published Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Ask a doctor: What is metabolic surgery?

Dr. Jack F. Rutledge

Q: What is metabolic surgery?

A: Metabolic surgery is an operation that acts like medicine. Its purpose and effect is medicinal, not plumbing. Scientists have long known that obesity is a genetically mediated disorder of metab-olism. People with this disease are biologically permissive to slowly gain excessive weight (fat-mass) but are biologically resistant to lose weight. Once the body recognizes and begins to defend an abnormally high fat-mass set point, the disease of obesity is established and difficult to treat. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent further weight gain, and radical behavioral changes may improve the situation in the short run, but the metabolic forces against weight loss -- biologically perceived as starvation -- are powerful and rarely lose the war on obesity. Metabolic surgery is an intestinal operation that is medicinally corrective of the biology -- profoundly so. In concert with a healthy lifestyle, a much lower, healthier and sustainable fat-mass set point is predictable. For a free seminar, call 423-495-2501.

— Dr. Jack F. Rutledge, Memorial Metabolic Surgery; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County, Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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