By John Hart
Statistics show losing weight to be the most popular New Year’s resolution, but by the time the calendar flips to March, the lure of burgers and fries proves hard to resist. So…
“We start seeing more and more patients coming in the door,” says Dr. Darren Glass, a bariatric surgeon at Doctors Hospital of Augusta, “because that’s when they have failed their attempt on their own. Everyone wants to lose weight and as we see them fail their last diet, they come in.”
Leslie Peavler of Augusta is one of those patients.
“I was the thick kid who became the overweight teenager who turned into the fat adult,” says Peavler. “Numerous times, this was my New Year’s resolution, ‘I’m gonna lose weight this year’. And I could lose weight, and within two months, every bit of it would be back with one slip.”
Peavler had gastric bypass surgery, during which staples are inserted to create a smaller stomach pouch. According to the Archives of Surgery, it is the most effective form of weight loss surgery. Leslie went from 298 pounds, before her surgery, to a current weight of 166 pounds.
“Patients are going to hear what they want to hear,” says Dr. Glass. “We say ‘weight loss’ and that’s all they hear for the rest of the visit. It takes several more visits to talk about the risks of surgery and the benefits of surgery and they way they need to eat afterwards. Some patients get it and some patients don’t.”
So, Dr. Glass has a couple of questions you should ask yourself before considering weight loss surgery. First, are you ready to make tough, serious lifestyle changes for your health?
“We tell them how to eat a certain way, but they don’t do it,” Dr. Glass says. “They eat chips all day long. Those patients are going to do very poorly, so they have to follow up, they have to follow through. They have to do what we ask them to do. And if they do that, they do great.”
Another question you should ask yourself, according to Dr. Glass, is how you will deal with stress once comfort food is no longer an option?
“If the patient is not willing to make the changes necessary to succeed, then we tell them not to have the surgery,” Dr. Glass says. “I don’t want to do a surgery for someone who is not going to do well afterwards.”
According to medical research, 80 percent of those who resolve to lose weight in the New Year fail. Leslie Peavler will no longer be one of them. “The surgery is not a permanent cure and it’s not a permanent fix. You have to fix yourself. You want that cupcake really bad. You want that bite of Snicker bar really bad. Why can’t you have it? Well, you can’t have it because you’re sick,” she said.
“We teach patients not about diet, but about good choices,” Dr. Glass says. “The patients who do really well are excited and happy and healthy and get back into life.”
“It’s pretty awesome,” says Peavler.
While most weight-loss surgeries are covered by insurance, it is important to know exactly how much will be covered before deciding to have surgery.
Dr. Glass offers a weight-loss seminar twice a month at Doctors Hospital. The details are listed below:
DOCTORS HOSPITAL WEIGHT LOSS SEMINARS
WHEN: Second Thursday of every month (next one coming up March 8th)
TIME: 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Doctors Hospital of Augusta, located at 3651 Wheeler Road, in Augusta, Georgia 30909
CALL: (706) 533-LIVE to reserve a spot