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Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity: A Disease
Treatment Options

Obesity: A Disease
Obesity and diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and many other parts of the world. It has created physical, psychological, social and economic drain on nations. Not surprisingly, it has become the focus of major initiatives from both Governments and the private sector. This epidemic has affected every state in the United States, with the greatest rise in incidence in those whose body mass index is over 40.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. The prevalence of obesity has increased more than 60% in the past decade. A quarter of the U.S. population is obese and another 97 million Americans are overweight or at risk of becoming obese.

Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage.



Measuring Obesity: The Body Mass Index (BMI)
A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 703. The metric calculation for BMI is kg/m2.

BMI
  NORMAL

BMI
18.5 - 24.9

  OVERWEIGHT

BMI
25 - 29.9

  OBESE
(Class I)
BMI
30 -35

  SEVERE OBESE
(Class II)
BMI
35 - 40

  MORBIDLY OBESE
(Class III)
BMI
40 - 59



Morbid Obesity
A person who generally weighs at least twice or 100 pounds more than his or her ideal weight or has a BMI of 40 or more is diagnosed as morbidly obese. The National Institutes of Health report that morbid obesity may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Problems
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Respiratory Problems such as asthma


Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment

Dieting, exercise, and medication have long been regarded as the conventional methods to achieve weight loss. Sometimes, these efforts are successful in the short term. However, for people who are morbidly obese, the results rarely last. Recent research reveals that conventional methods of weight loss generally fail to produce permanent weight loss. Several studies have shown that patients on diets, exercise programs, or medication are able to lose approximately 10% of their body weight but tend to regain two-thirds of it within one year, and almost all of it within five years. Another study found that less than 5% of patients in weight loss programs were able to maintain their reduced weight after five years.

Surgical Treatment
Over the years, weight-loss surgery has proven to be a successful method for the treatment of morbid obesity. Surgical options have continued to evolve. Bariatric surgical procedures are broadly classified into either pure restrictive procedures (eg. Lap Band) or combined restrictive and malabsorptive such as the gastric bypass. Both the LAP-BAND® and the gastric bypass have established themselves as effective and durable in the treatment of morbid obesity.