Laparoscopic Associates Helps you to Understand Morbid Obesity and Weight-Loss Surgery
What is Morbid Obesity?
Morbid obesity means that a person is so overweight that his or her well-being and health are actually in jeopardy. It is defined in several different ways:
Weighing more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight. The ideal body weight is determined by the Metropolitan Life Insurance table, has been in existence for many years (since 1959) and is based on mathematical formulas that the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company used to determine insurance risks. Most doctors have gotten away from using this table because it is very difficult to use (with separate categories for "frame size" and for men and women) and can be inaccurate.
A Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 35 Kg/M2 in a person who has associated medical problems such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or diabetes. The BMI relates one's weight to his or her height in an attempt to generate a common denominator for all individuals.
A Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40 Kg/M2 in a person who either does or does not have any other medical problems. Use our free online BMI calculator to determine your BMI.
Patients who are considered morbidly obese have a significantly higher chance of the following (as compared to individuals who are not overweight):
Dying prematurely - morbidly obese individuals have a 300-500% greater chance of dying before the age of 76.
Developing medical problems including diabetes (1200% higher), high blood pressure (500-600% higher) and heart disease (200-400% higher).
Developing certain types of cancers such as colon, breast and uterine.
Developing premature degenerative arthritis and joint pain causing limited mobility and activity.
Developing Sleep Apnea and Pulmonary Hypertension (which leads to heart failure).
Why Weight-Loss Surgery?
In general, patients who are able to lose weight by conventional or non-surgical means should do so rather than having surgery. Unfortunately, only 3-5% of individuals who diet are successful at both losing weight and keeping it off long term.
Surgery is a very effective and successful method of effecting long-term weight loss. In 1991 and again in 1996, a panel of medical experts convened by the National Institute of Health issued the statement that, "Only surgery has proven effective over the long term as treatment for severe obesity and should be considered the standard of care for all patients who have failed dietary attempts at weight loss."
Surgery is certainly more risky than dieting; however, in the hands of an experienced surgeon, the risks of surgery are lower than the long-term risks to one's health and longevity caused by obesity.
It is estimated that over 400,000 people per year die in the U.S. alone of causes directly attributable to obesity.
Weight-loss surgery works.
Surgery for Morbid Obesity changes people's lives.
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