Struggling to lose weight?

Are you or a loved one struggling to lose weight? Are you considering weight loss surgery but want to learn more about the options and who the experts are?

Check out Parkland Medical Center's New Hampshire Weight Loss Center.

woman weighing herself - weight loss center

The New Hampshire Weight Loss Center.

Dedicated to helping patients regain their health by combating obesity, the New Hampshire Weight Loss Center offers comprehensive weight loss surgery at Portsmouth Regional Hospital -- a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence -- and now offers pre and post-operative care and support services in Derry. The Center’s multidisciplinary team includes a team of surgeons, psychologists, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists and others to help patients prepare for the procedure and support them in their new, changed lifestyle.

We focus on your whole care—mind, body and spirit—as you take this important step toward a healthier life.

Our information sessions.

Your first step in determining whether bariatric surgery is right for you is attending one of our free weight loss information seminars, designed to provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision about weight loss surgery.

The free information sessions throughout the year offer education about obesity and its related health risks, detailed information about weight loss surgery options, an opportunity to meet our surgeons and members of the bariatric team and talk with an insurance specialist. Former patients are often on hand to describe their experiences. These sessions are mandatory for anyone considering weight loss surgery. Family members and friends are welcome to attend.

View dates, locations and register online for an upcoming session for Derry or the Portsmouth area, or call (888) 421-1080. You may also walk in and register at the seminar.

New! We are now offering online information sessions. Take the online session now!

Understanding weight loss surgery.

Choosing weight loss surgery is a life-changing commitment and a decision to be made with care. The New Hampshire Weight Loss Center offers a range of surgical weight loss options to obese patients whose nonsurgical attempts to lose weight have been unsuccessful.

Often called bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery is not a cosmetic procedure. It reflects an educated decision to improve your health and quality of life. Patients who opt for weight loss surgery at the New Hampshire Weight Loss Center see their lives transform. The journey requires effort and commitment, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

Bariatric surgery is the general term for a variety of weight loss surgical procedures that reduce the size of the stomach, helping patients to lose weight and maintain health through reduced consumption, healthy eating and exercise. The surgery is a tool, not a cure, to help treat weight problems. Our mission is to help patients transform their lives through surgical weight loss when nonsurgical attempts have been unsuccessful.

Weight loss surgery is intended not only to decrease your weight but to improve your overall health. Obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, are greatly reduced after weight loss surgery.

The surgery involves both risks and a commitment to significant lifestyle changes. To make an informed decision, educate yourself about the types, benefits and potential complications of the various bariatric surgery methods.

Most nonsurgical weight loss programs are based on a combination of diet, behavior modification and regular exercise. Unfortunately, even the most effective interventions don't work for everyone. It's estimated that less than 5 percent of individuals who participate in nonsurgical weight loss programs will lose a significant amount of weight and maintain that loss for an extended period of time.

Sustained weight loss for patients who are morbidly obese—usually defined as being 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight or having a body mass index of 40 or higher—is even harder to achieve. And serious health risks have been identified for people who move from diet to diet, subjecting their bodies to a severe and continuing cycle of weight loss and gain known as "yo-yo dieting."

Weight loss surgery is a permanent change that gives people both motivation and a sense of control over their bodies and their eating habits. It has been cited by the Surgeon General, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization as the most effective way for morbidly obese people to lose significant weight permanently.

Some 95 percent of bariatric surgery patients lose 50 percent of their excess weight and 85 percent of them lose at least 75 percent. Almost all report a markedly improved quality of life.

Bariatric weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), force patients to drastically reduce the amount of food they consume by surgically creating a small stomach pouch. Most gastric procedures reduce the stomach's holding capacity from about two quarts to two ounces. When eating, this pouch fills quickly. Because patients feel satisfied and full sooner, they eat less.

Bariatric weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), force patients to drastically reduce the amount of food they consume by surgically creating a small stomach pouch. Most gastric procedures reduce the stomach's holding capacity from about two quarts to two ounces. When eating, this pouch fills quickly. Because patients feel satisfied and full sooner, they eat less.

