Tuesday, February 2, 2010


When a disease or a treatment gets initialized and recognized by those initials, I guess we can consider it as having arrived. In this case, the initials stand for one of the treatments I am most disturbed by and that is Weight Loss Surgery. I have been writing about it for years. I don't mean to restate my opinion today.

I do have a most dear friend who has had gastric bypass surgery and so far, so far as I know, she has not had to go back to the hospital for post surgery complications. She promises to do a guest blog in the future and will share her story with us. I am very much looking forward to that day.

Okay, I can't stop myself - just this tiny bit of rehashing. There are a few different techniques for bariatric surgery. There is stapling and then two different types for rerouting the food by changing the size of the stomach and or the length or sectioning of the small intestine... Clearly this is one of the most invasive surgeries one can have. It is supposed to be reserved for the severely obese, but candidates must be able to ambulate and are often encouraged to lose some weight even before the operation. The adverse event risks are high and complications common. It is a LIFE CHANGING procedure. After surgery a person must eat very very small meals, ounces at a time. The stapling and banding type of procedure can be reversed, but I do not think the others can.

I tell you all of this because I just saw a story in the popular press which tells the recommendations recently made by the National Library of Medicine on who would be the best candidate for this surgery - the bypass surgery.

Candidates are:
Obese (morbidly so, with a BMI of 40+ or a BMI of 35+ w/ a serious health problem that weight loss might attenuate, like diabetes 2) and unable to lose weight from diet and exercise
People who are determined and can commit to a diet and exercise program (?)
People without mental illness
People without a substance abuse disorder

My concern has always been and remains - if a person can commit to the rigors of consistent healthy eating and daily exercise, they can lose the weight without such an EXTREME measure and if they cannot, then they are NOT really candidates for this still rigorous program..

In fact, I just had some information sent to my work email regarding programs offered by USF College of Medicine and Health . They have weekly support groups for WLS patients. It is just such a huge undertaking and I fear for people who under go it.

All that said, I support my friend 100% and if this saves her life than I will be quick to tell you that too.

Now, I am one of millions of LOST fans, so I gotta get going...

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