When dieting doesn't work, weight loss surgery can help.


Over the last 30 years, obesity has become the most prevalent disease in the world, and more people suffer from the health effects of obesity than from any other disease.


Morbid obesity, which is typically defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher, is a result of neurochemical changes that occur after a person gains a substantial amount of weight. As a result of these chemical changes, diets are often unsuccessful for patients with morbid obesity, and surgical intervention has been shown to be the most effective treatment option.

The first step to getting long-lasting help is meeting with your primary care provider to discuss healthy lifestyles and explore weight loss options. If it’s determined that seeing a bariatric specialist is your next step, your primary care physician can refer you to the McLaren Lapeer Region Bariatric Program.

To qualify for coverage through most insurance plans, the patient considering surgery would have a BMI of 35 or higher and have participated in dietary programs for six months.

“On average we spend 6-8 months with each patient on education, weight counseling, nutrition, behavioral modification, and physician counseling before considering surgery,” said Niya Gross, Bariatric Program Coordinator. “The surgery is just one part of the many changes that will happen to our patients when they make this positive change in their life.”

We are giving the patient a start-over,
Gross said. An opportunity for the brain and the
body to reset to before the disease began.
It's not a guarantee, but it's a new beginning.

In meeting with the bariatric team, you can discuss the different options to determine which is best for you. Patients can expect a seven-to-ten day recovery before they can return to work and other general activites.

By changing the biochemistry of how the brain thinks about food, patients no longer go through cravings and experience the feeling of being full without an emotional aspect.

“We are giving the patient a start-over,” Gross said. “An opportunity for the brain and the body to reset to before the disease began. It’s not a guarantee, but it is a new beginning.”