Weight Loss Surgery Overview

Obesity: A Disease

Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. The prevalence of obesity has increased more than 60% in the past decade. A quarter of the U.S. population is obese and another 97 million Americans are overweight or at risk of becoming obese.1

Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 703. The metric calculation for BMI is kg/m2. Click here for BMI Classifications.

Morbid Obesity

A person who generally weighs at least twice or 100 pounds more than his or her ideal weight or has a BMI of 40 or more is diagnosed as morbidly obese. The National Institutes of Health report that morbid obesity may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Problems
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Respiratory Problems

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment
Dieting, exercise, and medication have long been regarded as the conventional methods to achieve weight loss. Sometimes, these efforts are successful in the short term. However, for people who are morbidly obese, the results rarely last. Recent research reveals that conventional methods of weight loss generally fail to produce permanent weight loss. Several studies have shown that patients on diets, exercise programs, or medication are able to lose approximately 10% of their body weight but tend to regain two-thirds of it within one year, and almost all of it within five years.2 Another study found that less than 5% of patients in weight loss programs were able to maintain their reduced weight after five years.3

Surgical Treatment
Over the years, weight-loss surgery has proven to be a successful method for the treatment of morbid obesity.4 Surgical options have continued to evolve and AGH is pleased to be able to offer patients the LAP-BAND® System—the gastric banding system with the most experience in the United States. This procedure is the minimally invasive, adjustable and reversible, and has 10 times lower short-term mortality rate than gastric bypass5. The LAP-BAND® System provides a unique tool that can help you achieve and maintain significant weight loss, improve your health, and enhance your quality of life.

1. Weight-Control Information Network (WIN) of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of NIH, NIDDK statistics represent US adults over the age of 20.

2. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) / American College of Endocrinology (ACE) Statement on the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Obesity (1998 Revision). AACE/ACE Obesity Task Force. Endocr Pract. 1998; Vol. 4 No. 5: 297-330.

3. Kramer FM et al. Long-term follow-up of behavioral treatment for obesity: patterms of weight regain among men and women. Int J Obes 1989; 13:123-136.

4. SAGES/ASBS Guidelines for Laparoscopic and Conventional Surgical Treatment of Morbid Obesity. American Society for Bariatric Surgery. http://asbs.org/html/guidelines.html 

5. Executive summary: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding for the treatment of obesity (update and re-appraisal). The Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures – Surgical (ASERNIPS) 2002.