Severe obesity is a dangerous health problem that is often associated with many other serious health conditions, including high blood pressure (a leading cause of stroke), heart disease, diabetes and increased rates of cancer. Although the precise cause of severe obesity is not fully understood, recent research indicates there may be a genetic link in as many as half the people who have it.
A comprehensive surgical weight loss program can offer a successful method to help men and women with severe obesity lose weight and keep it off. That program includes not just surgical intervention, but also counseling, nutritional guidance and ongoing support. St. Mary’s Surgical Weight Loss Solutions team is led by Medical Director and Surgeon, Matthew Hofeldt, MD, a general surgeon with HIMG.
“Obesity is affecting a large portion of the population in our area and surgical weight loss is an effective procedure. It’s a way to help people,” Dr. Hofeldt said. “Some people can even stop taking certain medications, such as those for high blood pressure or diabetes, and that’s great to see.
Their self-esteem improves and they feel better about themselves. It’s great to be part of that experience.”
Dr. Hofeldt performs the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure that removes 75 percent of the stomach, leaving only a narrow gastric sleeve. This procedure is performed as minimally invasive, which means that the surgery is completed using 4-5 small incisions, requiring less recovery time, and less scarring and blood loss.
Weight loss surgery is a serious surgical procedure and requires extreme changes in lifestyle, eating and nutritional habits. Because of the lifelong change after surgery, an in-depth evaluation is required for any patient considering a weight loss procedure. This evaluation includes a detailed medical history and examination, as well as an evaluation of lifestyle and motivation. The programs also includes thorough and ongoing nutritional, emotional and lifestyle support.
Dr. Hofeldt is encouraged by his work with weight loss surgery patients at St. Mary’s. “It’s a good way to offer a service to the community. I enjoy working with my patients,” he said. “We’re providing a program that gives patients another option. This is a program where safety is the number one concern.”
Generally, patients who are good candidates for surgical weight loss:
• Have a body mass index of 40 or greater
• Have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to lose weight and keep it off
• Have a strong personal desire to lose weight and improve health
• Fully understand and are prepared for the lifelong changes that will result from surgery
• Are 100 pounds or more overweight
• Have been overweight for more than fi ve years
For more information about St. Mary’s Surgical Weight Loss Solutions, call (304) 526-8278 or visit www.st-marys.org.
For more information about the Center for Surgical Weight Control at CHH, call (304) 399-4118 or visit www.cabellhuntington.org.