How to Know You’re Ready for Bariatric Surgery
During roux-en-y gastric bypass, a popular weight loss procedure, a surgeon reduces the size of the stomach into a pouch where food is then routed. This minimizes how much a patient eats during each meal, hopefully resulting in weight loss.
Some weight loss surgeries have also shown to have an impact on their level of metabolism and hormones as well. Before jumping into the choice of having bariatric surgery, it is important to know exactly what to expect, be realistic about the results and explore all of the options available.
Do You Meet the Requirements?
Before even discussing bariatric surgery as an option, you might want to make sure you meet all of the necessary requirements to endure surgery. Bariatric surgery is for people in the obese or morbidly obese categories according to their body mass index (BMI). However, this isn’t the only requirement doctors will use when determining whether or not you will make a good candidate for the procedure. They also look at the following factors:
Your lifestyle habits – Doctors want to know exactly what you weight trends are, if you exercise, your eating habits, and regular stresses you encounter on a daily basis.
Your health – Your overall health and medical condition is also assessed before deciding if bariatric surgery is right for you. This includes checking for conditions like liver disease, blood clots, kidney stones, nutrition deficiency, or heart problems, as they can increase your risk for complications after surgery. The clinic also wants to know if you drink or smoke cigarettes, as well as any medications you are taking.
Why you want to lose weight – This is a very important thing to ask before you can get this type of weight loss surgery. The choice needs to be completely yours and your motivation must be there, otherwise you might not be willing to put in the work after having the surgery done.
Psychological conditions – Lastly, your doctor wants to know your mental condition is stable enough to handle the extreme changes following surgery. If things like childhood abuse, eating disorders, depression or substance abuse are what led to your obesity, these need to be addressed before moving further.
You Have Realistic Expectations
This is a major factor in deciding if you are actually ready to have bariatric surgery. Reading other success stories and seeing before and after photos is great for motivation, but it doesn’t mean bariatric surgery helps you lose weight without work. It also does not mean you will look just like someone else who has had it, or have the exact same results. Everybody is different and will have different results. While there is a very high success rate with this type of surgery, you need to have realistic expectations. Assuming you will lose 100 lbs the first year after surgery is not a realistic expectation.
You Have Support
Support is essential with weight loss surgery. This is a major procedure that has considerable changes in your lifestyle following surgery. Not only should you have support at home from your family and friends, but by attending a local support group as well.
You Lack Other Options for Weight Loss
Bariatric surgery should be considered a last resort, one that you choose based on your lack of other options. If you have already tried dieting, exercising, and various other weight loss methods that have not worked, then it is time to talk to your doctor about possibly getting weight loss surgery.
If you still feel like you are ready for bariatric surgery, do some research to find a great surgeon and be sure you are aware of the risks of the surgery before committing to it.