Weight-loss surgery takes long-term commitment
Posted December 29, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Rex Healthcare doctors say that weight-loss surgery can dramatically improve a person's chances of keeping off the pounds – only 12 percent of people maintain weight loss without surgery, but 85 percent who have surgery do so long term.
However, doctors say, having weight-loss surgery is not a decision to be taken lightly or to be done alone.
Melanie Perryman, 48, was at her heaviest in February 2010.
"I had a lot of weight problems and started packing on a lot of pounds over time," Perryman said.
Her story is similar to that of Paula Scannel, 54, whose attempts to diet and maintain weight loss all failed.
"I couldn't get out of that cycle in the last six months," Scannel said.
Both women consulted Rex bariatric surgeon Dr. Lyndsey Sharp about different weight-loss surgery options. Criteria for the surgery include having a mass-body index of 40 or more or a BMI of 35 to 40 and significant medical problems.
Undergoing weight-loss surgery is more than a simple procedure, doctors say.
"It's a lifelong commitment both on the side of the patient and on the side of the doctors as well," Sharp said.
Patients begin making lifestyle changes before surgery with the help of a team of specialists. Patients also build a system of support with each other.
"The support groups here at Rex Surgical are just incredibly valuable," Scannel said.
"I'm not sure how you can be as successful if you don't have that support," Perryman said.
Scannel had surgery on Dec. 7, exactly a year after Perryman. Scannel already lost 20 pounds and hopes to get the same results as Perryman.
"I look up to her, and I just aspire that I'm going to be as successful as she is," Scannel said.