Weight loss: It's different for everyone

11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago March 26, 2016 Mar 26, 2016 Saturday, March 26 2016 Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:39:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
By: Laura Barczewski, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA — There are many different ways to lose weight, and every option is not necessarily right for everyone.

“Someone looking to lose 10 to 15 pounds is completely different than someone who needs to lose 100 pounds,” Fitness Director at a Wilson’s Fitness Center Jeff Smith said.

Overweight people often have to look to a surgical or endoscopic procedure because of other health problems that affect their ability to exercise.

“I have a back problem and knee problems. They need to do surgery on my back, but they wouldn’t do it with my weight so I had to have weight loss surgeries done,” Audrey Davis said.

There are several different weight loss surgeries that can be done, including the recently FDA approved ORBERA balloon.

According to MU Health Care, bariatric surgeons at the University of Missouri now offer this minimally invasive weight loss option.

Dr. Roger de la Torre, chief of MU Health Care’s Missouri Bariatric services, said the ORBERA balloon is a sphere that is about the size of a grapefruit. Doctors insert it down the throat deflated, and once it's in the stomach inflate it with saline to take up space and block food from leaving the stomach too quickly.

“During the time, usually it’s six months that it will be left inside the stomach, there will be dietary counseling, the patient will see our bariatrician, and the idea being that when the balloon is removed six months later, eating habits and nutrition will have been addressed and the person will continue that,” Dr. de la Torre said.

Other surgeries like the Lap-Band or Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass are permanent, unlike the balloon.

“I had the Lap-Band first and it ended up slipping, so they had to go in and remove it. I decided not to fix the Lap-Band and opted to do the Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass procedure,” Davis said.

“The Lap-Band is a prosthetic device that is placed around the upper part of the stomach and creates a pseudo pouch that then gets filled with food,” Dr. de la Torre said.

The Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass makes the stomach smaller, the small intestine is divided, and then things are re-routed and hooked up differently so that the person feels full more quickly.

“All of the surgeries that are done for weight loss as well as [the ORBERA balloon], which is not surgery, should be viewed as a tool to help someone who is motivated lose weight,” Dr. de la Torre said.

He said it is a misconception that someone will have a procedure done and then they don’t have to exercise or eat right and everything will work out great; the surgery is only the first step.

“Weight loss is a very complex issue than people initially give it credit for,” Smith said.

Smith said it’s a process to work through and find out what is holding a person back because everyone is different and requires different work out plans and care.

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