Saint Vincent Hospital Offers Weight Loss Surgery to Those Challenged to Lose WeightJan 31, 2024
Obesity affects millions of Americans but is often ignored
Worcester, Mass. – There’s a disease that affects more than 40% of Americans which is often left untreated. Why at a time when so many medical interventions are possible would something so widespread be ignored?
The aforementioned disease is obesity—a condition that can result in a wide range of medical conditions, from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Yet, many people who suffer from this condition believe they are to blame.
“In the U.S., obesity is stigmatized,” says Paul Arcand, MD, Bariatric and General Surgeon at Saint Vincent Hospital. “Many have the misconception that people who are obese are lazy. I know from the patients I work with that this is just not true. The majority of them are hardworking people who are anything but sedentary.“
There are many factors that contribute to obesity, and diet and exercise are the only two that an individual can control. Other factors include genetics, hormones, environmental factors, metabolism and pregnancy. While there are hundreds of weight loss plans on the market, few offer a permanent solution, particularly for patients with a BMI of 30 or greater, according to the National Institute of Health.
So where do people who suffer from obesity turn for help?
“Many people expect their primary care physician to help them, but all too often doctors feel uncomfortable discussing weight loss with their patients,” Dr. Arcand explains. “They may prescribe a pill or suggest you follow a diet, but oftentimes patients are left with no effective course of action.
“When a doctor meets with a patient who is suffering from obesity, bariatric surgery should be discussed,” he continues. “Unlike the open procedures of the past, today’s surgeries have few complications. Many patients are actually surprised to learn how safe weight loss surgery can be.”
When a patient decides to tackle their obesity head-on with bariatric surgery, it’s important to choose the right program.
“At Saint Vincent, we’ve taken the time to assemble a quality team, including specialists from a variety of disciplines, who take patients, step by step, through their weight loss journey,” described Dr. Arcand. “We meet with patients several times prior to surgery, take our time explaining the procedure and encourage them to come with questions. The majority of our bariatric surgeries are done with minimally invasive techniques including robotic surgery and many patients go home the day after surgery.”
Surgery can help you lose a lot of weight, but there are challenges ahead. According to Dr. Arcand, this illness needs to be treated like cancer, where patients are guided post-surgery and then receive comprehensive, lifelong follow-up. Surgery isn’t an endpoint; It’s the first step on a path to better health.