Our facilities host free seminars for those interested in surgical weight loss. These informative seminars are held at our hospitals. The seminars are hosted by one of our bariatric surgeons and usually last two to three hours. During this time the surgeon will discuss the different types of bariatric surgery, the rationale for surgery and the expected outcomes. After the surgeon’s lecture, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the surgeon. We encourage anyone interested in weight loss surgery to bring friends and family to the seminar for support and to share in the experience.
To register for a free seminar or to learn more about weight loss surgery and the Health for Life Center at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Center visit HealthForLifeCenter.com.
What is obesity?
Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. Obesity is most commonly measured by body mass index or BMI. A person with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. A BMI of 40 and above suggests morbid obesity.
|18.6 – 24.9||Normal|
|25.0 – 29.9||Overweight|
|30.0 – 39.9||Obese|
|40 and above||Morbidly obese|
The health effects of obesity
Morbid obesity is a disease that can cause a severe decline in health and a shortened life span. Weight loss surgery is not done for cosmetic reasons; it is done to treat and prevent serious medical problems associated with severe obesity. Nearly all body systems are affected by morbid obesity. Some common and significant medical problems caused by morbid obesity include:
- High blood pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea, breathing failure
- Degeneration of weight-bearing joints in hips, knees, ankles and feet
People who undergo surgery for obesity do tend to lose substantial amounts of weight after surgery (50 to 200+ pounds), and they have a very good chance of maintaining their lower weight for life. Many medical problems improve as the medical stress caused by weight is reduced. A few of the most important medical improvements that are seen after bariatric surgery are:
- 85 percent of diabetes cases are resolved after gastric bypass
- 95 percent of GERD cases are resolved after gastric bypass
- 60 percent of high blood pressure cases are resolved after gastric bypass
- 50 percent of cancer risk is reduced after weight loss surgery
Bariatric surgery also saves lives. It has now been statistically demonstrated in several research papers that, for a person who is morbidly obese, the chance of being alive five years from now is at least 40 percent better with bariatric surgery than without. Note that this outline of benefits is not complete unless it is balanced against the risks of the chosen weight loss surgery.
Most people who suffer from obesity know that the excess weight can cause problems with lifestyle and function. Here is a partial list of lifestyle factors that can reasonably be expected to improve as weight comes down:
- Improved breathing
- Ability to do normal personal hygiene
- Increased energy level
- Regularly get a good night’s sleep
- Greater confidence
- Improved job or career prospects
- Ability to cross legs
- Better ability to travel
Am I a candidate?
One of the first questions people ask about surgical weight loss is ‘am I a candidate?’ While this question sounds simple, the answer is more complex. Think of this question as a two-part question.
- Do I meet the medical criteria to qualify for surgical weight loss?
- Am I mentally prepared for surgical weight loss?
To medically qualify for surgical weight loss, a person must:
- Have a BMI greater than 40, or
- Have a BMI greater than 35 with at least one co-morbidity exacerbated by weight. These co-morbidities include, but are not limited to:
- Diabetes (type 2, or insulin-resistant)
- High blood pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
- Degeneration of the knees or other weight-bearing joints
The second question, ‘am I mentally prepared for surgical weight loss?’ can only be answered by the individual. It is important to realize that surgical weight loss is not a quick fix. It is a tool that can assist you in your weight loss journey. It is a lifelong commitment that requires permanent changes in your eating habits.