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Why Do You Perform Weight Loss Surgery

By Troy Glembot, MD

 

It was another fairly routine day in the office. Most of my day had been spent seeing postoperative patients. I happened to go out to the front desk, and saw a man I barely recognized. Tommy had surgery almost three years ago, and his postoperative course would best be characterized as complicated. His BMI was nearly 60, and he was almost immobile due to his weight. Unfortunately, he experienced one of the most feared complications of gastric bypass surgery; namely a leak. It occurred about a week after his primary surgery. After identifying the problem, he was admitted to the hospital, had another operation to drain the leak, and then spent the next four weeks in the hospital.  His leak ultimately healed, and he was discharged home. Ever since, he has done exceptionally well, and has enjoyed resolution of virtually all of his obesity related diseases.  In fact, he has just recently had a body lift plastic surgical procedure done, and it was this new trim silhouette that I did not recognize.
 
“How the heck are you?” I asked, happy to see him doing so well. “Couldn’t be better” he exclaimed. I could genuinely feel the positive energy he radiated. “I got my life back”.   He grinned and gave me a pat on the shoulder. “You know doc, I would do it all again” he said. Words like that, coming from a man who got pretty sick after his operation still amazes me.
 
Through the years, many people have asked me “why do you do weight loss surgery?”   I think back on patients like Tommy, who are trapped in their bodies, riddled by a disease that slowly erodes every organ in their body and drains all of the energy from their spirit. To be a bariatric surgeon, and offer a person the ability to get their life back is an absolutely amazing feeling. Who wouldn’t want to do bariatric surgery?