Kellie received bar iatric surgery a year and a half ago, at age 26, and lost over half her weight-160 pounds (St. Vincent 1). Over one million morbidly obese people in the United States have already received gastric bypass surgery. Since obesity has reached such epidemic proportions, everyone in America is looking for a cure. Gastric bypass surgery has rapidly become a solution for severely obese persons. Being obese causes emotional and physical distress and suffering, which increases a person's desire to become thin.

Several thousands of people are taking control of their lives and health by having bar iatric surgery. Gastric bypass surgery has been performed with minor variations since 1968 (How it Works 3). The procedure has grown rapidly over the past few years and numerous hospitals have added the surgery. Success rate / recovery , society's influence, and health factors all play a significant role as causes for a person to decide if this life-altering, sometimes dangerous, surgery is right for them. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most popular of three surgeries for the morbidly obese. In this procedure, surgical staples are used to create a small pouch in the stomach connected to the bowel by a piece of the small intestine, bypassing the majority of the Babbitt 2 stomach.

This form of surgery accounts for almost 90% of the procedures performed in the United States (USA Today 2). Generally gastric bypass remains strictly for patients who are morbidly obese by 100 pounds or more over his or her healthy weight. When people have this surgery, they will not only lose a significant amount of weight, but also see obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea greatly diminish or even vanish (Hochstrasser 98). Most patients will lose 50-70% of their excess body weight; some patients will lose even more (Hochstrasser 53).

The operation limits the amount of food a person takes in, decreases the amount of calories consumed, and makes it so eating less will still be satisfying. By exercising and eating healthy foods, the weight-loss can be considerably enhanced. Though the surgery rarely gets people to their ideal body weight, most patients get within 30-40 pounds (Woodward 67). Weight loss begins immediately after the operation.

The majority of people will continue to lose weight for approximately twelve months. The amount of weight a patient will lose every month will fluctuate depending upon the height and weight prior to surgery (Woodward 57). In general, the weight loss is complete within twelve months. The vast majority of patients are admitted the morning of surgery and will be released three days after the day of their surgery. Recovery time is generally 4 to 6 weeks. After being dismissed from the hospital the patient can generally expect to have a follow up visit in approximately 10 days (McGowan 47).

The widespread acceptance of this procedure has increased because of the promotion and actions of celebrities. Doctor Karl Byrne attributes the recent influence of mass media attention and interest in the procedure to celebrities undergoing the surgery Babbitt 3 (USA Today 3). "It was a pretty big deal when (singer) Carnie Wilson had her surgery broadcast live over the Internet," he said. Several hundreds of people tuned in on the internet to watch her surgery. She decided she wanted to let the world experience the change with her.

As stated by Dr. Jenn Berman n, a psychotherapist who treats gastric bypass patients, "The celebrity factor plays a role in overweight patients considering the surgery. They see Carnie Wilson, they see Al Roker, and they say, 'Oh, look how great they look. They " re not going to have any problems, I'm not going to have any problems.' " The number of celebrities getting the surgery has drastically increased public awareness and has clearly raised the demand. The health community has embraced the surgery and equally important is the fact: the public has begun to realize the risks associated with obesity. After Carnie Wilson, Al Roker, and Randy Jackson's public announcements of their decisions to receive the surgery, patients increased.

The public tends to mimic celebrities, whether it is on their style or decision to have a weight loss surgery. Society has demanded an image of a perfect body and perfect person which has ultimately impacted people's views on themselves. Since millions of people are morbidly obese, this surgery gives them a chance to overcome and fit society's standards. When celebrities think something is good enough for them it often causes a bandwagon effect and everyone seems to jump on. Several patients say they were impacted because of a celebrity success story. Obviously, their health allowed them to actually have the surgery, but the celebrity planted the idea to go through with the surgery into their head.

Serious health problems are considerably reduced or eliminated after having the surgery. Blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels are lowered. Sleep apnea is Babbitt 4 reduced or eliminated and the strain on the heart is lessened. Gastric bypass surgery offers many health benefits. Doctors believe this surgery can greatly reduce the number of morbidly obese persons in the United States. This surgery has been offered to patients who are severely overweight because the excess body fat is extremely unhealthy and stressful on the body frame and heart functions.

Although there are risks with the surgery, doctors feel not having the surgery is just as dangerous to a person's health. The procedure should not be looked at as an easy step to lose weight. It takes work to keep the surgery successful. Patients have reported several benefits besides weight-loss associated with the surgery: reduced or eliminated arthritis, sleep apnea, hypertension, depression, and diabetes treatment. Health is a priority of millions of American's. Bariatric surgery simply helps the patient to live longer.

If the excess weight was never lost, the patient could pass away several years before their time. This surgery is aiding millions in overcoming their adversity and health issues. America is increasingly growing in the number of obese persons. Bariatric surgery opens the door to hope for struggling corpulent human-beings.

Doctors feel gastric bypass surgery is worth the risk because the pros out-weigh the cons. Society is gripping on the idea of this surgery rapidly. American's are tired of failing on fad diets and this procedure gives them opportunity for a permanent change. Gastric bypass is not an easy way out; it is just a step in the right direction. Bariatric surgery is shrinking Americans: one surgery at a time..