Bariatrics refers to the practice of medicine focused on the causes, prevention
and treatment of obesity. Initial treatments typically focus on diet,
exercise, therapy and medications; however, for more comprehensive, long-term
results weight-loss surgery may be recommended.
Am I a Candidate for Weight-loss Surgery?
The decision to have weight-loss surgery is a significant one, and requires
careful consideration and the recommendation from a bariatric specialist.
It is important to realize that surgery itself is just one of many steps
to be taken toward the lifestyle changes necessary for long-term success.
To qualify, patients must meet certain Body Mass Index and co-morbidity
(having two or more chronic diseases) requirements, which can vary by
procedure. Additionally, patients must agree to undergo several months
of nutrition counseling leading up to a surgery date, and submit to a
psychological evaluation, as required by the surgeon.
Understanding the Health Risks of Obesity
Obesity is more than a cosmetic problem; it is a health risk. Several serious
medical conditions have been linked to obesity, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Obesity is also linked to higher rates of certain types of cancer. Obese
men are more likely than non-obese men to die from cancer of the colon,
rectum or prostate. Obese women are more likely than non-obese women to
die from cancer of the gallbladder, breast, uterus, cervix or ovaries.
Health care providers generally agree that the more obese a person is the
more likely he or she is to develop health problems. Other diseases and
health problems linked to obesity include:
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones
- Liver disease
- Osteoarthritis, a disease in which the joints deteriorate (possibly the
result of excess weight on the joints)
- Gout, another disease affecting the joints
- Pulmonary (breathing) problems, including sleep apnea in which a person
can stop breathing for a short time during sleep
- Reproductive problems in women, including menstrual irregularities and
Psychological and Social Effects
Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity. American
society emphasizes physical appearance and often equates attractiveness
with slimness, especially for women. Such messages make overweight people
feel unattractive. Many people think that obese individuals are gluttonous,
lazy, or both, even though this is not true. As a result, obese people
often face prejudice or discrimination in the job market, at school and
in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame or depression are common.
Taking the Next Step
To learn more about the bariatric care options that are right for you,
use the links below to find a surgeon and learn about the specific services
each provides. You might also consider participating in a
bariatric support group.
Bariatric Support Group
Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-General & Vascular Surgery, a strategic affiliate of the Health System, is proud to partner with
Emerald Isle Counseling to host an obesity/bariatric support group for
anyone who would like to attend. The support group is an open discussion
mediated by Allyn Robb Jr., EDS, NCC, BCPS, LPC, of Emerald Isle Counseling.
Brunswick Bariatric Support Group
Camden Bariatric Support Group