Bariatric surgery is saving lives and benefiting people struggling with morbid obesity worldwide. With each successful procedure, the medical community sees further evidence that bariatric surgery is an effective weight loss tool and treatment for obesity-related health conditions. Many studies show that bariatric surgery patients are living longer, higher-quality lives.

The risk of an early death for an obese person is twice that of a non-obese person, according to recent studies. Morbid obesity can cause life-threatening health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Weight loss surgery decreases your chance for these and other conditions, including sleep apnea, gastric reflux, asthma, arthritis and migraines. Evidence suggests that weight loss also lowers the risk of some cancers that are increased with morbid obesity, including breast, endometrial, colon and prostate cancers.

With treatment, there's a greater likelihood that a patient can look forward to better health and a longer life.

All surgeries and medical procedures carry risk. It's important to talk to your doctor, other weight loss surgery patients and your loved ones to best understand the benefits and risks for your individual situation.

Important Considerations

Surgery should not be considered until you and your doctor have evaluated all options. It's important to discuss the following issues with your doctor:

  • These procedures are in no way to be considered cosmetic surgery.
  • The surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or excision.
  • A decision to choose surgical treatment requires a patient's careful assessment of risks vs. benefits.
  • Most weight loss surgical procedures approved in the United States are not reversible (except gastric banding, which is reversible).
  • The success of weight loss surgery depends on long-term lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.
  • Problems can arise after bariatric surgery that may require additional surgery.

Complications and Risks

As with any surgery, there are potential risks for surgical and long-term complications. These should be discussed with your doctor. However, for most patients, the risk of death from obesity-related health complications is greater than the risk of complications from bariatric surgery.

Among the possible surgical risks are:

  • Bleeding
  • Complications from anesthesia and medications
  • Reopening of the incision
  • Infections
  • Leaks from staple line breakdown
  • Ulcers
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Spleen injury
  • Stenosis
  • Blood clots
  • Gallstones

Learn more about nutrition services and rehabilitation services at Parkland Medical Center.

Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than a third of American adults—and more than 25 percent of adults in New Hampshire—are obese.

Obesity, by definition, means your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher, which usually means you are 20 percent or more over ideal body weight. Morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI of 40 or higher and typically means that you are 100 pounds or more overweight. As the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, obesity poses a major public health challenge.

Excess weight substantially raises the risk of:

  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia (abnormal concentrations of lipids in the blood)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Respiratory problems
  • Reflux disease
  • Infertility
  • Skin infections
  • Endometrial, breast, prostate and colon cancers

Significant weight loss can decrease the odds of developing one or more of these conditions. Learn more about the causes, risk factors and complications of obesity.

You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight
  • Have a BMI over 40
  • Have a BMI over 35-39 and have one or more serious health conditions related to morbid obesity
  • Are unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even with medically supervised dieting

Patients who come to the weight loss program at Portsmouth are tested for a range of health concerns—liver and kidney function, diabetes, stomach ulcers, gallbladder problems, hypertension and other issues. Beyond this, they receive psychological assessments and are educated about behavior modification, physical therapy and nutrition. Patients proceeding with the program are required to lose a percent of their body weight through diet and exercise.

Conditions that preclude weight loss surgery include alcoholism and other substance abuse problems, impaired liver function and similar conditions, treatable hormonal causes of obesity, serious psychological illness and pregnancy.

Use our healthy living calculators to determine your BMI, ideal body weight and other health measures based on national standards. Remember that all health situations are different and a healthcare professional can more accurately determine your individual health status.

Knowing where you stand may give you the courage to take the first step.

The importance of support.

Support groups give weight loss surgery patients the opportunity to gather information, share personal weight loss experiences and learn from others' experiences. A support group can help with the emotional and physical issues surrounding weight loss surgery and provide the continuing support and encouragement needed to reach your goals.

Our free monthly support groups provide opportunities before and after surgery to learn and ask questions of our dietitian, psychologist and bariatric nurse, as well as patients who share their personal stories about the challenges and successes of weight loss surgery. Support groups are open to anyone who has had or is planning to have weight loss surgery.

For more information or to speak with the bariatric nurse, call (603) 433-5174.