The decision about whether to undergo obesity surgery is fairly complex and most importantly, very personal. You must understand that weight-loss surgery is a major undertaking, and though most patients enjoy an improvement in obesity-related health conditions and self-esteem after successful surgery, these results should not be the overriding motivation for having the procedure.
Deciding to undergo a bariatric surgical procedure will change your life in a dramatic and permanent way, so there’s no such thing as too much careful consideration. Even if you are interested in having surgery, your goals should be to live better, healthier and longer.
For all these reasons, you should make the decision to have weight-loss surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon or a knowledgeable family physician. A qualified surgeon should answer your questions clearly and explain the exact details of the procedure, the extent of the recovery period and the reality of the follow-up care that will be required. As part of routine evaluation for weight-loss surgery, they may require you to consult with a dietitian/nutritionist and a psychiatrist/therapist. This is to help establish a clear understanding of the post-operative changes in behavior that are essential for long-term success.
It is important to remember that there are no ironclad guarantees in any kind of medicine or surgery. There can be unexpected outcomes in even the simplest procedures. What can be said, however, is that weight-loss surgery will only succeed when the patient makes a lifelong commitment. Some of the challenges facing a person after weight-loss surgery can be unexpected. Lifestyle changes can strain relationships within families and between married couples. To help patients achieve their goals and deal with the changes surgery and weight-loss can bring, most bariatric surgeons offer follow-up care that includes support groups, dieticians and other forms of continuing education.
Ultimately, the decision to have the procedure is up to you. After having heard all the information, you must decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects and potential complications. Remember, this surgery is only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on strict adherence to the recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes.
The following are considerations that help determine whether or not a patient should have gastric bypass surgery.
Last modification date:
Tue Feb 6 10:09:54 2007