Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Better living through surgery

I do a lot of health care marketing photography. It's becoming something of a specialty for me. Surgical weight loss, or bariatric surgery, or gastric bypass, or whatever you call it... it's a booming phenomenon. Here's a stunningly beautiful lady I met today holding the pants she used to wear.

I've met... ohhhh... let's say, 30 or 40 people who have had the procedure and boy howdy, do they have some fascinating stories. Most of them carry around a photo of themselves when they weighed 100 or 200 pounds more and it never ceases to freak me out when I see these people alongside their "before" photo. Many people will argue that it's crazy to undergo elective surgery to lose weight... the risk of infection and death is always there. I'd really, really like to lose 15 or 20 pounds... for the last 5 years I've wanted to lose that 15 pounds. If it's that difficult for me to lose 15 pounds, what would I feel like if I needed to lose 10 times that much weight? Being morbidly obese isn't a cosmetic problem. It will kill you more surely than the surgery will. The patients bristle when people call it "an easy way out". It's a difficult experience to go under the knife, have your guts re-arranged and then deal with the grossly unpleasant gastric effects that come later. But the one phrase I hear over and over is... "I have my life back... I have a life now".


Appalachian Gun Trash said...

Incredible - I've tried, but for the life of me, I cannot visualize that beautiful young lady filling those jeans.

Cornelius said...

Maybe I'm being militant here, but morbidly obese people didn't exist 50 years ago. At least not in such great numbers.

I think there's no doubt that people get extremely fat because you lack discipline. In your eating habits and how you take care of yourself.

So ultimately, this is an 'easy way out'. And eventually it will become a way out for thousands of people who would otherwise accomplish the same thing through some hard ass exercise.

You don't become obese instantly. It takes years. Is it unreasonable to recognize that it takes the same amount of time to become fit?

That being said, she looks fabulous.

humdinger04 said...

I am a physician who has about 10 patients who had the surgery. For 9/10 the results were amazing. It is interesting to note that nearly all no longer need any of their previous hypertension/diabetes/cholesterol meds. But for that tenth patient, the adverse events were nearly catastrophic. It is not a decision to be made lightly. Still, I do not discourage patients as it can be a life changing event.

Synova said...

People who say things like cornelius don't have any more discipline than obese people do. They don't need discipline because they don't have the problem, so it's really easy to say that someone else shouldn't be so lazy.