The Safer Answer for Weight Control: Dispelling Myths on Weight Loss Surgery

By now, everyone is aware that excess weight will threaten your health.  It’s in the newspaper and on television, the internet and radio.  Hardly a week goes by where a new report on the hazards of excess weight doesn’t hit the national media.

The media has focused on adverse health consequences associated with excess weight, but the truth is that the primary problem caused by severe obesity is the inability of many overweight people to live life to the fullest.  The more overweight a person is, the more difficult it becomes to enjoy normal activities; to walk up stairs comfortably, to easily get in and out of a car and to sit in a booth at a restaurant are some of the constant restrictions felt by obese people every minute of their lives. 

What can be done?  How can this excess weight be controlled and how can a severely overweight person experience that healthy feeling, that “normal life” again?  Of course, the answer is permanent weight loss.  But, how is this achieved?  Fortunately, the truth is finally being published in the major medical journals and reported in the national media.  The truth is that for people suffering from severe obesity, the only highly successful method to achieve substantial permanent weight loss is through weight loss surgery.  This has been demonstrated over and over again in scientific studies (as opposed to the misleading reports promoted by diet companies).  So, knowing the truth about weight control for people 80 pounds or more overweight, what are the key questions?  The questions are obvious; “Is weight loss surgery safe?” and “Where should I go for surgery?”

The Gold standard for weight loss surgery is Laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, weight loss surgery.  At The N.E.W. Program Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass has been performed safely in patients weighing over 700 pounds.  Almost every patient who has surgery for weight loss is able to have surgery successfully using these minimally invasive techniques.  The need to perform these surgeries by the traditional, large-incision method generally indicates that the surgeon is poorly trained in laparoscopic surgery and probably should not be performing weight loss surgery at all.

With Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Gastric Band surgery, the complication rate should be very low.  The vast majority of patients should never need to be in the intensive care unit (ICU) after surgery and should be able to go home after only one night in the hospital.  Recovery should take about one week.  Finally, the mortality rate from this surgery should be well below 1 out of 200, or less than 0.5%.  In over 2000 procedures, there has never been a single death due to a leak or other complication after weight loss surgery at The N.E.W. Program.

After thinking through these facts, it is clear that severely obese people who wish to gain permanent control of their weight should consider surgery.  Of course, before deciding on which surgeon to see, be sure to ask about their statistics, and write them down.  If the surgeon ends up performing open, large-incision surgery more than 2% of the time, be wary.  And of course, don’t be afraid to ask about that surgeon’s mortality rate, complication rate and the chance of ending up in the ICU.  Always remember, it’s your life.  If done right, surgery for weight loss can be done safely and effectively, with a fast recovery.  The long-term goal is to improve your health and help you to regain that healthy feeling, that “normal life” again.

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