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Saturday, December 1, 2007

421 Pounds

Anyone interested in the trials, tribulations and catastrophic untimely death of one of my Hamilton patients, can read about her in a Special Report (4 parts) starting today in the Hamilton Spectator.

The story illustrates not just how complex treating morbid obesity really is but also demonstrates how failing to deal with obesity as a chronic disease early in its course can only lead to catastrophic outcomes. 

The fact that in the end Cheryl died soon after receiving the long-awaited by-pass surgery should not dispel the benefits to be derived from this procedure. As the story illustrates, outcomes are as (if not more) dependent on proper follow-up and the infrastructure to deal with complications (when they arise) as on finding a willing and able surgeon. 

In isolation, obesity surgery is doomed to failure. On the other hand, as part of a comprehensive program that ensures appropriate patient selection, preparation and long-term follow-up, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

As anyone who has heard me speak about the Weight Wise program should appreciate by now - obesity surgery, even when necessary, is NEVER just about surgery!


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