New Year's Resolution May Carry Some Weight, Noted Surgeon Says

Dec 15, 2010, 12:15 ET from Dr. Scott Cunneen, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The turn of a new year routinely brings with it well-intended New Year's Resolutions, the most popular of which is to lose some weight.  An increasingly large segment of the population, however, is, well, increasingly large and the idea of engaging in the battle of the bulge is a daunting one.

Dr. Scott Cunneen, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, looks at this time of year as an opportunity for very overweight people (two-thirds of the American public are obese or morbidly obese) to reap significant health benefits from weight loss. "The minimally invasive surgical techniques used today, including gastric bypass and the even simpler gastric banding (or LapBand®) require less surgery to get to your goal, which is to get the weight off so that your diabetes is better controlled, your hypertension, your sleep apnea, all those things we call co-morbidities or illnesses that are related to your being overweight, all those things reverse," according to Dr. Cunneen. "You can lose 40% or 50% of your excess body weight and still succeed in greatly reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Even knees, backs and hips benefit from weight loss," he said.

"Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix," Dr. Cunneen admonishes," but a tool to help you reach your goal of optimum health. It's an intensely personal decision that requires a lifelong commitment." People who are ready for the step should consult their primary physicians who will refer them to accredited medical institutions. "Don't pick your surgeon from the yellow pages or a billboard," Dr. Cunneen warns. "While this surgery is considered safe and often life-saving, it's still surgery and carries risks, as all surgeries do."

Dr. Cunneen is quite the expert, having performed more than 3,000 surgeries himself and has recently returned from Sri Lanka where he taught the LapBand® procedure to surgeons there.

Cedars-Sinai's Center for Weight Loss may be reached at 310-423-8350.

SOURCE Dr. Scott Cunneen, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center