Obesity is not only an epidemic in America. It’s a worldwide epidemic. And right now about two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
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Obesity is not only an epidemic in America. It’s a worldwide epidemic. And right now about two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The majority of patients that we see, they’re usually referred by a primary care physician. And the reason that they even consider weight loss surgery or weight loss in general is that they’ve hit some milestone. Usually, they’ve hit some round number, maybe 300 pounds or so, or they got diagnosed with a new co-morbidity such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes.
What we often see is patients that come to see us, and they’ve often struggled with weight loss their whole life. They’ve tried a variety of diets in the past, and none have worked long-term for them. And this causes them to be upset about themselves and their situation. And they might not want to seek treatment for it, but we discuss everything with them and we help them to understand what the different medical problems are that are associated with obesity.
And we can help them to achieve a better quality of life and to have improvement of their medical problems, in addition to decrease the number of medications that they’re currently on for chronic medical conditions. The people who are eligible for weight loss surgery are generally patients who have a BMI of more than 35 with one or more comorbidities, as I’ve stated before, or a BMI of more than 40 without any co-morbidity.
Currently, we provide the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and the laparoscopic [inaudible 00:01:35] gastric bypass as primary procedures, and both are done with small incisions in the belly for a camera and working instruments. Surgery takes less than two hours, and most patients are able to go home the following day.
After surgery, we have a specific kind of diet that patients follow on a week to week basis until the month, first month. And then afterwards they’re on a smaller type of diet than they were taking in before. They’re on low carbohydrate type of diet and more protein intake.
In order to prepare patients for surgery in terms of the psychiatric component to it, we have them see one of our psychiatrists who explain to them that this is a permanent procedure and that there’s steps associated with it. That this is not a magic pill, and that there’s going to be effort on their part as well, in terms of both eating the correct kinds of food, the quantity of food, and also getting in exercise afterwards.
So usually after surgery, majority of patients have a dramatic change in their quality of life. They’re happier. They’re able to… Some patients who were not able to work before because of chronic pain are able to go to work. Some patients who were never able to play with their grandkids are now able to do so. And it just provides such a difference for those patients.