Five Things to Know Before Undergoing Weight Loss Surgery

weight loss surgery

If you are thinking of gastric or lap band surgeries, make sure you do your research first.

weight loss surgery

We are a society of fast-fixers. Nowadays, with all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, we have become a society of people who want things immediately, with as few complications as possible. This ideal applies in our dating lives (apps), our careers (the influencer generation), and our food (Uber eats and Seamless, for example). Instant gratification seems to be the name of the game, and this even extends to weight loss.

When weight loss surgery first became a possibility, there was a lot more danger and risk involved than there is now. It has become a lot more common these days, not just amongst celebrities, but within every subset of our society.

Let me preface all this by saying that I am a proponent of the old way, when it comes to weight loss. If you put in the time and effort into losing weight, and turn your diet and exercise regimen into a lifestyle change, you will see long-lasting benefits that will guarantee you can lose the weight and keep it off. But, in this society of instant gratification, sometimes surgery can seem like an easier road.

READ MORE: Five Weight-loss Tips to Lose Weight Forever

With that in mind, here are five things you should consider before undergoing weight-loss surgery.

The two most popular kinds of weight-loss surgery are gastric bypass, and laparoscopic banding. With a gastric bypass, the surgeon surgically alters the stomach to create a small pouch at the top to receive food. The intestine is then also cut, and attached to this small pouch to greatly reduce the size of your stomach. With laparoscopic banding, an adjustable band with an inflatable balloon is placed in the upper stomach. This band can be adjusted to change the amount of food your stomach can hold. The main difference is that lap-banding doesn’t restrict that amount of nutrients your body absorbs, whereas gastric bypass does.

Having weight loss surgery doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and not gain any weight. In fact, you have to be overly conscious of what you do eat, because your mind may not realize that your stomach is smaller. A lot of over-eaters eat so much because of a mental addiction to food, and this must be addressed or the surgery will be for nothing.

About half of all patients who undergo weight loss surgery gain some weight back within 2 years. Typically, those patients still keep off about 60% of their weight after five years, which could still be considered a win.

Excessive skin is something that many weight-loss surgery patients experience, and surgery may be necessary. In a perfect world, weight loss wouldn’t come with any side effects, but often patients end up with pounds of excess skin which can affect their self esteem as much as the excess weight. In most cases surgery is necessary to remove this extra skin.

Many weight loss patients suffer from depression or anxiety after the surgery. This has to do with the complicated connection between weight and self-esteem. This is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself psychologically if you are considering undergoing weight loss surgery. If you have decided to go the surgical route, make the effort to see a psychologist throughout the process so that when your body finally transforms, your mind can follow suit.


Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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