Weight Loss Surgery in South Carolina

July 12, 2009 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery · 1 Comment 

What comes to mind when the words “South Carolina” are spoken? Good things: beaches and backwoods, history and hominy, sea breezes and Sea Island nights. But for South Carolina doctors, another word has been coming to mind more and more lately when thinking of our state, and that word is obesity.

Obesity is perhaps the greatest threat to public health our beloved state has ever faced. Almost 63% of the population of the Palmetto State is overweight or obese according to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. And that’s just the grownups. Obesity rates among children ages 10 to 17 are sky-high as well.

Obesity is serious. It can cause diabetes, cancer, heart conditions, and hypertension. It can also cause orthopedic and spinal problems, wreck marriages, destroy self image, and interfere with fertility. It is an enemy that threatens every South Carolinian.

But we South Carolinians are not known for backing down from a fight. This is a state of heroes. It’s time we fought obesity – to win.

Obesity = Disease

Obesity is a medical problem. Its primary symptom is body weight in excess of one’s healthy weight. Healthy weight is calculated in terms of individual body mass index (BMI) – one’s weight in pounds multiplied by 703, then divided by one’s height in inches squared. Those with a BMI of 25+ are overweight; those with a BMI of 35+ are obese.

The key to weight loss (and thus a decrease in BMI) is calorie reduction. Once the body’s calorie intake drops below what it needs to maintain metabolism, it can’t help but burn stored fat to stay alive — and weight loss results. This can be made to happen by decreasing the amount of food eaten each day or by increasing the level of daily physical activity. (One in four adults in South Carolina do not engage in any regular physical activity.)

But mere weight loss is not a cure for obesity. Obesity is about more than just overeating. It is a medical condition that requires comprehensive medical care. Only those willing to completely change their lifestyle and eating habits will succeed in beating this disease.

The standard treatment for obesity consists of a structured program of medically-supervised education and diet. This works well for most obesity sufferers.

For some, however, behavioral therapy is not enough, leaving them one option: weight loss surgery.

About Weight Loss Surgery

The surgery used for treatment of obesity takes three main forms, but is almost always a laparoscopic procedure performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. During the operation, a surgeon alters the patient’s stomach and/or digestive tract in order to limit the amount of food the patient can eat, thus forcing the patient to consume fewer calories each day than his or her body burns, resulting in the loss of excess weight over time.

But weight loss surgery is not a fairy-tale cure for being fat. It is one part of a total medical treatment plan for obesity. Patients who fail to undertake prescribed post-op diet and lifestyle changes may regain any weight lost and/or experience other undesirable health effects. And it’s a decision made for life: only the Lap-band procedure is reversible.

Weight loss surgery is not a particularly dangerous procedure in most cases; however, it does entail the risk of unforeseen complications and even premature death. It goes without saying that your physician should be consulted prior to scheduling any surgical procedure.

Our Bright Future

South Carolina is state rich in history – and often in calories as well. By limiting our intake of those delicious-but-dangerous calories – along with weight loss surgery when necessary – we can push obesity out of our state, and our lives.

Weight loss surgery in South Carolina is a growing trend, since some 63% of the state population is overweight or obese. Visit online website for Weight Loss Surgery channel .