Weight Loss Surgery, the Pros and Cons*

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For many people the trials of dieting and losing some weight only to gain it back again leaves them looking for other solutions to help cure their weight issues and poor health. One of these possible solutions is weight loss surgery. Advances in several types of bariatric surgery have not only made it possible for many people to lose in excess of one hundred pounds, but refinements and success in certain weight loss procedures have made it possible for many other people to qualify for surgical weight loss procedures.

Studies have shown that the loss of as little as five percent of a person’s original body weight can improve overall health and reduce the risk of obesity related co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. Although these benefits shine a beneficial light on bariatric surgery, it is important to consider that invasive weight loss surgery comes with risks and responsibilities.

As with any surgical procedure, weight loss surgery may have surgical complications. Some of these complications may be infection in the surgical site or the risk of blood clots that may form in the lower legs and have the additional risk of the blood clot going to the heart. In addition to immediate health risks, bariatric surgery patients may experience malnutrition due to limited stomach capacity as well as the decreased ability to absorb nutrients in the digestive tract.

Diet restrictions are not just a diet choice when weight loss surgery is performed. The capacity of the stomach is often reduced to about three ounces which effectively restricts how much food can be eaten at any time. While with some bariatric procedures, such as Lap Band surgery, the restriction may be adjusted over time, the choice to eat less is taken away.

Weight loss surgery is not a guarantee of immediate success. It will take the extra effort of diet and exercise, as well as learning the how to incorporate the lessons learned into a normal day. It is important to realize that even weight loss surgery requires time and perseverance for successful results. It is important to have realistic goals of weight loss and set milestones to achieve the goals in a reasonable period of time.

Finally, while gaining the weight may have come easy, it may be important to realize that food may have been an addiction. Addictions that are unhealthy are often at risk of being replaced by other addictions that are just as unhealthy, such as smoking. Finding a healthy outlet to replace the eating is important for weight loss success.

 

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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.

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