Marley, the medical director of the bariatric surgery program at Windber Medical Center, said that the benefits of weight-loss surgery for overly obese people outweigh the misconceptions people have about the surgery. He discussed the procedure during a live online interview Thursday hosted by the Daily American.
“I think the biggest common misconception is that people are being told they are taking the easy way out,” Marley said.
Marley said people with a body mass index of 30 or higher with medical problems are eligible for some type of weight-loss surgery.
He said there are three different surgical options: laproscopic adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery.
Marley said the procedures are tools to help people lose weight.
“The key part to these operations is the follow-up care.”
Follow-up care includes the doctor working with the patient to ensure that a proper diet is maintained and that lost weight stays lost.
Without surgery Marley said less than 5 percent of overweight people find success keeping the weight off, while 70 percent of people with the surgery have success.
“The popularity is in their success,” Marley said. “Most of the folks we know have done well.”
The surgery is effective in the short and long run, he said.
Although there are many benefits to the surgery, Marley said it should not be the first place to start trying to lose weight.
He said a period of about a month prior to the surgery is spent seeing if the patient can lose the weight on their own.
“Usually when the patients come to us they’ve already tried (to lose weight),” he said. “The cards are against them genetically, and the cards are against them culturally.”
Most insurance plans cover the surgery in cases that are detrimental to health.
Health risks of the surgery include heart or lung problems, leaks or bleeding from stapled tissue lines and shifts in placed medical devices.
Marley was the featured speaker for June’s edition of “DA Live.”
The next “DA Live” will air in August. To suggest a person to be interviewed on the online special, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Daily American at 814-444-5943.