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Published on July 11, 2016

Bryan Bariatrics Advantage Offers Lifelong Services for Weight Loss Success

Weight Loss Surgery Part of Phillip’s Winning Strategy

Although not a quick fix for obesity, weight loss surgery can be a dramatic turning point in the lives of people who are dangerously overweight.

Also known as “bariatric” surgery, weight loss surgery includes several types of procedures to help people feel satisfied with less food. These surgeries, which include gastric bypass, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, can be appropriate for people who are at least 100 pounds overweight and have a body mass index rating of 35 or more, with or without health problems related to their excess weight.

Before being considered for weight loss surgery, candidates must have worked to lose weight by diet and exercise, and undergo a thorough medical examination.

General and bariatric surgeon Benjamin Hung, MD, of Surgical Associates, performed sleeve gastrectomy surgery on Phillip Oelschlager in 2015.

180-pound weight loss

“I was very overweight,” Phillip says, “and despite many attempts, I’d never reached a healthy weight or maintained a significant weight loss.”

Phillip, a Crete Area Medical Center paramedic, lost nearly 180 pounds during the six months after his surgery, with ongoing support from family, friends and the Bryan Bariatric Advantage Program.

“As a paramedic, I have an active job and a very active work environment, and that motivated me to lose weight,” Phillip says. “Also, as a health care professional, I knew I was at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and other medical problems because of the extra weight I was carrying.”

He adds, “It’s important to understand that bariatric surgery is a tool rather than an end in itself.

“To be successful at losing the weight and keeping it off, you have to completely accept that you’ll do a ton of additional work to change lifestyle habits that caused your weight gain in the first place.”

Surgery only part of picture

Dr. Hung agrees. “As Phillip says, surgery is only part of the picture. Patients typically lose weight over a one-to-two-year period after surgery, but have to make significant, lasting changes in their diet and exercise habits to maintain that weight loss over the long term,” he says.

“That’s why, at the Bryan Bariatric Advantage Program, we offer lifelong services to help our patients maintain their weight loss. This includes ongoing support groups, diet and exercise classes, and regular physician examinations over at least a five-year period.

“The reasons people have trouble losing weight are many and varied,” says Dr. Hung. “So the Bryan Bariatric Advantage team thoroughly evaluates each patient’s medical condition, diet and exercise habits to identify individual causes and help them work through these problems to achieve success.”

Read the entire article that appeared in the Spring 2016 Journeys magazine. To learn more about weight loss or the Bryan Bariatric Advantage program, call 402-481-5454 or go to


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