JFK Bariatric
The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center is dedicated to helping patients achieve their weight loss goals.

Tips for safely exercising in the pool

Bariatric surgeons at The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center often recommend aquatic exercises for their patients. Pool-based fitness routines are ideal both before and after gastric bypass surgery. These low-impact exercises reduce stress on the joints. Plus, many patients discover that working out in a pool makes exercise more fun.

Consult your doctor
It’s important to get active soon after undergoing bariatric surgery. However, your doctor will give you some activity restrictions to follow, while you’re healing. Generally, bariatric surgeons advise their patients not to swim until the surgical incision is fully healed. Even if you haven’t had bariatric surgery yet, it’s still a good idea to speak with your provider. You might need personalized guidelines to exercise safely with certain medical conditions.

Stay hydrated
One perk of exercising in a pool is staying cool, even during the hottest days of summer. Unfortunately, this may discourage some people from drinking as much water as they should. Although a pool workout won’t make you get sweaty, you’re still at risk for dehydration if you don’t drink enough water. Staying well-hydrated is especially important after bariatric surgery.

Use the right gear
Aquatic exercises can be performed in waist-high water or at the deep end of the pool. If you do go into the deep end to exercise, use a floatation device. Consider wearing special water shoes to give you good traction. They’ll also help prevent your feet from contracting athlete’s foot while walking around the edge of the pool. If you plan to exercise in the pool regularly, consider investing in webbed water gloves or Styrofoam weights to increase the intensity of your workout.

Exercise with a friend
For safety’s sake, it’s always a good idea to swim with a friend. If you go to a public pool, make sure a lifeguard is on duty.

When you become a patient at The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center, you will receive superior support services and personalized guidance on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. For more information or a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit www.JFKMC.com.

Why flu prevention is essential when you are preparing for surgery

Once you’ve made the decision to have weight loss surgery and your bariatric surgeon agrees you’re a good candidate for it, it’s time to begin your preparations. Every surgical patient will be asked to take certain precautions before the procedure, but bariatric surgery requires an even more comprehensive approach. The Bariatric and Wellness Institute at JFK Medical Center at supports each of our patients with thorough pre-operative guidance, which may include illness prevention.

Flu prevention
It isn’t just influenza that bariatric surgery patients should be wary of. If any illness develops within a week or two of surgery, you’ll need to notify your bariatric surgery team. Your surgeon may decide to post-pone your surgery until you are fully recovered and in good overall health. To prevent this possibility, reduce your exposure to germs by scrubbing your hands frequently with soap and running water. Avoid being near people who are sick, get plenty of sleep and eat nutritious meals. If you haven’t had your seasonal flu shot yet this year, consider asking your doctor if you should get it before surgery.

Respiratory complications
Before performing bariatric surgery, your care team will administer general anesthesia. Anesthesia drugs work by blocking pain signals from the body and causing patients to lose consciousness. In other words, you’ll be asleep during the surgery. While you’re asleep, the anesthesiologist will carefully monitor your breathing. Most patients only need an oxygen mask, but some need a ventilator, which is a breathing assistance machine. If you have a respiratory infection like the flu, you may be more likely to experience breathing complications while you’re under general anesthesia.

Active infections
Surgery places considerable stress on the body. You’ll need all your strength to recover. It’s best not to force your body to simultaneously fight an active infection and recover from surgery. By taking simple steps to prevent infections like the flu, you can avoid unnecessary delays in your weight loss journey.

If you have any concerns about your upcoming weight loss surgery in Atlantis, our caring specialists are here to help. The Bariatric and Wellness Institute at JFK Medical Center is well-known for our cutting-edge technology, coupled with our personalized, compassionate approach to gastric band surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, revisional surgery and gastric banding. For more information or to receive a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit www.JFKMC.com.

Is gluten bad for you?

Many people enjoy foods that contain gluten, but for people with celiac disease, wheat allergies or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, avoiding gluten is a necessity for health reasons. If you’re concerned about your dietary choices, consider talking to your doctor. If you are diagnosed with a gluten-related health problem, be sure to discuss this issue when you meet with a bariatric surgeon at The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center.

