Northern Colorado Surgical Associates
Northern Colorado Surgical Associates
 
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Weight Loss Surgery

It is no secret. America, and the world, is becoming a more frequently obese society. Not only obese, but morbidly obese. By some estimates, 400,000 deaths each year can be attributed to obesity. Morbid obesity has passed tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. And, while those numbers are staggering, they pale in comparison to the millions of individuals with severe health risks that impact their daily quality of life. These risks include diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint problems/pain, back pain, heartburn, increased cancer risk, infertility, and depression. Further, we sometimes forget the psychological consequences of obesity. This includes discrimination, negative self-image, and social isolation.

Dr. James Dickinson, Dr. Stefan Pettine, and Dr. Robert Quaid
Bariatric Surgeons: Dr. James Dickinson, Dr. Stefan Pettine, Dr. Michael Roller, and Dr. Robert Quaid
We define obesity in terms of the body mass index (BMI): BMI > 25 = overweight; BMI >30 = obese; BMI> 35 = severe obesity; BMI> 40 = morbidly obese. This number is calculated based on your height and weight. We will do surgery if the BMI is > 35 and there are significant health problems, or alternatively if the BMI > 40. These criteria have been long established by the NIH. They were arrived by knowing that major health problems and risk of dying both begin to increase dramatically at that level of BMI. As an example, a morbidly obese person has an 89% increase risk of dying over 5 years compared to a normal weight person.
   
To calculate BMI:
   
  Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5'5” (65")
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96
   
  Or, click here for a BMI calculator.
 

What about medical treatment for obesity? A successful diet and exercise program can be expected to produce at most a 20 pound weight loss. This is almost always temporary with inevitable weight regain exceeding that which was lost. Weight loss drugs produce similar results, but can not be used long term because of side effects. Weight loss surgery, by comparison, provides permanent weight loss and will average 60% weight loss of a person's excess weight (example: if 100 pounds overweight, this would be 60 pounds). Surgery is the only viable solution for the morbidly obese person.

What can surgery do? It will cure diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia in over 80% of patients. No other medical treatment available can come close to that kind of results!! Further benefits include: life extension by many years, significantly decreased obesity-related costs (medications, food, health related care, lost days at work) and a return to an active lifestyle with friends and family.

There are two primary surgeries that are done in the United States and around the world: Lap Band and Gastric Bypass. There are differences and similarities between the two. Gastric Bypass has been around the longest and has the longest follow-up information (roughly since 1992). It is still considered the gold standard for weight loss surgery because of this. Lap Band received FDA approval in the United States in 2001. It had been performed in the rest of the world since 1993.

As to which procedure you will receive, well, that choice is up to the patient. There is not a right or wrong choice. The surgeons at NCSA will explain the details of both and what the patient must do to be successful. They may guide you to which surgery would be best for you.

Learn more: Laparoscopic Banding | Gastric Bypass Surgery

Obesity has truly become an epidemic. The numbers are staggering. Three in five Americans are either overweight or obese. In the past 20 years adult obesity has doubled. It is estimated that there are 10 million morbidly obese people in the United States. And our children are affected as well: 17 % of kids aged 2- 19 were overweight in 2004. This is important because we know 75% of obese children become morbidly obese adults. And finally, the economic impact is significant: over $200 billion obesity related costs annually, which is 10% of our national medical costs. The good news is there are solutions for you. Spend some time with our surgeons and we will devise the proper course of action for you.

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To help assist us in determining whether you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, please complete the
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