Gastric Bypass Hypnosis: Help or Hype?

From cutting meals to going under the knife, there are lots of ways to lose weight.

Some work, some don't, but we found a couple who says they fooled their brains into thinking they had bariatric surgery.

So is it hype or can it really help?

Every year 200,000 Americans are stapling, banding, even removing part of their stomachs to beat the bulge.

Patient Roy May says, "I've tried every diet in the world and nothing worked."

But Roy and Sue May spent about 1200 bucks a piece on something else they believe is just as effective.

Rena Greenberg hypnotized the couple into thinking they had gastric bypass surgery.

Greenburg says, "So I'm actually guiding them through the experience as if it were actually happening. Going to a hospital, meeting the nurse, having the anesthesia."

Sue May says, "Definitely for me it's been a miracle."

After hynosis the couple lost 160 pounds combined.

Roy May says, "It has changed our life completely."

But bariatric surgeon Ernest Rehnke isn't buying it.

Dr. Rehnke says, "But these people that are morbidly obese or have weight that is killing them, they need to have something done."

The doctor says only surgery can physically shrink the stomach, reducing the amount of food that can be eaten.  It works for 80% of his patients. 

He doesn't believe hypnosis has that kind of power.

Dr. Rehnke says, "It's not going to work long term, you know, for them. They are going to end up reverting, you know, back to their habits of eating a little bit more, a little bit more."

It seems to be helping Roy and Sue stay on course.  They've kept the weight off for more than a year.

There are no studies on the effectiveness of Greenberg's hypno-surgery, only her figures and patient testimonies.

But there is a new report about bariatric surgery.

While it can help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, research found it does not cut long-term healthcare costs.

The six year study found patients spent more money on hospital stays due to complications than they did on obesity related illnesses.

BACKGROUND: Weight-loss surgeries make changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat or by reducing the absorption of nutrients, or both. They are done when diet and exercise haven't worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight. (SOURCE:

SURGICAL PROCEDURES: Weight loss is usually achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with an implanted medical device (gastric banding) or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery). (SOURCE:

WHY IS IT DONE: Weight loss surgeries are done to reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, such as:
 Heart disease
 High blood pressure
 Type 2 diabetes

Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are typically done only after you've tried to lose weight by improving your diet and exercise habits. (SOURCE:

RISKS: As with any major surgery, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries pose potential health risks, both in the short term and long term. Some of these risks include:

 Blood clots
 Leaks in your gastrointestinal system
 Death (rare)

GASTRIC BYPASS HYPNOSIS: Weight loss surgery is very expensive, but hypnotherapist claim their hypnosis sessions can provide similar weight loss results for a lot less money. The idea of losing weight through hypnosis has been around for decades, but now some hypnotherapists are offering "gastric bypass hypnosis," also called "lap band hypnosis." This "procedure" is done to "reprogram" the minds of patients to believe their stomachs are actually smaller, making them incapable of eating large meals without feeling uncomfortably full.  SOURCE:

For More Information, Contact:

Ernest C. Rehnke, M.D., F.A.C.S.
(727) 344-0640

Rena Greenberg
Hypnotherapist & Author
(800) 848-2822

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