Weighing Your Weight-Loss Options

Posted On July 13, 2014

There are alternatives which help you get healthy.  Here's one possibility.

By Jennifer Wilson

 Lexington Medical Center, Columbia SC

It’s not easy to spend time on the beach, at the lake or in a pool during the summer wearing your swimsuit when you’re overweight. What’s more, excess weight makes it difficult to keep up with fun summer activities. And, when the weight problem is severe, it becomes a serious detriment to your health.

Obesity is a significant problem in South Carolina. We have the 4th highest obesity rate in the nation. Statistics show that more than 31% of South Carolinians are obese - that means they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30. In addition, there are some counties in South Carolina that have a 90% obesity rate among their populations.

Our lifestyle is a cornerstone of the epidemic.

“We live fast-paced and hectic lives, often eating fast food, eating in a hurry and eating foods without appropriate nutrition content,” said Dr. Marc Antonetti of the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center at Lexington Medical Center. “If we want to be healthier, we need more proper eating habits.”

That’s where the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center at Lexington Medical Center comes in. While we know that eating a balanced diet and exercising will help us lose weight, many people need some extra assistance. With a comprehensive team of clinicians, the physician practice offers many options that teach people how to eat properly – leading to a lighter, healthier future.

The South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center offers several minimally invasive surgical options for weight-loss patients. Each of the procedures involves creating a smaller stomach pouch for the patient. By doing so, the patient feels full after eating a smaller amount of food. Over time, they take in fewer calories and lose weight.

“Bariatric surgery patients are usually able to return to work and normal activities within just 2 to 4 weeks of their surgery,” said Dr. Gray Hughes of the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center.

There are also emerging incisionless technologies, including Primary Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal (POSE). In fact, the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center has been selected as one of 11 sites in the nation to participate in a clinical trial for this procedure. Designed for patients who would like to lose 30 to 50 pounds, POSE stitches the stomach to make it smaller using a tube through the patient’s mouth. Recovery time is excellent. Patients have returned to work in as few as three days.

Many weight-loss surgery patients have a history of losing weight, then gaining it back – the phenomenon known as “yo-yo dieting.” Often, they also have developed complications from weight gain including diabetes or high blood pressure.

“A good candidate for weight-loss surgery is someone who is motivated to lose weight and sees the surgery as a way to assist in the process, not the whole answer,” said Dr. Glen Strickland of the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center.

That’s because no weight-loss surgery is a magic solution. Instead, it’s a tool that teaches patients about portion size and how to eat properly. And patients must adhere to a series of steps to achieve the best results. Each patient is required to attend a free seminar to learn about the different types of weight-loss surgery and what the process involves. Also, patients need to commit to a lifestyle that incorporates healthy meal plans filled with lean proteins, whole grains, fruit and vegetables, crafted and supervised by bariatric dietitians at the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center.

In addition to weight-loss surgery, there are other options. Over the past year, the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center has begun a non-surgical weight-loss program for patients who may not meet criteria for surgical intervention, or who simply want to pursue weight loss supervised by a physician. In this program, a physician looks at your medical history, adjusts your lifestyle and incorporates consultations with nutritionists and an exercise therapist.

The principles taught in weight-loss programs are especially important for our children, who represent the fastest growing area of the obese population in our country. Studies show that if parents are overweight, their children are 4 to 5 times more likely to be overweight. Doctors say the reasons are playing video games or watching TV more than they’re playing outside, eating portion sizes that are too big, or processed foods with high fat and carbohydrate content. It means that the current generation of children may have a shorter life expectancy than previous generations.

Doctors advise that obesity can also increase a person’s risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer. It adds up to higher health care costs, too. Studies show that people with a BMI more than 30 pay an average of $1,429 per year more for health care than a person of normal weight.

The South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The first practice in the Midlands to offer bariatric surgery, its physicians have performed more than 5,000 surgical procedures. That’s more than any other program in South Carolina. Thousands of patients have been able to get their lives back with help from this physician practice, changing their health and leading more fulfilling lives. The physician practice will follow its patients for life. It’s truly a life-changing event.

For more information on weight-loss options, visit SCObesity.com. You can learn more about weight-loss surgery, read a blog with health tips and calculate your BMI.

And visit the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center on Facebook for nutrition tips and healthy recipes.