PLATTSBURGH — Allsun Lovell had struggled with weight her entire life.
She followed the typical pattern: going on one diet to lose weight only to gain that weight back, and more, before trying another diet and reliving the weight-loss/weight-gain cycle.
“I tried everything — dieting with exercising, and it never worked,” she said from her Plattsburgh home recently. “I was becoming an expert at dieting, but without success.”
Frustrated and discouraged, Lovell started to look into surgery as an option for weight loss through the Adirondack Medical Center Bariatric Program.
“They do a really good job (introducing new patients to the options available through the hospital’s weight-loss program),” she said.
“You go through a thorough organization before you make any kind of decision. They look at the pros and cons available to you, and then they help you choose what’s best for you.”
The Bariatric Program offers four surgical procedures, each one providing unique advantages for individual patients.
“Morbid obesity is the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disability in the country,” said Dr. Michael Hill, a thoracic surgeon who specializes in bariatric procedures for the Adirondack Surgical Group.
“We have four distinct procedures (designed to reduce the number of calories a patient’s body absorbs during meals),” he added. “Ultimately, it’s the patient’s decision (to choose a specific procedure). Our job is to educate patients and help them consider the different options.
“If you choose the lap band, then we want to help you have success with that decision.”
Traditionally, the lap band had been the most popular choice for bariatric surgery. In this option, a rubber band is placed around the stomach near its upper end, creating a small pouch and narrow passage into the rest of the stomach.