• Weight Loss Surgery: Your Questions Answered

    Nutrition and Weight Loss

    Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a treatment option available to overweight adults 18-65 years of age in the effort to prevent obesity-related medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Read on to learn more about bariatric surgery and whether or not it is right for you:

    Is weight loss surgery right for everyone?
    No—the surgical treatment is not for everyone. After a complete evaluation of the patient and a discussion of their options, your healthcare provider will determine if weight loss surgery is right for you. Since it is a life-altering procedure, it is necessary to make sure that each patient is prepared to make the lifestyle changes needed for a successful outcome.

    How is eligibility determined?
    The National Institutes of Health supports these guidelines for determining whether or not a patient is eligible for weight loss surgery:

    • The patient must be between the ages of 18 and 65
    • The patient must have a BMI (body mass index) of greater than 40 or between 35 and 40 with major obesity-related medical issues
    • The patient must have attempted and failed previous non-surgical efforts to lose weight
    • The patient must have realistic expectations of the surgery and be committed to continued management of their weight

    Does insurance cover the cost of the procedure?
    It is always a good idea to contact your insurance provider to find out whether or not weight loss surgery is a benefit on your plan; it may or may not be covered depending on your insurance plan.

    Can the weight be regained?
    Yes. If the patient does not comply with diet and exercise recommendations given by their health care provider, long-term weight loss is unlikely. Bariatric surgery is only the first step to losing weight.

    Being overweight can have serious health consequences. At Riverside Community Hospital, our staff of health care professionals wants to help you live a healthier life. If you are interested in learning more about our Center for Surgical Weight Loss or about bariatric surgery in general, please contact us at (951) 788-3000.

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  • Benefits of Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Cardiac rehabilitation is a three-phase personalized program dedicated to the education and rehabilitation of patients recovering from heart-related diseases or surgery. Recent studies have shown that exercise-based cardiac rehab improves the overall health and quality of life in patients that participate.

    The main goal of cardiac rehabilitation is the recovery from and prevention of cardiac episodes. To do this, a personalized training program is designed to fit each patient’s specific needs. A patient usually starts with light activity and works towards more intense aerobic exercise on a bike or treadmill. This increased physical activity improves one’s energy level, lifts the spirits, and increases the strength of the heart and body.

    Cardiac rehab increases participants’ confidence in their abilities and situation. The support offered by a cardiac rehab staff includes education about medicines, diet, and other lifestyle changes—all personalized to fit the patient’s needs. This professional support, in combination with the group support element found in the clinic, can go a long way in helping a patient understand their disease and improve their health.

    Participating in cardiac rehab improves one’s functional capacity to perform the activities of daily living, such as shopping and caring for family members. This increased performance is largely due to the improved cardiovascular and muscular function that is the result of regular exercise. Even patients with severe cardiomyopathy or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), who are unable to improve the functioning of their central circulatory system, can benefit from the increased peripheral strength (quadriceps, biceps, etc.) that comes with exercise.

    Exercise-based cardiac rehab is a vital part of a healthy heart program. The Heart Care Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is committed to the effective treatment of heart disease; our three-phase cardiac rehabilitation program is only one of the many services we offer to patients with compromised heart health. Contact us at (951) 788-3000 or check out our website to learn more about our services.

  • How to Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home

    Taking your blood pressure at home can help you to better control your levels. It is a very simple procedure, but a few steps should be taken to ensure an accurate pressure.

    In this video, you can learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home. Taking an accurate pressure each day will help your doctor to formulate the best possible plan for your health.

    If you have questions regarding blood pressure or your health in general, let Riverside Community Hospital be your resource. Contact us at (951) 788-3000 or visit our website for more information.

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  • Organ Donors Give the Gift of Life

    Organ Donation

    Organ transplantation has given many people new leases on life, allowing them to continue living productive lives. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of donors, which has resulted in many patients passing away before receiving a transplant. Over 100,000 Americans are currently waiting for a kidney, heart, lung, liver, or pancreas transplant—a person can wait up to 503 days for a heart and up to 2,446 days for a transplant liver.

    Organ donation and transplantation is very carefully regulated. The candidates for organ transplantation are carefully evaluated by a physician and a transplant team before their names can be submitted for surgery. These teams usually consist of a surgeon, a specialty physician, a psychologist, pastoral care staff, a nurse, the health care plan’s case manager, and a social worker. Before the transplant, candidates are usually treated with counseling and given advice about exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes that occur after the procedure.

    Life-long doses of anti-rejection medications are necessary after any organ transplant, which may cause a number of different side-effects. Organ recipients must monitor their eating habits, exercise regimen, and overall health very closely, but they can otherwise live normal and active lives.

    The sooner a surgeon can get a donated organ to a sick patient, the better their chances for survival. Although most people support the idea of organ donation, lack of communication and misinformation prevent many from donating. Anyone can become a donor, and donation costs nothing. If you would like to learn more about giving someone else a fighting chance for life, contact Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.

  • Bariatric Procedure Profile: LapBand Surgical Weight Loss Procedure

    Weight Loss

    The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band, or LapBand procedure, is a surgical treatment for obesity. It is performed through very small incisions in the abdomen with the help of a small camera, making it one of the least invasive bariatric surgical options. The surgery causes weight loss with the use of an adjustable band that is placed around the stomach, effectively decreasing the amount of food that can pass into it.

    To perform the procedure, the doctor makes several keyhole incisions in the abdomen. Gas is pumped into the incisions to inflate the abdomen and make it easier for the doctor to see through the laparoscope, which is a tiny camera mounted on a lighted flexible tube. Using the camera to send images to a monitor, the doctor then places an adjustable band around the top of the stomach and fastens it into place. Tubing is placed from the band to a port in the abdominal wall, allowing the band to be adjusted with a needle syringe at a later date, if needed. The incisions are then closed.

    The LapBand procedure is meant for those with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or greater or those with a BMI of 35-39.9 with life-threatening, obesity-related medical conditions. The procedure itself normally takes 30-60 minutes, with a hospital stay of one to two days on average.

    The success of the surgery depends on the patient’s dedication to continued weight loss. If the patient makes the necessary changes in exercise habits and diet and continues to follow up with the doctor, it will be possible to experience the surgery’s benefits. These benefits include:

    • Improvement in diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis, high cholesterol, and other obesity-related conditions
    • Weight loss
    • Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
    • Improved exercise tolerance and stamina
    • Improved mood, self-confidence, and overall quality of life

    Riverside Community Hospital’s Center for Surgical Weight Loss provides bariatric weight loss procedures for our patients who are committed to living a healthier life through weight loss. Speak with one of our nurses by calling (951) 788-3000, or contact us online.