Sample Synthesis Essay
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Sample Synthesis Essay Sample Synthesis Essay Document Transcript

  • Drop Pounds under the Knife<br />Diets, pills, surgery, miracle trainers, and workout equipment are part of a list of weight-loss options which is literally endless. Today’s culture has become utterly obsessed with stick-thin figures and healthy eating habits. There is no doubt that this ever-growing fixation is applying more and more pressure to those individuals who do not fit the mold to lose weight and keep it off. However, for many obese individuals, it is not only an issue of aesthetics. Obesity can cause serious health issues. Some obese victims are exactly that—prisoners of their own bodies. Furthermore, in severe cases, a number of medical issues concerning their weight prevent obese individuals from engaging in the amount of exercise needed to lose the weight and regain their overall wellness. Today, individuals are trying more unorthodox methods of losing weight and increasingly turning to weight-loss surgery as a solution. Medical weight-loss surgery is extremely beneficial to patients because it drastically improves the quality of life, is a major catalyst in improving and curing obesity-related illnesses, and provides a higher expectancy for long-term, maintained weight loss.<br /> One of the most fulfilling benefits of weight-loss surgery is that it dramatically improves the quality of life. Obese individuals experience shortness of breath, continuous preoccupancy with food, and little or no energy, but medical weight loss allows for those things to diminish. As patients lose significant amounts of weight, they report that completing simple house chores and playing with children are no longer exhausting but enjoyable activities due to increased energy. It is also found that they no longer suffer from shortness of breath, which once excluded them from everyday activities. With progressive weight loss, the person begins to feel proud of the new shape he/she is attaining. In fact, a person can actually be stylish since the department store clothes now fit. A person discovers outside interests as the focus on food diminishes. The feelings of self-consciousness and shame are gradually replaced by feelings of confidence and self-control. All this begins to happen as soon as a few months after surgery.<br />George Alexander Fielding illustrates improved quality of life by explaining how surgery’s drastic weight loss builds confidence and even uncovers new interests. NYU Medical Center’s Fielding graduated MB BS from the University of Queensland, and he is one of the head doctors in NYU's Program for Surgical Weight Loss. Fielding explains, “With progressive weight loss the person begins to feel proud of the new shape he/she is attaining.” Fielding illustrates improved quality of life by explaining how surgery’s resulting drastic weight loss builds confidence and even uncovers new interests. Patients are enjoying their new bodies and taking ownership rather then feeling shame. They are able to wear trendy clothing which in turn makes them feel accepted. Researchers John B. Dixon, Maureen E. Dixon, and Paul E. O’Brien conducted a study based on a series of articles in the “Quality of Life after Lap Band Placement: Influence of Time, Weight Loss, and Comorbidties.” Their study measured the quality of life before and after Lap Band surgery, a weight-loss procedure, in over 400 obese patients in order to weigh the benefits of the surgery. At the conclusion of their study, the researchers agree with Fielding stating, “In conclusion, several obese subjects have poor QOL (quality of life) as measured by our health surveys. Lap Band surgery for this group provided a dramatic and sustained improvement in all measures of QOL.” This study supports Fielding's findings in that weight-loss surgery provides a greater quality of life after surgery and not just a minor improvement but a dramatic and sustaining improvement. These consequences of weight-loss surgery do not simply trim waste lines but allow once obese individuals to embrace life. Often overlooked simplicities, such as playing with children and feeling good in a black cocktail dress, are taken for granted. Weight-loss surgery allows for these forgotten indulgencies to become a reality for obese people and helps to increase their overall contentment with life as well as improve their overall health conditions.<br /> Another benefit to weight-loss surgery is its ability to drastically improve and, in some cases, cure obesity-related illnesses. Obese individuals experience a number of health-related problems due to severe weight-related complications. The list of health problems is endless, consisting of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea syndrome, gallbladder disease, stress urinary incontinence, and abnormal glucose tolerance just to name a few. Personal wellness drops so dramatically in many areas due to obesity that death is not just a possibility but also a guarantee if something is not done to improve health. Surgical procedures, such as Gastric Bypass, Lap Bands, and Biliopancreatic Diversion, can improve individuals' health by acting as a catalyst for the body. Dr. Christine Ren, leading Lap-Band surgeon in the U.S. and part of the team at NYU Medical Center, states, "Instead of treating each illness separately, we treat the basis of the problem. Surgery not only causes significant and lasting weight loss, but it improves and often cures all the medical problems associated with obesity.” Ren explains that weight loss provided by these surgeries is exactly what is needed to improve most of these health problems. Also, most medications taken for obesity-related illnesses and diseases are stopped or drastically reduced after surgery. Hadar Spivak, MD, a laparoscopic surgeon with Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, conducted a study on more than 150 obese subjects who underwent a surgical weight-loss procedure called gastric reduction. In his findings, Spivak concurs with Ren by explaining that high cholesterol levels dropped to healthy levels in two-thirds of affected patients, while high blood pressure was resolved in nearly half of the patients. One-third of the patients with diabetes were able to stop taking medication for their condition (“Weight Loss Surgery”). Both Ren and Spivak agree that weight-loss surgery has proven to be extremely valuable to the overall health of obese individuals. Weight- loss surgery can and does drastically improve and often cure illness and disease brought on by obesity. When one surgery offers a chance to not only slim down but improve life-threatening illnesses, it is no wonder so many obese individuals are investing its benefits.