Current treatment options for morbid obesity are either ineffective or come with very significant side effects and lifestyle restrictions.
While diet and behavior modification are important components to any successful weight loss program, diet and exercise alone do not typically result in significant and sustained weight loss.
Obesity medications only provide an average 5-10% weight loss, and have troubling side effects which often cause patients to discontinue therapy.
Weight loss surgery, commonly referred to as bariatric surgery, is currently the most effective treatment for morbid obesity. These surgical procedures have also been shown to reverse weight related conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, ultimately resulting in lower mortality. Medical guidelines suggest bariatric surgery is an option for patients with a BMI >40, or patients with a BMI 35-40 with at least one comorbidity such as hypertension or type 2 diabetes. Bariatric surgery relies on two strategies to limit caloric intake: restriction of the digestive pathway and malabsorption of nutrients. Gastric bypass, the most widely used bariatric procedure, relies on both restriction and malabsorption. Gastric banding relies on restriction alone. Both procedures are usually performed laparoscopically under general anesthesia.