Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States and the rates are increasing. But physicians at Mount Auburn Hospital are working with patients to combat the disease head on. Bariatric surgeon, Julie Kim, M.D., and her team have performed more than 4,000 bariatric procedures and have seen firsthand how weight-loss surgery can change the lives of people battling their weight.
“Obesity is a disease that can be treated,” says Dr. Kim. “Achieving a healthy weight is especially difficult for people who are more than 75 pounds overweight, but weight-loss surgery has incredible success rates.”
The most advanced bariatric surgery techniques
Within the last 10 years, bariatric surgery has advanced significantly and is one of the safest surgical procedures a person can undergo.
“The field has dedicated itself to becoming evidence based, which has resulted in stricter standards and guidelines,” says Dr. Kim. “We are more selective about bariatric surgery candidates and have a more rigorous pre- and post-operative process.”
The actual procedures have also evolved. With minimally-invasive techniques, surgeons can perform bariatric surgery through smaller incisions, which speeds recovery. In addition, patients have more surgical options than ever before, which include:
When is surgery an option?
Patients must be at least 18 years old and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 (about 100 pounds overweight) or greater to be considered for bariatric surgery. They can also be considered for weight-loss surgery if they have a BMI of at least 35 (about 75 pounds overweight) and have one or more comorbidities, such as diabetes.
Dr. Kim and the bariatric surgery team at the Mount Auburn Hospital’s Weight Management Center believe their work with patients can help improve obesity rates. “Obesity is growing the fastest in the adolescent population,” says Dr. Kim. “Subsequently, when we are helping parents get on a path to healthy living, we are also helping the following generations develop healthy habits.”
Register for a free surgical weight management information session at the Mount Auburn Hospital Weight Management Center. Call (617) 499-6767.
*Dr. Kim is also a member of the Tufts Medical Center Physician Organization.