In recent years, obesity has emerged as one of the most serious medical conditions affecting the developed world. It is now the second-leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. 1 This may be because obesity is a progressive disease that often contributes to other serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, arthritis and even cancer. 2
It is estimated that more than two thirds of Americans are overweight and more than 20% are obese. Body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height, is one way to measure obesity. Obesity may exist when a person has a BMI greater than 40, or a BMI of 35 with two or more weight-related health problems. Obesity can also be defined as being 100 or more pounds heavier than ideal weight. To calculate your BMI, use the following formula:
BMI = ((Your weight in pounds)/
(Your height in inches)(Your height in inches)) x 703
Although weight gain is influenced by many social and psychological factors, at its most basic level, obesity can be described as an energy imbalance: People gain weight when they take in more energy (measured in calories) than they consume through physical activity and metabolism. Excess energy is stored as fat.
Weight Loss: Treatment Options
Treatment for obesity may focus on related health problems as much as on weight loss. Your physician can advise you on your various options for weight loss, which may include diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
An increasingly common approach to weight loss is surgery. According to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), more than 100,000 people had weight loss surgery in 2003, up from about 16,000 in the early 1990s.3 Most bariatric (or weight loss) surgery focuses on either reducing the size of the stomach or reducing calorie absorption. Both approaches share the same goal: To reduce the body's ability to absorb and store calories in the form of excess fat.
Additional treatment options for obesity may be available and most appropriate for your paticular medical condition. Always consult with your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.
- Stein CJ, Colditz GA. The epidemic of obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;89(6):2522-5. Review.
- Johnson W, Demaria E. Surgical treatment of obesity. Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;9(2):167-74.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/labs.htm#howmany
While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci® System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.
For additional information on minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System visit www.davincisurgery.com