Surgery Can Be Effective Tool in Fight Against Weight


I felt powerless in the face of it, even though I did diet after diet.

-Rabbi Nat Ezray, bariatric surgery patient at Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Every day, Rabbi Nat Ezray devotes at least one hour to exercise.

John Morton, MD, MPH, became interested in the health effects of weight while still in high school.

We can't operate our way out of the obesity problem. It's part and parcel of a lifestyle change.

-John Morton, MD, MPH, Director, Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics

One of Rabbi Nat Ezray's favorite parts of his job is telling stories to the children of his congregation.


You might be - if you have:

  • A body mass index of 35 or above and have weight-related health issues including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depression, arthritis, low back pain, stress incontinence, acid reflux, degenerative joint disease or high cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • A BMI of 40
  • A history of dieting, with weight loss followed by weight gain; and weight restricting your activity

The Stanford Bariatric Surgery program requires all its patients to lose 10 percent of their weight before surgery to make certain patients have the ability to follow the continuing diet and exercise that is key to successful maintenance of their weight loss. Patients must also have a psychological evaluation.

Putting Your Health at Risk

You don't have to be obese to have extra weight trigger changes that can threaten your health - a BMI of 25, or 10 percent over ideal body weight, can be enough for some people, depending on family history. The more overweight you are, the more you raise your risk of harm.

Side effects include:

  • Type 2 diabetes - can cause heart and kidney disease, nerve damage and stroke
  • High blood pressure - increases risk of stroke and heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis in hips and knees
  • Sleep apnea and breathing limitation
  • Higher risk of certain cancers

I don't have to to hold onto the fear that I was going to die young. I feel like I've been given a second chance.

-Rabbi Nat Ezray, bariatric surgery patient at Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Video Transcript