Even though the latest studies show the obesity rates in the U.S. have reached a resting point, we are still topping the charts and the scales as the fattest country in the world. Avera McKennan is trying to address that with a free seminar next week explaining to all of you who are losing the battle of the extreme bulge there are surgical options to help.
Darcie Schmidt is a Registered Nurse and the Bariatric Coordinator for Avera McKennan's Bariatric Institute-- for weight loss surgery. She's not only the point person for patients, she's been a patient. Darcie had gastric bypass in July of 2003 and has lost 130 pounds.
Darcie says, "I remember when I couldn't bend over to tie by shoes and it's something I take for granted now. I can't even compare the difference. I can run 4 miles now and I never would have considered doing that before."
General Surgeon Dr. David Strand with the Surgical Institute of South Dakota says, "The two most common weight loss surgeries are gastric bypass and gastric banding. Both are done laparoscopically and the reason for that is a quicker recovery, they are back to work faster and less post op pain. The difference between gastric bypass is we staple bring up a portion of the small bowel to bypass the stomach. The adjustable lap band is a little device that goes on the upper part of the stomach. Once it's inflated it's a balloon it restricts how much you eat."
Dr. Strand explains and Darcie Schmidt can attest to, in order to undergo weight loss surgery you have be considered obese which usually equals being 100 pounds over weight, have a history of trying to lose weight only to gain it all back and be ready to commit to lifestyle changes.
Dr. Strand says, "It is very important, if they do not change their lifestyle they will inevitably gain all the weight back. Either surgery is a tool. And like a tool, if you use it wrong it's not going to work long term."
Darcie Schmidt says, "It takes a lot of work you don't just have surgery and magically everything is better. You have to monitor what you eat, exercise is a big part, but it's a great tool to help you when nothing has helped you so far."
That help is waiting for you right now at Avera McKennan. The first step is yours.
Avera McKennan is hosting a FREE Surgical Weight Loss Event Wednesday night July 7th at 7:00. Registration is at 6:30. It will be held in the auditorium in the Orthopedic Institute on the Avera McKennan Campus. Register online at www.AveraMcKennan.org or call 877-AT-AVERA.