Driving to My New Life
June 1, 2011
We often contemplate making life changes that would give us the new life we desire. While it is a journey that requires much support, determination and the right tools, few things can offer a new life like meaningful and lasting weight loss, when it is needed.
There is new hope today for those who suffer from the disease of Morbid Obesity. Bariatrics, the subspeciality of medicine that deals with weight loss, offers advancing improvement in the management of Morbid Obesity through surgical weight loss. For many years experts on health, such as the National Institutes for Health, have recognized that permanent weight change is almost impossible for the morbidly obese by means other than surgery. Weight loss surgery, also know as bariatric surgery, begins a new life for thousands of people every year.
In 2007, the American Dietary Association found that 86% of professional drivers were overweight and that 66% of these drivers were considered obese. Obesity as a whole is one of the leading preventable causes of death. Those with a BMI ≥35 are considered morbidly obese. Life expectancy is decreased by 2-4 years for those with a BMI of 30-35 and is decreased by 10 years for those with a BMI >40 (click here to determine your BMI: www.bmi-calculator.net).
So how do you drive across the journey to a new life? My husband always says, “the right tool for the right job.” This holds true for bariatric surgery and you will want a proven consultant to help you choose the right surgical “tool” for you. To find someone who can best help you, look within a proven group of surgeons. The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (www.ASMBS.org) has a list of bariatric surgery programs that have been designated as centers of excellence. These centers are reviewed under a set of criteria that cover how they provide care, the quality of their outcomes, the level of their experience, and insuring the safety of their programs. Choosing from this group of providers gives you some objective measures in choosing the professionals that will help you begin your drive toward a new healthy life.
There are 3 categories of bariatric surgery: restrictive, mal-absorptive and mixed. Each of these types has pros and cons. Each patient, with the help of an experienced bariatric surgeon must examine their own goals, their current health conditions and their own weight loss challenges to choose the right surgery for them. Many times patients have an unspoken fear that weight loss surgery won’t work for them. This is understandable since nothing has ever provided lasting meaningful weight loss before. But experience shows that your concerns will quickly fade as you begin to lose weight and for the first time begin to look forward to weighing and watching all your health indicators improve. For instance, diabetes improves or resolves, on average, 81% of the time, high blood pressure 72% of the time and elevated lipids 77% of the time.
Don’t wait any longer! If you desire release from the burdens of obesity, talk to your family physician, an experienced bariatric surgeon at a recognized center of excellence or join a support group either on line or in person. Make a map to your new life and don’t let life’s detours get you off the route you deserve.
Dr. John McElligott suggests checking into the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery (www.newlifebariatricsurgery.com) in Knoxville, TN. His friend Aziza has a blog about her weight loss journey that can be found here, http://mynewlifeatoz.blogspot.com/, or on the surgery center’s website.
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery
Stephen G. Boyce, M.D., FACS, FASMBS
Keary Robert Williams, M.D., FASMBS
200 Fort Sanders West Blvd. Bldg 1, Suite 200
Knoxville, TN 37922
Facebook Page: New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery
Yahoo Support Group: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/KnoxvilleWLS/
St. Christopher Fund contact
Donation line: 877-332-GIVE (4483)
Fax #: 865-851-8396
P.O. Box 30763 Knoxville, TN 37924