When healthy weight loss takes more than a makeover

March 01, 2017

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Recently the world tuned into WE tv to watch June Shannon, aka Mama June from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, reveal her body transformation from 460lbs to a size 4. While many people viewed the makeover from a vanity standpoint—seeing weight loss as simply a fashion statement--the truth is that obesity is a serious medical concern.

If you are living with obesity, losing weight the right way is one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever face. Even with dietary changes and increased exercise, it usually just does not result in enough long-term weight loss to improve your overall quality of life or sense of well-being, which can result in yo-yo dieting and unsafe, unsupervised attempts to shed pounds. 

The good news is that bariatric surgery has become a game-changer over the last 20 years. It is now a viable solution to serious obesity—as well as related health problems such as diabetes—for candidates who have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.

One of the biggest decisions people struggling with their weight must make is whether to pursue surgery. Not everyone needs to take the route June Shannon did with her gastric sleeve, so it’s important to learn about your options.

Who should consider gastric surgery?

The first number that doctors look at is a patient’s body mass index (BMI). This is a measurement of body fat using height and weight. A normal-weight BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. If a someone has a BMI of 25 to 29.9, that indicates that the individual is overweight. A BMI of 30 and above is considered obese.

Patients with a BMI of 40 and above are typically good candidates for bariatric surgery. A person with a BMI between 30 and 40 can be a good candidate for surgery if they are experiencing serious health problems associated with their weight.

Surgical weight loss treatment

Swedish offers comprehensive weight loss services through advanced surgical and non-surgical programs.
Bariatric surgery is more likely to result in sustained weight loss than ever before. At Swedish, we perform minimally invasive surgery, which is done with laparoscopy, a small instrument inserted through the abdomen. 

A bariatric procedure provides people who are obese with one of the most effective ways to lose weight and improve their health when diet and exercise haven’t been enough,” says Dr. Brian Sung, a board-certified general surgeon and fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon at Swedish Medical Group. “There are a wide variety of minimally invasive options, depending on a person’s unique needs and specific health concerns.” 

The Swedish approach includes pre-operative education, nutritional education and guidance, and post-operative support designed to help its bariatric patients lose weight and keep it off for good. 

Swedish Non-Surgical Weight Loss Treatment

Swedish also offers an effective non-surgical program for people who haven’t found success through at-home regimens. 

“We support our program members with a medical provider, a dietician, and a behavioral health provider,” says Dr. Sung. “The duration of the program varies from case to case. We don’t offer generic plans. Instead, we customize a plan that fits your specific goals and lifestyle.”

If you’re ready to lose weight but unsure which treatment is best for you, attend a free Swedish Weight Loss Seminar where you’ll learn about surgical and non-surgical options. You’ll have the opportunity to ask Swedish surgeons all your exploratory questions about losing the weight and improving your health.

If you can't attend a seminar, talk to one of the experts at  Swedish Weight Loss Services or the Bariatric Wellness Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Topics: Services, Surgery, Women