Considerations for Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is the most successful method for long-term weight loss. Unlike weight loss programs that focus on calorie restriction and exercise, bariatric surgery encourages weight loss by making physical changes to the stomach, and sometimes the digestive tract. These changes are often permanent, restricting stomach capacity by creating a secondary stomach pouch that food has to travel through.
After having weight loss surgery, it becomes easier to reduce food intake by cutting portions, limiting hunger and controlling food choices. When combined with healthy behaviors, good eating habits and regular exercise, weight loss surgery is a proven path to long-term weight loss success.
Why Lose Weight?
There are many reasons why you may want to lose weight. Losing weight makes it easier to move about, naturally increases energy levels and can boost self-confidence by enhancing aesthetic wellness. However, of all the reasons to lose weight, improved health remains primary.
Through encouraging weight loss, bariatric surgery can help you prevent or even reverse the onset of health problems like:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
- Sleep apnea
Choosing Weight Loss Surgery
There are several forms of weight loss surgery, and each type provides unique benefits. Most forms of weight loss surgery are available as minimally invasive procedures, or laparoscopically. Laparoscopic surgery is an advanced surgical technique that allows your weight loss surgeon to complete a weight loss procedure without making any large incisions in the abdomen.
Instead, your surgeon uses a specialized tool called a laparoscope, which is equipped with a camera, light and surgical devices. Gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy surgery and lap band surgery are generally performed laparoscopically.
Benefits of laparoscopic of surgery include:
- Faster recovery period
- Minimal scarring
- Reduced post-operative pain
- Reduced risk of post-surgical complications
Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?
There are several factors that will determine if you are eligible for weight loss surgery. If you are attempting to have your weight loss procedure paid through your insurance provider, then there may be additional criteria that must be met.
Criteria for eligibility include:
- BMI over 35, or a BMI over 30 and current diagnosis of obesity-related disease
- Medical record of having tried to lose weight in the past
- Mental / Psychological understanding of the procedure
Following weight loss surgery, you’ll be encouraged to make changes to your behavior and dietary habits. Making healthy changes to the foods you eat, increasing your activity level and adopting healthier habits in general will encourage weight loss following surgery. Willingness to make these post-surgical lifestyle changes is an important consideration prior to moving forward with bariatric surgery.