Weight Loss Surgery in Massachusetts

June 7, 2009 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery · Comment 

The Bay State is facing a public health crisis:  the crisis of obesity. Obesity — the condition of being significantly above one’s healthy weight — is on the rise in Massachusetts. In fact, some 56% of the population of Massachusetts is overweight or obese. And it’s costing us – not only our health, but our hard-earned money as well. Obesity-related expenses account for almost two billion dollars in medical expenses annually in our state.

Obesity is a serious disease — the second most common cause of preventable death in the United States. Besides its obvious lifestyle drawbacks, it may lead to life-threatening illnesses called co-morbidities, including heart conditions, hypertension, cancer, and most commonly, Type II diabetes.

We in Massachusetts beat the British in the Revolutionary War. We must rise to the challenge of obesity to beat this foe, as well.

Getting Fit

Beating obesity is not simply a matter of losing weight. That’s easy. Once a person’s daily caloric intake falls below the number of calories needed to maintain life, their body begins to burn fat to stay alive, resulting in weight loss. Gimmicks like fad diets and so-called weight-loss pills can cause a person to lose significant weight for the short term, but most quickly regain it – and their health often suffers as a result. Such “cures” treat the symptom of obesity – visible excess weight – not the disease itself.

The difficulty comes in restricting caloric intake safely and over the long term. People who are obese can’t just stop eating as if flipping a switch. Many obesity sufferers use eating as a substitute for emotional needs. Others are food addicts, plagued by an urge to eat even when they aren’t hungry. Sadly, many people who do not suffer from obesity see these behaviors as indicators of personal weakness on the part of the obese.

Obesity is not a reflection of someone’s character.
It is a medical condition, and the only way to successfully treat the disease of obesity is by medical treatment centered on a complete change in the patient’s lifestyle and eating habits. For some, education and willpower are enough to accomplish this. For many others, weight loss surgery can mean the difference between life and death.

About Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery has grown increasingly popular over the past decade, with more than 200,000 people undergoing some form of bariatric surgery in the U.S. this year. The purpose of weight loss surgery is to physically alter a patient’s stomach or digestive tract to limit the amount of food the person can eat. If successful, these surgical alterations will cause the patient to take in fewer calories each day than he or she burns, resulting in steady, safe loss of excess weight. The various types of surgical procedures, including gastric banding, gastric bypass, and the sleeve gastrectomy, each present different risks, benefits and common side effects.

Although weight loss surgery has proven very effective in treating obesity, it is ultimately only a tool. Only a complete change in the patient’s lifestyle and relationship to food can cure the disease. Patients who fail to follow the instructions from their surgeon about dietary changes and the need for post-operative support may regain any weight lost.

Those considering bariatric surgery should carefully consider the risks and possible outcomes of these procedures in consultation with their physician.

Massachusetts is a state of fighters – and we can beat obesity. By educating ourselves, supporting one another, and using weight loss surgery when necessary, we can make the Bay State a healthier, happier and better place to live.

Weight loss surgery in Massachusetts is a growing trend, since 56% of the state population is overweight or obese. Visit online website for weight loss surgery treatments .