocery shopping workshops, online support and one-on-one and group interaction with a team of providers that includes psychologists, board-certified dietitians, behavioral therapists, exercise therapists and medical doctors.
Dr. Davis said that because Mission Weight Management is a Center of Excellence that’s recognized by the American College of Surgery, the center has significant data on patient outcomes. As a result, they are able to see, measurably, that Mission’s bariatric surgery patients are very successful and have significantly low complication rates. “It’s one of the best and safest places to get the surgery,” he said.
Garth Davis, MD, is the medical director of Mission Weight Management.