“There is a fear of obesity surgery and an expectation that people should be able to lose they weight on their own,” says Dr. Brad Snyder, and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, director of clinical research for the Minimally Invasive Surgeons of Texas, and president of North Cypress Bariatrics, PA. “Most patients who have bariatric surgery to lose the weight and cure their morbid obesity have been trying to lose the weight for years. It is a nearly unsurmountable challenge.”
That is because morbid obesity is caused by many factors, not all of which are diet related.Many people who are severely overweight take in as many calories as the normal weight patient, but their metabolism is working against them. Not all people use the calories they eat in the same way. Weight loss surgery can change that. On average, a person who has a gastric bypass operation, for example, can expect to lose nearly 60% of their excessive weight. That could be anywhere from 75 to 100 pounds for the average morbidly obese person. “The reason they lose they weight,” Dr. Snyder says, “is because they are no longer hungry and their body has reset their ‘normal’ weight.”
Dr. Snyder describes the “set point” theory that hypothesizes we all have an internal scale that sets our weight. When we are below that weight we are hungry; and, when we are above that weight, we are not hungry. When patients have a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, certain hormones produced by the intestinal track respond differently to the food that is eaten. Their metabolism changes and the set point is lowered. This means that their bodies now believe they are above the set weight, and their hunger goes away. “It is not only about restricting calories or malabsorption. It is about changing the way the body uses the foods we eat,” says Dr. Snyder.
Obesity surgery, weight loss surgery, and bariatric surgery are all terms used to describe these operations. Dr. Snyder believes we should just start calling them metabolic operations. To learn more about these operations and if they may be able to help you lose the weight, visit NorthCypressBariatrics.com.
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