Studies Show Obesity, Being Overweight May Increase Risk of Serious Health Problems

Published 05/14/2014

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HOUSTON-- Obesity and being overweight may increase the risk of many health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

At Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, patients have a full range of minimally invasive weight loss surgery options to consider.

Every day, more than a thousand Americans die from morbid obesity and obesity-related medical problems. Bariatric surgery has been found to be effective in promoting weight loss and reducing the risk for many health problems.

“I was worried about my health and not being there for my kids and grandkids,” said 47-year-old Charles House from Houston. “Being overweight forced me to miss out on life; I just sat on the couch.”

A semi-pro football player, House’s coach constantly encouraged him to gain weight and be a bigger player. Unfortunately at 405 lbs., a fractured ankle ended his career. He drew upon his experience as a Navy hospital corpsman to become a certified surgical technician and now works at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.

“I would always tell my wife about the different weight loss programs at Memorial Hermann Southeast and she finally asked me, ‘Why haven’t you tried it?’” said Charles. “It hit me that dieting wasn’t working for me, so I talked to some of the doctors I worked with about the best option for me.”

Bariatric surgery is an option for people who cannot lose weight by other means or who suffer from serious health problems related to obesity. The surgery restricts food intake, which promotes weight loss and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Some surgeries also interrupt how food is digested, preventing some calories and nutrients from being absorbed. Recent studies suggest that bariatric surgery may even lower death rates for patients with severe obesity. The best results occur when patients follow surgery with healthy eating patterns and regular exercise.

At Memorial Hermann Southeast, patients have a full range of minimally invasive weight loss surgery options to consider including Gastric Lap Band, Gastric Sleeve, and Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y. All bariatric surgeries are performed onsite; a convenient location near Highway 45 and Beltway 8.

House had gastric sleeve surgery at Memorial Hermann Southeast in 2012. To date, he has lost 158 lbs. and now enjoys all the things he couldn’t before.

“One time, after waiting in line for an hour to ride a rollercoaster with my son at Fiesta Texas, I couldn’t fit in the ride. Now, I don’t have to miss out,” said House. “I have more energy today than I’ve had in a long time. I even started doing 5K runs with my wife.”

Having surgery to produce weight loss is a serious decision. Anyone thinking about having this surgery should know what it involves, the different surgical options, recovery time, what makes a good candidate, and practical post-surgery expectations. To assist with the decision-making process, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital offers several types of information sessions: an in-person seminar, interactive presentation, and a free Pre-operative Education Class.

Recognized as a fully accredited Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Center by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Memorial Hermann Southeast has a dedicated area of private rooms and specially trained nurses and staff attuned to the specific needs of weight loss patients.

“It has changed my life, but I tell everyone at my Weight Loss Support Group that surgery is just the start. You have to maintain it with a healthy diet and exercise,” said House, who also helps run the Weight Loss Support Group which meets at Memorial Hermann Southeast at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month in Medical Plaza #1, Suite 200.

With multiple locations in Houston, Memorial Hermann’s NewStart is a complete weight loss program offering surgical procedures, support programs, nutrition counseling, and medical weight loss. For more information about bariatric surgery, or if you need a surgery aftercare program that includes Lap Band adjustments and post-operative follow-up for any type of procedure, call the Bariatric Clinic at Memorial Hermann Southeast at 281-929-6440.