You do not have to fight the weight-loss battle alone. The weight loss surgery program at Southampton Hospital has helped men and women lose life-threatening extra pounds through a combination of weight loss surgery, nutritional counseling and support. The initial treatment for obesity is diet and exercise. However, medical research has shown that approximately 97% of obese individuals were unable to accomplish or maintain weight loss with the use of medications, diet, and/or other non-surgical weight control methods. Obesity is a complex problem with many aspects that are yet to be understood. Bariatric surgery has been proven to provide a great degree of success and is giving obese people a second chance at life.
What is Morbid Obesity?
Severe obesity is a life-long struggle that is difficult to cure. The relationship between your body weight and height will determine whether you are considered to be lean, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. An index was created called the Body Mass Index (BMI) to calculate the relationship between your weight and your height. Lean individuals have a BMI of not more than 25. If your BMI is 40 or more, you are 100 pounds above your ideal weight and considered morbidly obese. The term “morbidly” reflects the increased risk of medical complications associated with such extreme weight.
Am I a candidate for surgery?
You are a candidate for bariatric surgery if you meet the following criteria:
- Age between 18 and 65
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more, and suffering from diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or chronic arthritis
- Not abusing alcohol or drugs
Is Weight Loss Surgery Covered by Insurance?
Morbid obesity is recognized as a disease and most insurance plans cover surgery for obesity. In addition, any out-of-pocket expenses paid by the patient are considered tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please check with your insurance provider for coverage details and deductible before you commit to surgery.
Weight Loss Information & Support
You may have questions about weight loss surgery and would like to know more about surgical options to treat your obesity. Southampton Hospital staff and your surgeon provide support both prior to surgery and after, as you recover and start your new life. Take the first step to a healthier lifestyle by scheduling a consultation with our board-certified surgeon. Call (631) 726-8717 for information.
Quick weight loss, as desired as it is, should not be the ultimate goal for a person who is suffering from a weight problem. The important issue should be how to lose weight in a healthy manner, and then how to maintain the weight loss. Many studies have shown that over 90% of patients who lose the weight with traditional tools, such as diet and exercise, subsequently regain the weight. What that tells us is that proper preparation and proper monitoring and support are the keys to long-standing weight control.
If you would like to learn more from people who have already had bariatric surgery, you are welcome to attend Dr. Medhat Allam’s bariatric surgery support group meetings, held every third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Public Library (52 Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays).
Common Complications of Obesity
- Diabetes: Obesity is associated with markedly increased risk for diabetes which can cause problems such as stroke, heart attack, blindness and amputation.
- Hypertension: Weight gain in young adult life is a major risk factor for developing hypertension in later life.
- Cardiovascular Disease: For each 10% increase in body weight, there is an approximate 20% increase in the incidence of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
- Psychological Issues: Impairment of body image is a major form of psychological disturbance, and the repeated failure of weight loss efforts increase feelings of despair and depression. Often, prejudice against obese people is a challenge that must be faced on a daily basis. It can also have serious economic impact on the obese due to workplace discrimination.
- Pulmonary Abnormalities: Pulmonary health problems range in severity from reversible conditions to irreversible damage.
- Degenerative Arthritis: Osteoarthritis resulting from the additional stress on weight bearing joints, knees, and back, causing pain and eventually the loss of mobility.
- Cancer: Studies have found a significantly higher mortality rate for colorectal and prostate cancer in obese males. Menopausal women with upper body fat have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Higher rates of uterine and ovarian cancer are also found in morbidly obese women.