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Weight loss surgery is serious business

Obesity is one of America's most serious epidemics. Over two-thirds of U.S. citizens are overweight; a frightening statistic that continues to increase. Of even greater concern, over 23 million Americans are morbidly obese, which means that they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40, exceeding their ideal body weight by at least 100 pounds.

One-third of these, a population equal to that of North Carolina, attain BMI's greater than 40, a level often considered superobese. Those afflicted by these severe forms of obesity are not only burdened by their bulk, they are also confronted with life-threatening co-morbidities including diabetes, hypertension and severe pulmonary compromise.

There are a wide range of options, but get the facts.

Bariatric surgery, supported by diet and exercise, is the only effective therapy for morbid obesity and its complications. Bariatric surgery is a complex and challenging undertaking, and there are a variety of surgical procedures now available. While the health rewards of weight-loss surgery can be incredible, all surgical options and procedures are not the same. Further, there is a direct correllation between the experience of the bariatric surgeon and the success of the surgery.

When your weight loss surgery isn't working

For some patients, weight-loss surgery doesn't always deliver the expected weight-loss benefits and/or it comes with complications that range from the inconvenient to the very serious. In fact, estimates are that five to fifteen percent of people who have had gastric bypass surgery start regaining weight within three to five years. And as many as 25 percent of lap band patients experience complications or discouraging discomfort following surgery. In those cases, revision surgery may be an appropriate option.

Revisional bariatric surgery is performed to alter or repair a preexisting operation for treatment of morbid obesity. With the increasing number of surgical procedures performed, the need for revise/repair operations is also increasing. The results for revisional bariatric surgery can vary widely. In the hands of an experienced bariatric surgeon, the results of operations for complications are generally good, meaning that the complication is corrected and the associated problems are resolved. And again, there is a direct correlation between the experience of the bariatric surgeon and the success of the surgery.

Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has designated Munroe Regional Medical Center as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence for providing safe bariatric surgical care with excellent short and long-term outcomes.

To learn more about our role as a Center of Excellence or to verify our status, visit www.surgicalreview.org.