Bariatric Surgery: “Life Changing and Life Saving”

by Richard J. Wilbur, M.D. ,  Hollywood Gazette | 2010-03-02

This month's column is personal. I have a family member who I hope will consider bariatric surgery. I also work with a woman who had bariatric surgery three years ago. She is my nurse. She looks incredible, lost 90 pounds and considers it the best money she ever spent. She also is my patient and all of her medical conditions were "cured" by her procedure, and when she brings in “before” pictures, I have trouble recognizing her.

There are an estimated 61.3 million (30.5 percent) obese adults in the United States, and 9.6 million morbidly obese adults. Obesity, a leading cause of death worldwide, is a condition where excess body fat accumulates to the extent that it adversely affects health. In a doctor’s office, a number called the body mass index (BMI) is calculated to determine obesity levels. Healthy values range from 18.5 to 24.9. Anything above 30 is obese, while anything above 40 is morbidly obese.

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