THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - One-third of adults in the U.S. are considered obese and nearly 70-percent are overweight. In fact, America's weight problem has become the country's leading cause of preventable death. Some folks resort to costly gastric bypass surgery,which also carries a risk of complications. One south Georgia hospital is starting a program that offers a safer alternative.
Obesity is not just a problem, it's an epidemic. "It's predicted that our youth, our children of today, 50 percent will have either diabetes or pre-diabetes if we continue down the same road we're going," said Archbold Bariatric Program Director Dr. John Mansberger.
To combat the problem, Archbold Memorial Hospital is launching a new Bariatric Weight Loss Program. The program features Lap-Band surgery as well as a range of personalized weight loss services. "We cover nutrition, we cover psychology, we cover dietary, as well as the surgery," said Mansberger.
While Lap-Band surgery is not completely new to the area, the program's complex approach is unlike any other bariatric program in South Georgia. "If the weight loss is successful than you see anywhere around an 80 percent reduction in hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, reflux. A number of different medical problems that are significant problems," said Mansberger.
Another popular surgical solution for obesity is gastric bypass, but surgeons try their best to avoid it. "The complication rate is a little bit higher with the bypass. Actually the death rate is about 10 times as high," said Mansberger.
Doctors say unlike with a bypass, the Lap-Band procedure can easily be reversed. "The beautiful part about this surgery is it's quick. Most of the time it can be outpatient surgery, maybe a night stay in the hospital. We fully anticipate them to go home the next day," said Archbold Bariatric Surgeon Dr. John Cascone.
Cascone says with this program, surgery is not always the best option. "What we want to do is reserve surgery for those people who absolutely need it. We want to use all other methods initially to get them to lose weight."
Cascone says as of now they will not perform Lap-Band surgery on anyone under the age of 18. Each patient must undergo a comprehensive nutritional and weight history assessment before being eligible for the surgery.
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