Dr. Basil Yurcisin

Bariatric Surgery

April 25, 2018 - 10:45 am

One of the world's first bestselling diet books was Luigi Cornaro’s The Art of Living Long (1558). From his late thirties, the Venetian restricted himself to about 14 ounces of food a day, eventually limiting his daily intake to a single egg. (He lived to age 98!) In the centuries that followed, our obsession with weight loss has run the gastronomic gamut from Lord Byron’s vinegar-and-water regimen to keto, paleo and some we’ll just file under HECK NO (swallowing tapeworms?! Urban legend has it that opera diva Maria Callas slimmed down that way.)

Obesity and its negative impacts on our bodies can’t be ignored, but there are far safer ways to lighten its load on our health. At Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Burlington County, bariatric (or “weight loss”) surgery is offered to patients who’ve been unable to shed excess pounds with conventional diets and exercise. Far from a quick fix, bariatric surgeon Dr. Basil Yurcisin says the procedure is tolerated quite well but patients must be prepared to follow the necessary lifestyle changes over the long term for the maximum benefits, which can range from reducing a person’s risk for some cancers by as much as 33% to a complete resolution of diabetes.

KYW’s Rasa Kaye talks with Dr. Yurcisin about how these interventions work and why Deborah Heart and Lung Center is offering bariatric surgery to its patients.