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How do I keep this weight off?

Do I need surgery? Obesity is a rapidly expanding problem in the United States. Current research suggests that over 127 million Americans are overweight, and over 35% of Americans are obese.

Aliu Sanni, MD

This means three out of every five Americans are either overweight or obese and the percentages have doubled over the past 20 years. In the United States, up to 300,000 deaths per year can be linked to obesity.

The definition of obesity is based on body mass index (BMI) which is a mathematical formula that compares a person’s height and weight. A value of less than 25 kg/m2 is considered “normal”. Overweight individuals are classified as having a BMI between 25 and 30 kg/m2. Obese patients have a BMI of over 30 kg/m2 and individuals who are morbidly obese have a BMI over 40 kg/m2. It is now estimated that over 12 million Americans are morbidly obese.

Obesity is directly harmful to a person’s health. Studies show that someone who is obese is twice as likely to die prematurely when compared to a non-obese individual. The risk of death from diabetes or heart disease is five to seven times greater. There is a direct association between the degree of obesity and the development of medical problems, with an exponentially increased risk of death from co morbid conditions as the body mass index increases. Agencies such as the US Public Health Service now consider obesity as serious as tobacco in contributing to increased health problems.

Obesity is a risk factor for many serious life-threatening diseases including Diabetes, Stroke, Heart disease, High blood pressure, Obstructive sleep apnea (breathing disorders), Heartburn or reflux disease, High Cholesterol, Cancer, Infertility/menstrual irregularities, De-generative Joint Disease/Debilitating arthritis, Gallbladder disease, and depression.

There are also physical limitations to obesity. Patients have complained about the inability to go to the movies, sit on a plane or bus seat, use a seat belt, fit through a turnstile, play/pick up children, maintain adequate hygiene and buy stylish clothes.

Non-surgical approaches to weight loss include various diet programs, exercise programs, and medications.  However, weight loss through these programs is usually short-lived. Following the National Institute of Health (NIH) Conference on Obesity, it was agreed that for patients with Morbid Obesity (BMI>35 with medical problems or BMI>40), surgical intervention is the only method proven to have a significant long-term impact on the disease.

The problem with medical management is not in achieving weight loss, but in keeping the weight off!

Surgical weight loss options typically result in quick and dramatic weight loss among patients, and significantly reduce obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes.

There are three major surgical procedures commonly performed for weight loss and these can be performed through minimally invasive routes (laparoscopy/ robotics). The minimally invasive route ensures small incisions, quick wound healing and faster recovery times. Dr. Aliu Sanni performs Sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and gastric banding through minimally invasive access at Eastside Medical Center.

That means our weight loss surgery patients can expect thorough pre-operative support and education, world-class weight loss surgeons operating in a top-notch facility, and effective post-operative monitoring and follow-up.

Preparation for surgery includes many steps which we will guide you through. A team of specialists will help prepare you on this journey. The journey is different for everybody based on individual health needs and medical conditions.

Long term results of weight loss surgery are significantly better than medical weight loss alone.  About 90% of patients would lose 50-75% of their excess body weight and maintain it over 14years. The surgery alone is not the only factor in this process, however.  The weight loss occurs with lifestyle changes that a dedicated Bariatric Team like the one offered at Eastside Center for Surgical Weight Loss can help you develop and become accustomed to.  Diet changes, exercise, and mental boundaries must all be addressed for success.  

If patients are able to undergo safe effective surgery for weight loss, the impact is staggering for the individual and our medical community, as well as healthcare costs.  Many studies report the benefit outweighing the risk of surgery for those wanting to live a long healthy happy life that weight loss surgery can offer.  Surgery is a safe solution for those who have had difficulty losing weight.  The best bariatric patient understands that the surgery is just the beginning of their journey and future healthy lifestyle! 

To learn more about the Eastside Center for Surgical Weight Loss or to register for a FREE SEMINAR, visit or call 770-736-2308.

By Dr. Aliu Sanni
General/ Bariatric Surgery
Eastside Center for Surgical Weight Loss

About Eastside Medical Center
Eastside Medical Center has been a leader for 33 years in a wide range of state of the art healthcare, including emergency services, neurosurgery, orthopedics, women’s services, neurosciences, oncology, cardiology and behavioral health. Eastside is a 310-bed, full-service, acute care medical center with nearly 1,200 employees and 500 affiliated physicians. The hospital is fully accredited by The Joint Commission.  The Eastside Medical Center – South Campus located on Fountain Drive off of Highway 78 in Snellville, provides inpatient psychiatric treatment for adults. It also has a Wound Clinic, Pain Center, and 20-bed Rehab Center.