* * Anonymous Doc: Young Obese, In Surgery, and being treated by a doctor with poor grammar

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Young Obese, In Surgery, and being treated by a doctor with poor grammar

I just read this New York Times article about young people getting gastric band surgery.

The article focuses on a 19-year-old woman, 5-foot-1 and 271 pounds.

[The doctor] told Ms. Gofman that, going by the averages, she could expect to lose about 40 percent of her excess weight, or 70 to 80 pounds. “Which is better than any diet out there,” he said. “We’d be looking for you to come in around 200.”

But, he warned, “If you don’t follow along the average way, like have a milk shake every night or don’t exercise at all, you will end up in the worser half.”

I'm sure this isn't what I'm supposed to take from the article, but-- "the worser half" ? "follow along the average way" ? And we're supposed to trust this person to perform surgery??

[A] study in Australia found that one-third of operations on teenagers required follow-up surgeries within two years, often because of “pouch dilation,” when the stomach above the band becomes enlarged, which can happen if the patient does not follow the regimen and tries to eat too much.

Which begs the question... should teenagers even be expected to have the self-control and understanding of the risks to take proper care of themselves post-procedure?

[At a visit to the doctor in November, she] had regained not quite half of what she had lost. He did not scold or blame her. He tightened her band, so it now took an hour and a half to force down two scrambled eggs.

She does not want to reveal how much she weighs, but she is fighting constant hunger, and progress is slow.


  1. Pass. I'll stick w/ the treadmill.

  2. We think they should wait until they reach 25 when the brain is fully developed, would you agree?

  3. I think it's sad that we're using surgery to treat a problem resulting mainly from societal changes (ready availability of low-quality foods, cities that are designed around commuting rather than walking, overabundance of inactive forms of entertainment). I don't have a great solution to the problem, but I wish that as a collective society we could focus on changes to society as a whole that would improve health in general.

  4. It's become a fashion statement around here where we live, even with those in their 40's or older. There was a family with 3 girls and a mom. I believe they ALL went through the surgery together. One of the daughters died from complications in the year following. I just don't trust the surgery. Another friend in her 40's posts her complications on Facebook (another issue of mine).

    Healthful eating and exercise, people! It's really not that difficult!

  5. > And we're supposed to trust this person to perform surgery??

    That stuck out at me too when I read the article.

    ...but since we're snarking on language usage, let me note that this phrase

    > Which begs the question.

    is being used incorrectly.


  6. As a former bulimic, I really sympathise with other people with food issues. I found it so hard to stop thinking about food, yet I hated how much it filled my thoughts. Hated the feeling of being so insecure and uncertain in trying to manage it that I would frequently crack and go on a binge and purge. Even when I bought healthy foods, I still binged and threw up.

    I would bet that obesity runs in similar thought patterns. It's not as easy telling someone to 'stop eating bad food', any more than it was telling myself to 'stop throwing up'. Long hard road, honestly. You have to get them to fix their own psychology.

    Still. Exercise rocks. It gave me back control.

  7. TJIC: Interesting re: begging the question. I stand corrected.

  8. Obesity is a problem not only for adults but for kids as well. Today more and more kids are becoming overweight and one major reason is because of technology