Merit Health Wesley offering weight-loss surgery, program

(The following is a press release from Merit Health Wesley.  Visit for more details on July 21st's interview.)

Obesity, as we know, is a wide-spread epidemic in America. As the obesity rate across the country increases, many cities, states, restaurants and businesses are stepping up their game to help combat the obesity epidemic, offering healthier options and creating incentives for people to get active and begin eating right. However, the side effects of obesity – including fatigue and depression, in addition to health conditions like heart disease and diabetes – can sometimes make dieting and exercising your way to health feel impossibly out of reach.

Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a great option for individuals who are ready to lead a healthier, more active and more satisfying life but want a little extra help to get started. Weight-loss surgery can not only reduce serious health risks, but also reduces the chances of death relating to obesity. With a serious commitment to the improvement of one's health, weight-loss surgical procedures can become life-changing.

Ideal candidates for bariatric surgery are 18 years or older with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40, or who are 100 pounds or more overweight. Someone may also qualify if they have a significant medical condition in addition to obesity, such as diabetes or sleep apnea. Candidates should also have a personal, ongoing commitment to improving their health and lifestyle, changing their eating habits and increasing their level of physical activity after surgery as recommended by their physician.

Two common weight-loss surgeries are adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. Both procedures are performed using a minimally-invasive, laparoscopic approach. With little to no time spent in the hospital after surgery, both procedures get patients back on their feet again and back to their lives within a matter of days.

Before scheduling a procedure, there are a several steps that those interested in weight-loss surgery are encouraged to take and which may be required by their surgeon and insurance provider. Completing a psychological exam is a common first step to ensure that patients understand the effects of surgery. Patients may also be asked to obtain a medical release from their primary care physician and complete a nutrition evaluation to make sure they understand the change in diet that is required to help them be successful after surgery.

After surgery, patients' lives begin to change quickly. They will begin to see rapid weight loss, and many patients will be removed from the medications they take for diabetes and blood pressure maintenance among other medications. Following the guidance of their physician, patients can see drastic, positive results in a short period of time and get on the road to feeling good again.

Living a healthier life shouldn't feel impossible. Weight-loss surgery can be the jump start you need to a new you. If you would like to learn more about how you can begin your weight-loss journey, schedule a consultation at