Category Archives: Expectations
By Hussain Abbas, MD, FACS, Minimally Invasive Surgeon at Memorial Advanced Surgery
One of the very common question that I hear from my patients when I ask what delayed them in coming in and seeing me for their excess weight is: “Everybody’s telling me surgery is the easy route out.”
Weight loss is hard. Even harder is keeping the weight off. There is a theory, known as the Set Point Theory, that some believe explain why our bodies fight weight loss and so easily regain weight after we have worked hard to lose it. While traditional thinking about how our bodies regulate weight have long said calories in versus calories out equals the balance of weight gain or loss, this very simplistic view does not account for many factors that contribute to how our body works. These factors include intricate systems and feedback mechanisms that allow for our body and brain to communicate.
On July 31st, 2019, Dr. Husain Abbas of Memorial Advanced Surgery appeared in an interview for local station News4Jax to discuss recent study findings tying increased body mass index, a common measure for obesity, to increased risk of dementia.
We know that obesity has many health consequences including cardiovascular problems and diabetes, but a new study in the Journal of Neurology1 also indicates your excess weight may also affect your mental health including your cognitive function and diseases like dementia.
In the forefront of virtually every patient’s mind, when they are about to undergo bariatric surgery, is whether it will be successful and they will lose a significant amount of weight. The short answer is that the vast majority of patients do very well and approximately 80% of patients will meet their long-term weight loss goals. While this success rate is far greater than the 5-or-so percent success rate of diet and exercise alone, many patients are still concerned about whether they will become one of the 20% who do not succeed. But let’s explore what success actually means.
First and foremost, the name “weight loss surgery” is not fully accurate or reflective of success after the procedure. Bariatric surgery is not about weight loss – losing weight is simply a very tangible and wonderful side effect. Our main goal is to improve or eliminate the diseases associated with morbid obesity. These are ultimately the causes of early death, significant lifestyle impairment, and serious emotional problems. And while most patients see and feel some of these downsides, there are many more that silently exist in the background. Type II diabetes, certain forms of cancer, heart disease, an increased risk of stroke, joint degradation, and many, many more may not be readily seen or felt on a day-to-day basis.