5 Things to Consider Before Bariatric Surgery

by Carter Toni

Bariatric surgery is a major undertaking and may not be the right choice for everyone. Before undergoing weight loss surgery or finding the best bariatric surgeon in Sydney, it is best to consider all of the information, as well as the risks and benefits.

1. How much do I really want to lose weight?

Successful weight loss requires a commitment and making changes in your eating habits and lifestyle. Weight loss surgery is not a magic cure for losing weight, but rather an aid in the process of making these necessary changes. Surgery can help you see immediate results, but you will need to maintain these results with diet and exercise, even after surgery.

Do I have any medical conditions that prohibit me from having bariatric surgery?Bariatric surgery is not for everyone. Some people may have existing medical conditions that will prevent them from being a candidate for weight loss surgery. For example, if you have untreated sleep apnea or if you have untreated heart disease or high blood pressure (hypertension), you may be excluded from bariatric surgery until these conditions are treated first.

If You’re Diabetic, There’s A High Chance That You’ll Become Non-Diabetic After Surgery. It’s common for Type 2 diabetics to become non-diabetic after bariatric surgery, especially if they’ve lost a lot of weight and kept it off over the long-term. Some research has shown that the weight loss associated with bariatric surgery may actually be more effective than medication at controlling diabetes — which means that you might not need those expensive Type 2 diabetes drugs anymore.

2. Weight Loss Surgery Is Not a Quick Fix

No matter how long you have struggled with your weight, you will not lose all of your excess pounds overnight after surgery. In fact, it will take time to adjust to your new lifestyle following any type of weight loss surgical procedure, including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or Lap Band® System procedures.

3. Weight Loss Surgery Requires Lifestyle Changes

Losing weight is more than just changing what you eat; it is also about changing how you live your life. A healthy diet and regular exercise are essential components in maintaining your new lifestyle following gastric bypass and other bariatric procedures. You may need to change the way you think about food, such as eating smaller portions or enjoying fewer fatty foods that you previously enjoyed.

4. Is your surgeon board-certified?

While any doctor can perform bariatric surgery, not everyone is qualified to perform every procedure. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) stresses the importance of using a surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery in bariatric surgery.

The risks of bariatric surgery include:

  • Excess skin. Weight loss surgery typically leads to significant weight loss, but it may not result in tight skin. If you have loose skin after weight loss, you may opt to have plastic surgery to tighten your skin.
  • Dumping syndrome. This condition causes nausea and weakness and can occur after eating too much sugar at once.
  • Rapid weight loss is associated with an increased risk of gallstones, which are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. Most gallstones aren’t a problem unless they grow large enough to block a bile duct or cause inflammation or infection of the gallbladder itself.
  • Gastric bypass patients are at risk of malnutrition because food bypasses most of the small intestine where key nutrients and calories are absorbed into the body.

5. Does your insurance company cover your procedure?

Because bariatric surgery is covered by all major insurance companies, it’s important to verify that your policy covers the specific procedure you want before scheduling your surgery. If you don’t have insurance, there are individual plans available through the Affordable Care Act.

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