Obesity and weight loss surgery are two major topics in medicine today. As obesity has reached epidemic proportions, weight loss surgery has become increasingly popular. Too, bariatric plastic surgery procedures, such as the body lift, have also surfaced in the plastic surgery community in order to provide a final transformation in appearance with the removal of excess skin and fat deposits following weight loss from bariatric surgery. Still, people may have misconceptions about obesity and weight loss surgery. So, we turned to some of the nation’s leading bariatric surgeons to learn what they feel people still need to be better educated about when it comes to obesity and weight loss surgery.
Obesity is a Disease! As Dr. Jeanette Keith, Bariatric Surgeon affiliated with a Center of Excellence of Buffalo, New York, explains, “People are still biased against obesity. Obesity is chronic disease like diabetes or hypertension. We should approach it the same way and provide individuals with the tools they need to be successful for life. If more people could understand that obesity is not their fault and that solutions are available, they may be more inclined to seek out an appropriate evaluation. We can then identify if they are an ideal candidate for weight loss surgery which is an important and effective treatment when traditional weight loss methods fail.”
Weight Loss Surgery is Not Dangerous! As Dr. David Kim MD, Medical Director of Live Life Again Center for Bariatric Surgery, Surgeon of Excellence from the A.S.M.B.S of Fort Worth Texas explains, “Many people may feel that weight loss surgery is dangerous. However, this belief is not true. There are less invasive weight loss surgery options that offer smaller incisions, inhibit discomfort, and enhance recovery. Weight loss surgery improves life physically, mentally and spiritually from head to two.”
Life Tranformation is Possible! As Dr. Karl Strom, Bariatric Surgeon, Center for Advanced Bariatric Surgery, a Center of Excellence of Montclair, New Jersey, explains, “Weight loss surgery is not performed to simply lose weight. Weight loss surgery is performed to prevent complications from obesity which are limited mobility, life threatening diseases and the risk of death. There are many wonderful stories to share about people who have transformed their lives following weight loss surgery. There are people who formerly used walkers due to excess weight that are now taking care of children without the use of a walker. There are people who were withdrawn that never expected to have relationships who are now married and have children. There are many others who had serious illnesses due to obesity and are now cured following weight loss surgery.”
Weight Loss Surgery Expertise Matters! As Dr. Jonathan Reich MD, FACS, from Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, NJ explains, “The advancements in weight loss surgery today offer a means for people to take advantage of less invasive approaches that are safe and effective. People interested in weight loss surgery are encouraged to seek out a bariatric surgeon who can skillfully perform the procedure, based on a strong surgical background, years of laparoscopic experience, and skills that have been reviewed by peers at a hospital. Skilled bariatric surgeons today are usually affiliated with a Center of Excellence.”
Prepare for Lifestyle Changes! As Dr. William S. Richardson from the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana explains, “For those interested in weight loss surgery it is important to be ready for a life style change including trying to maintain a reasonable diet, starting a regular exercise routine and regular follow up with your bariatric (surgical weight loss) team.”
Many Questions, Many Answers! As Dr. Nick Gabriel, Bariatric Surgeon affiliated with a Center of Excellence of Smithtown, New York explains, “There are many factors that go into the decision for weight loss surgery. People interested in weight loss surgery can receive all of the answers to the questions they need to ask through informational seminars. The next step is to meet with a bariatric surgeon who can develop the appropriate treatment plan for you.”
Life Saving Potential! As Dr. John Rabkin, Bariatric Surgeon affiliated with a Center of Excellence, of San Francisco, CA explains, “Obesity is a health issue, not simply a weight issue. People need to know that the mortality rate is higher when weight loss surgery is not performed. In fact, studies have demonstrated that diabetes is cured at a rate of up to 95% following weight loss surgery.”