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For some, surgery may be key to healthy weight loss

Posted on Monday, January 06, 2014 · Volume: XLVII · Issue: 1


There are many complex factors that can make it hard for persons with obesity to lose weight, says Richard Peterson, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. Dr. Peterson directs the UT Medicine San Antonio Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery.
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There are many complex factors that can make it hard for persons with obesity to lose weight, says Richard Peterson, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. Dr. Peterson directs the UT Medicine San Antonio Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. clear graphic

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By Rosanne Fohn

Losing weight is a frequent New Year’s resolution, but if you are obese, losing weight may not be as simple as just eating less and exercising more.

“Obesity is a multifactorial problem. We don’t know the exact cause for obesity, but we are learning that for some people, genes, heredity, environment, metabolic issues and eating disorders can play a part in making it very difficult to lose weight,” said Richard Peterson, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. He directs the UT Medicine San Antonio Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. UT Medicine is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

Major health issue
Obesity often brings a variety of chronic health issues. Some of them are Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, high blood pressure and heart disease, osteoarthritis, depression, reflux and heartburn, urinary stress incontinence and infertility.

Expert in medical weight loss
“We’re here to help people who need medical assistance in losing weight,” said Dr. Peterson, who is an associate professor of surgery and chief of bariatric and metabolic surgery in the School of Medicine. He also directs the CHRISTUS Weight Loss Institute – Westover Hills, a collaboration between UT Medicine and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa.

The institute, which opened in 2011, recently reached the milestone of helping 201 patients lose more than 10,000 pounds.

The comprehensive, multidisciplinary and compassionate program offers evaluation, support, education and treatment for morbidly obese individuals and provides a variety of state-of-the-art bariatric surgical procedures.

Surgical services
The services include nutritional assistance and counseling, as well as surgical options, such as:Improve overall health
“It’s good to lose weight, because there are lots of health benefits that go along with it. We’ve seen our patients improve and in many cases resolve their diabetes and blood pressure issues, and many no longer have reflux or heartburn,” he said.

After learning the options available through a free informational seminar, patients receive an initial consultation to decide with the doctor their best option. Then an individual treatment plan is devised. In addition to Dr. Peterson, who performs the surgeries, there is a nurse program coordinator, psychologist, dietitian and benefits coordinator.

Time to improve your health?
“The most important thing going in is to know that you are ready to make a change in your life,” Dr. Peterson said.

To learn more, visit utweightloss.com or call 210-438-8446.

 
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