Obesity has become a universal pandemic, and in the UK alone in 2016/2017 there were 10,705 hospital admissions directly attributable to obesity, and around 72% of those patients were female.
Bariatric surgery is the name for a group of procedures that can be performed to facilitate weight loss, including stomach stapling, gastric bypasses, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric band maintenance. It is used in the treatment of obesity for people with a BMI above 40, or those with a BMI between 35 and 40 who have health problems such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
While many people consider this treatment, that is far from the truth. Anyone undergoing this kind of surgery has to go on a strict diet and exercise plan. However, this surgery can help people make extreme diet adjustments necessary to lose significant amounts of weight and change their lives for the better. If you are considering bariatric surgery, it is a huge step that you need to discuss with your doctor as there are many things to think about.
What is Your BMI?
If your BMI is higher than 40, most medical organisations recommend that weight loss surgery is an option if you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. You may also be considered eligible for surgery if your BMI is over 35 and you have at least one obesity-related medical condition.
If you don’t know your BMI, you can find out using this online BMI calculator.
Do You Have Any Weight-Related Medical Conditions?
Being overweight can cause or increase other health issues such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, heart disease and high blood pressure. Depending on what you suffer from, this could either make you a good candidate for weight loss surgery or on the other hand it may affect your ability to withstand them.
Have You Tried Other Weight Loss Programs?
Surgery is only a good option when other methods of weight loss have failed. United Medical Bariatric Surgery recommends diet and exercise as the first treatment options for obesity.
Are you Ready to Change your Lifestyle?
Weight loss surgery isn’t a magic quick fix or easy way out. If you opt for bariatric surgery, you will still have to change your diet and eating habits.
After surgery, it will be essential to continue to see your doctor for check-ups following the treatment. Your doctor will monitor your weight loss and may change your medication if needed. Your doctor will also be able to provide recommendations for vitamin and mineral supplementation, suggest adjustments to your surgery where necessary. For example, people who have lap band surgery may need to have the size of the band adjusted to meet their weight loss needs.
Opting to have weight loss surgery is a big decision and a big commitment. Make sure you consider all your options and continue to get advice from reliable sources, such as your doctor, a bariatric surgeon, and other people who have undergone the procedure.