<br /> Another benefit to weight-loss surgery is that it offers weight loss throughout the years. The process of losing weight associated with weight-loss surgery occurs drastically over the course of about a year. Most patients drop between 100 and 200 pounds in that year, which entails a significant change in their bodies. Over the next three to five years, the weight loss continues at a much lower percentage, but weight loss does not cease altogether. For example, the standard open gastric bypass surgery offers long-term weight loss over the course of ten years. The NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss provides a statistics table that illustrates this point by providing the percent of excess weight loss over the duration of those ten years. The table, “Effectively Maintained Weight Loss,” illustrates that one year after surgery, 70 percent of excess weight loss had occurred; 66 percent of excess weight loss had occurred after 2 years, 55 percent after 5 years, and 50 percent after 10 years. This data shows that even 10 years after standard open gastric bypass surgery, weight loss still occurs. Patients are continuing to lose excess pounds years after the surgery was performed, which establishes that weight-loss surgery holds long-term weight management benefits. <br /> Despite the many benefits of weight-loss surgery, many say surgery is risky and presents complications far too dangerous to risk having the surgery. These complications are in some cases fatal and include peritonitis caused by small leaks in the digestive track and stomach, pulmonary embolism, liver and kidney disease, cancer of the stomach, esophagus, pancreas and bowel, wound infections, hernia, dehiscence, marginal ulcers, and persistent vomiting. Doctors with the Duke University Health System created a patients education manual for those considering and undergoing weight-loss surgery. In this manual, doctors explain, “Although even these serious complications can usually be treated successfully, they can result in permanent disability and even death” (Weight Loss Surgery: Patient Education Manual). This statement shows that even the surgeons themselves recognize the serious complications that can arise and even cause death after surgery. Surgeons’ acknowledgment that weight-loss surgery should not be taken lightly is a crucial red flag for obese individuals considering the surgery. Furthermore, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) elaborates on Duke University findings in their article “Weight Loss Surgery.” They explain, “There is no conclusive evidence that gastrointestinal surgery for weight loss increases longevity or improves overall health. There are a tremendous number of deaths and severe complications associated with weight-loss surgeries.” The NAAFA clearly explains that there is no hard evidence that weight-loss surgery provides patients with a longer life span or better health but that there is proof of death and further illness caused by the surgery. An even more frightening fact is that there is no “out of the woods” for patients after surgery. Problems after surgery can occur even ten years down the road, so patients are never allowed a point of relaxation where they can be without worry and simply enjoy their new bodies.<br /> Although risks are associated with weight-loss surgery, doctors and researchers are working to decrease these complications. Much of society’s knowledge of weight loss surgery is outdated and has not taking time to consider new precautions being taken by doctors. Most post-surgery complications have been eliminated, no longer posing any threat to patients. Researchers at the American Obesity Association (AOA) state, “Thousands of people have succeeded in losing weight and suffered no side effects or complications after surgery—an encouraging fact for many that are discouraged by outdated information” (“AOA Fact Sheets: Obesity Treatment”). This statement provides reassuring confidence for those considering weight-loss surgery who have been skeptical in the past. Risks after surgery are no longer a heavily weighted concern, and much of the information still floating around is outdated and irrelevant. The AOA also goes on to say, "Infection or death has been reported in less than 1 percent of patients.” That means 99 percent of patients are not experiencing these repercussions. It is also important to remember that complications are common and possible with any kind of surgery. Surgery as simple and routine as teeth extractions carries its own set of risks including several kinds of infections, paresthesia, and dry sockets. Problems after even teeth pulling can arise months after the surgery and result in serious medical attention. Risks and complications are involved in all surgical procedures. The Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss reminds patients, “The level of risk depends upon the degree of obesity and other conditions such as diabetes, heart and or lung disease” (“Weight Loss Surgery for Clinically Severe Obesity”). Where it is vital that patients take the risks of postoperative complications seriously, they are reminded that these complications depend upon the personal and specific health conditions of each patient. It must also be understood that is required for doctors to inform patients of all possible problems and that in most cases not all risks apply to every individual. The benefits of weight-loss surgery still greatly outweigh the potential risks due to the drastic reduction in post-surgery complications.<br /> Research and studies on obesity and weight-loss surgery are ever-changing and expanding. The discovery of new procedures is constantly growing while risks are persistently depleting. When exercise and diet are not an option, surgical weight loss is a great option to look into. There will always be concern and debate on the topic of weight- loss surgery, but its benefits are plentiful and provide obese individuals with the opportunity to embrace the vigor and healthier lifestyle that has been robbed of them. Weight-loss surgery provides a number of benefits that can improve an overall outlook on life, help to build a healthier body, and continue the weight-loss process throughout the rest of one’s life.<br />Works Cited<br />American Obesity Association. “AOA Fact Sheet: Obesity Treatment"<http://www.obesity.rog/subs/fastfacts/Obesity Treatment.shtml>. <br />Dixon, John B., Maureen E. Dixon, and Paul E. O’Brien. "Quality of Life after Lap-BanPlacement: Influence of time, Weight Loss, and Comorbidities. "Obesity Research Vol.No. 11. November 2001.<br />Duke Emory University: Health Sciences Center <>.<br />NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss. “Laparoslopil Adjustable Gastric Band. ''<>.<br />National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. "NAAFA Policy: Weight LossSurgery'' <http://www.nsafa.orge/doluments/pocolies/wcs.htmc>.<br />University Medical Center. "Weight Loss Surgery"<>.<br />Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss. “Risk and Complications''<>.<br />