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Morbid Obesity

What is Morbid Obesity?

Obesity is measured by using the Body Mass Index (BMI). By knowing your height and weight and using a BMI calculator you can find your BMI. You are considered obese if you have a BMI of 30 or more. Severe obesity is defined as having a BMI of more than 35. Morbid obesity constitutes a BMI of 40 or more.

Health Risks of Obesity

Being obese or severely obese puts you at a higher risk for developing or worsening many serious medical conditions. There are many obesity-related medical conditions that can damage your quality of life and some can cause early death. Some of these medical conditions include arthritis, asthma, some cancers, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, gallstones, heartburn, gout, hypertension, back and joint pain, sleep apnea, infertility, urinary stress incontinence, and type 2 diabetes.

  1. Morbid obesity is associated with many social problems
    • Difficulty with proper hygiene
    • Inability to use many public and private services
  2. Morbid obesity causes psychiatric problems
    • Social withdrawal – Depression – Suicide
  3. Morbid obesity is hereditary
    • It is rarely caused by endocrine abnormalities
    • It is not purely an eating disorder, but rather a problem with metabolism
    • It is usually not the result of a psychological disorder but may predispose to one

Weight loss is recommended for those with obesity or severe obesity. Losing excess weight can improve your health by lowering the risks from obesity-related medical conditions. Methods of weight loss include dietary therapy, increased physical activity, behavior therapy, drug therapy, surgery or a combination of therapies. Surgery is a well-established method of long-term weight control for persons with severe obesity. Several studies have reported patient weight loss of 60 – 80% of excess weight after five years following weight-loss surgery. In most cases, the benefits of obesity surgery outweigh the risks. Each person’s medical situation is different, however, and you should research and discuss with your doctor whether the benefits of obesity surgery outweigh the risks in your specific case.

Surgical Treatments

You may qualify for obesity surgery if:

  • You are morbidly obese (BMI of 40 or more) or have a BMI of 35 to 39.9 with serious medical conditions, such as high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, hypertension, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes or other serious cardiopulmonary disorders.
  • You have tried other methods of weight loss and lifestyle changes such as changes in eating habits, increased physical activity and/or drug therapy – and are still severely obese.
  • You are unable to physically perform routine daily activities (work-related and family functions) and your quality of life is seriously impaired due to the severity of your obesity.
  • You understand the procedure, risks of having surgery – obesity surgery in particular – and effects after surgery. You have to understand and be aware of the “big picture” before undertaking weight-loss surgery.
  • You are motivated to follow your surgeon’s advice that includes:
    • Lifestyle Changes – You must learn to eat smaller amounts of food at one time, to chew your food well and to eat slowly. Failure to adjust eating habits may inhibit weight loss.
    • Surgeon Follow-up: Follow-up is necessary to maintain the proper intake of protein, calories, minerals and vitamins. Proper follow-up care and patient compliance is crucial to long term success of the procedures.

Click here to read about the different types of surgeries we offer.

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