What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein naturally present in wheat. It’s the substance that gives dough its elasticity. Wheat, barley and rye are the primary products that contain gluten, but it’s also found in related products, such as the following:

  • Graham flour

  • Farro

  • Farina

  • Einkorn

  • Triticale

  • Spelt

  • Wheat berries

  • Durum

  • Emmer

  • Semolina

Baked goods like bread and muffins aren’t the only products that contain gluten. This protein is found in everything from malt vinegar to beer. It’s also commonly found in the following:

  • Soups

  • Food coloring

  • Cereal

  • Salad dressings

  • Sauces

  • Meatballs

  • Potato chips

  • Veggie burgers

  • Spice blends

  • Pudding

  • Hot chocolate mixes

Why some people need to avoid gluten
Most people can eat gluten without a problem, but a small number of people have celiac disease and must avoid it. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. When people with celiac disease consume gluten, the immune system reacts by damaging the digestive tract. This can eventually cause serious health consequences, including cancer. Other patients have less severe, but still serious health problems that require a gluten-free diet. If you’ve been diagnosed with a wheat allergy, you’ll have to go gluten-free. Some people may experience symptoms similar to those found in celiac disease patients, yet these individuals test negative for celiac disease. These people are thought to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This food sensitivity has been linked to problems as diverse as brain fog and headaches, to joint and nerve pain.

The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center connects our community to a wealth of resources that improve health and quality of life. If you’re interested in weight loss surgery and live near Atlantis, it’s time to explore your options. To learn more about gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, revisional surgery, gastric banding or to receive a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit www.JFKMC.com.

Are obese people more likely to develop dementia?

Dementia is characterized by the loss of memory and overall decline in brain function. There are actually several types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common. Research into the causes of dementia is ongoing, but some studies suggest that obesity may be linked to poor brain health later in life. The bariatric surgeons at the Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center understand that not everyone can successfully lose weight with diet and exercise alone. That’s why we offer comprehensive programs, including everything from Wellness Services for medical weight loss to surgical procedures, providing thoughtful, patient-focused care for each individual.

Understanding communication within the brain
To understand the possible connection between obesity and dementia, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of how the brain works. Your brain contains gray matter, which is tissue that has a pinkish-grayish color. Gray matter is comprised of the bodies of nerve cells. The brain also contains white matter, which connects the nerve cells with other areas of the brain. This allows the cells to “communicate” with each other.

Researching how obesity affects brain health
In people with dementia, the brain undergoes physical changes that interfere with its proper function. Some researchers have suggested that obesity increases the risk of the weakening of the fornix. The fornix is an area of white matter that connects the hippocampus to other areas of the brain. The hippocampus is the area that is responsible for memory and learning.

Identifying lifestyle improvements for brain health
Although it isn’t definitively known that obesity contributes to dementia later in life, it’s still advisable to maintain a healthy weight. The same healthy lifestyle that supports heart health is also known to preserve brain health—and a trim waistline. You can speak with your doctor about your health concerns, but in the meantime, here are some quick tips to consider:

  • Go for a brisk walk every day

  • Hold “walking meetings” at work instead of sit-down meetings

  • Choose water instead of soda

  • Enjoy a high-fiber, low-fat breakfast like oatmeal

  • Bake or grill food instead of frying it

Changing your lifestyle begins with small steps. Every smart choice you make brings you closer to better health.

The specialists at the Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center empower patients to reclaim their health and quality of life. Our bariatric surgery team in Atlantis is comprised of the leading surgeons and healthcare professionals in their field. To learn more about gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, revisional surgery, gastric banding or to receive a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit www.JFKMC.com.

How Does Obesity Impact Your Heart Health?

Tens of millions of Americans are overweight or obese—conditions that are major risk factors of heart disease. Dietary improvements and physical activity are essential in the fight against both obesity and heart disease, but these lifestyle changes don’t work for everyone. If you’re having trouble losing weight and your BMI indicates obesity, you might consider having weight loss surgery. The bariatric surgeons at The JFK Bariatric & Wellness Institute will consider your weight-related medical conditions, such as heart disease, when determining whether you might be a good candidate for gastric surgery.


People with obesity are at a high risk of having abnormal cholesterol levels. Obesity is linked to undesirably high levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the type that is bad for your cardiovascular health. Obesity is also associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is actually good for your blood vessels, because it helps remove the LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, people with obesity are more likely to have high triglyceride levels, which increase the risk of heart disease.

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is the force the blood exerts against the walls of the arteries. People who are carrying around some extra pounds are more likely to have high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is known as a “silent killer” because it can inflict damage on the cardiovascular system for years without causing any symptoms. If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attacks and heart failure.


Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with obesity. This chronic disease can have life-threatening complications. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack.

Is gastric band, gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy right for you? If you live near Atlantis, discuss weight loss surgery options with a doctor at The JFK Bariatric & Wellness Institute. Visit our website to read more about our Bariatric Program or call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) for more information or to receive a physician referral.

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