You have been morbidly obese—50 to 100 percent if not 45 kilos above your ideal body weight—for the last several years and in fact, have been advised by your doctor to lose weight to avoid imminent health problems.
You’ve also decided it’s about time. After all, you no longer feel good and now available are many safe and effective options that can help you lose those unwanted kilos.
Of course, the newer methods are quite enticing. That’s what the advertisements and television shows might have you believe.
That’s not entirely the reality, however. In fact, those old but proven methods are still much reliable. “I’ve had a number of morbidly obese male patients who were on the verge of buying a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines that would help them breathe more easily during sleep because they were already suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. But instead of advising them to buy the CPAP machines, I convinced them to undergo the Lap-Band surgery, which finally helped them lose weight and in the process cured their sleep apnea,” shared Dr. Ferdinand Samonte, a bariatric surgeon at the De Los Santos Medical Center’s Center for Obesity Control.
He related that in scientific papers as well as in the real world, the Lap-Band cures 95 percent of sleep apnea among obese patients while 90 percent of obese diabetic patients and who had the Lap-Band go into remission after the first year of surgery.
“This is the reason the Lap-Band surgery is not only bariatric surgery but also metabolic surgery,” he added.
Samonte related meeting a patient with similar predicament six years ago.
“Forty-one year-old Lani Ayala had the same problem as Dustin’s. Weighing 112 kilograms (248 pounds), the 5’3’’ real estate and property leasing officer from Davao City lamented the fact that she was way beyond her ideal weight and needed to solve this immediately. Six years after deciding to undergo Lap-Band surgery, Lani now is now able to maintain a 60-kg (132 lb) weight,” Samonte reported.
Twenty-four year-old entrepreneur Dustin Balictar knew what it was like to be morbidly obese. At his heaviest, Balictar, who is 5’4’’, weighed 153 kg (338 lb).
Dr. Edward Oliveros, a bariatric surgeon at the BIB and Lap-Band Center, informed Balictar about the procedure that laparoscopically places on the upper part of the stomach a belt-like device (for free patient info session e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text 0917-527-2263 or 0917-LAP-BAND). This medical grade device restricts the volume of food that enters the stomach and enables the patient to enjoy a feeling of early fullness or satiety.
“The patient gets full with less food as a result and consistently loses weight of about a kilo (2 lb) every week,” Oliveros said.
Four years after his Lap-Band surgery, Balictar now has a waistline of 29 inches as well as an ideal 71-kg weight (156 lb).
However, both doctors still recognize the importance of conventional approaches to weight loss including going on a diet and doing physical exercises or work.
“But these are best suited for people who are just a few kilos above their ideal weight and not for individuals who are already severely or morbidly obese. These people engaged in extreme crash dieting or exercise may suffer from injury. The mere act of getting up and moving around and going about one’s daily activities can be painful on their knees and joints,” Samonte explained.
Oliveros, who performs his procedures at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and at the Bonifacio Global City, agreed: “Morbid obesity is not something to be taken lightly. The condition can cause a whole lot of other health problems—from heart disease to diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and even several different types of cancer. It could even endanger the lives of pregnant women.”
A World Health Organization report disclosed that Asians are more susceptible to obesity complications such as type 2 diabetes—even among younger patients—because they usually have a higher level of body fat, and a lower level of muscularity for every level of BMI as compared to Caucasians.
This means that Asians need not reach a BMI of 35 to 40 (a number calculated from a person’s weight and height) before they start to develop metabolic diseases associated with obesity. At a BMI of 27.5, Filipinos start to have a high risk of developing these associated medical problems, according to the Food and Research Institute survey.
In the Philippines, there is an estimated 3 million Filipinos suffering from obesity, of which 600,000 are classified as morbidly obese.