Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery: An Overview
Morbid obesity is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time. An estimated 5-10 million Americans are considered morbidly obese. Obesity becomes “morbid” when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities) that can result either in significant physical disability or even death.
Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is major surgery. Its growing use to treat morbid obesity is the result of three factors: Our current knowledge of the significant health risks of morbid obesity; the relatively low risk and complications of the procedures versus not having surgery; and the ineffectiveness of current non-surgical approaches to produce sustained weight loss. This site will provide valuable information about the benefits and risks of weight loss surgery. However, the best way to get a full assessment of your condition is to schedule a consultation to determine if weight loss surgery may be an option for you.
Am I morbidly obese?
Answering this question may give you the courage you need to take the first step. Below are tools you can use to determine if you are morbidly obese and potentially a candidate for weight loss surgery.
There are several medically accepted criteria for defining morbid obesity. You are likely morbidly obese if you are:
- more than 100 lbs. over your ideal body weight, or
- have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40, or
- have a BMI of over 35 and are experiencing severe negative health effects, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, related to being severely overweight
- unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically supervised dieting