It’s a question that’s often foremost on the minds of potential weight-loss surgery patients: Am I a good candidate for bariatric surgery? Let’s take a moment to examine this important question.
Struggling with obesity can be extremely challenging, especially when your body’s weight interferes with key activities in daily life. In addition, obesity can lead to numerous health issues, including sleep apnea, joint weakness, diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Surgical weight loss alternatives may offer some compelling opportunities for those seeking a solution to dramatic weight loss. But this still leads us back to our original question: Are you the ideal candidate for bariatric surgery?
Are You A Candidate For Weight-Loss-Surgery?
Weight loss surgery may seem like a good choice for you, but not all individuals are eligible for bariatric procedures. In general, surgical candidates must meet strict requirements, including:
- Clinical obesity, especially with a weight-related secondary condition, such as type 2 diabetes
- Thorough comprehension of all risks and benefits
- Weight-loss attempts using other methods with little to no results (including regular diet and exercise)
- Commitment to diet and lifestyle changes after surgery
- Over the age of 18
- Teens may only be considered as possible bariatric surgery candidates with an extremely high BMI of 35 or higher and an accompanying health-related condition
While different doctors may have different expectations, individuals who do not show a commitment to lifelong changes as a result of weight loss surgery are generally not considered to be good candidates.
Physical Factors In Weight-Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery significantly changes how your body functions. It reduces the size of your stomach and limits the food and drink — and the amount of food and drink, due to removal of parts of the stomach — you are able to consume. Results do not happen overnight, and it may take years of hard work to lose weight and keep it off.
It’s crucial to remember that bariatric surgery is not magic; it is a serious procedure that requires effort and dedication over the remainder of your life. This is the case regardless of procedure and where you go to have the procedure: gastric bypass surgery (or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass), adjustable gastric band, biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, etc.
In addition, there are some risks associated with all types of surgeries, bariatric surgery included. If you are not comfortable with the potential side effects of a surgical procedure, holistic approaches to weight loss may be more appropriate for you.
Social Considerations Of Weight-Loss Surgery
Undergoing major changes to your body can take a toll on your psychological well-being, as well as your relationships with the people around you. For many candidates, a support system of friends and family can be vital to the weight loss process, giving you a shoulder to lean on throughout recovery.
The ways you interact with others on a daily basis, including dining out and sharing meals together, may change as well, putting extra pressure on relationships. Weight-loss support groups are often beneficial for patients both before and after surgery, providing real-life examples of what the process entails.
Is Bariatric Surgery Right For You?
Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul has been a bariatric surgeon for more than two decades. In this video on this page, Dr. Bhoyrul discusses the life-changing effects of bariatric surgery on patients who return to his office a year or two after surgery.
What do these patients tell him? They reveal that surgery has provided additional benefits that many did not expect, such as improved relationships with partners. They talk about being able to fit comfortably in an airplane seat or finally having the fitness and stamina and strength to engage in physical activities with their children.
“How people feel about themselves,” Dr. Bhoyrul says, “and how the rest of the world sees them are far more impactful and far more meaningful than how much weight you lose. In fact, when you talk to our patients, the last thing they tell you is, “Oh, yeah, I lost 100 pounds. We’re making people’s lives better forever.”
If you have evaluated the pros and cons and have decided that weight loss surgery may be the best solution for your health care needs, it’s time to take the next step.
To learn more about the benefits of weight loss surgery, and whether you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery, contact Olde Del Mar Surgical to see what we can do to help you on your journey.