Beginning the Weight Loss Journey
Weight loss surgery gives millions of people hope that they can regain control of their weight and return to a more normal life. Weight loss changes lives, to a better, much better one. Along with the numerous health improvements, it has also been shown to affect an individual’s social situation and even employment opportunities. While many paths lead to weight loss, it is currently accepted among the medical community that the most reliable and longest lasting results are achieved through bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery is a tool that can help you lose weight when you have been unable to lose weight with any other method. Its success rate is very high, but it is not a journey to be undertaken lightly, and it is not appropriate for everyone. You will need to understand that some eating habits and life style changes will be required. In general, you will need to consider the physical, emotional and financial components of this weight loss option before choosing to pursue it.
The National Institutes of Health have developed general guidelines for bariatric surgery eligibility and many agencies have adopted those guidelines. Their general guidelines require a body-weight greater than 100 pounds above the ideal body-weight, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 40. People with a BMI greater than or equal to 35, with obesity-related medical complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea or gallbladder disease may also qualify. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recognized and extended with the same requirements the need of bariatric surgery to patient in the category between 30 to 25 BMI. However they have approved the gastric band, since it is still considerate the safest procedure.
Obesity often carries with it a host of emotional issues that an individual must address before undergoing bariatric surgery. A major psychiatric disorder or significant emotional problems will not be resolved with weight loss. In some cases, they will reduce your chances of weight loss success following surgery, so they must be identified and properly addressed in advance.
Another significant emotional criterion that you must consider is your willingness to make lifestyle changes. While bariatric surgery will assist with many of these changes, it does not force you to change. Without lifestyle changes, your surgery can be a complete technical success, but you can fail to lose weight. Often people do not consider this possibility and believe that bariatric surgery will allow them to lose weight while they continue to engage in the same behaviors. This is not the case.
Bariatric surgery requires a financial commitment that may or may not be covered by your insurance. Your willingness to meet the criteria for surgery established by your insurance company or commit to paying the cost of the surgery yourself will figure heavily in your decision-making process. In most cases, the staff at your bariatric surgeon’s office can help you identify your financial options. However, you have to remember, there is no better investment than putting money down towards your health or someone else that you love.
Bariatric surgery, like any surgery, is a significant decision and you need to be thoroughly informed about everything that it entails. Unlike most other surgeries, bariatric surgery requires lifelong follow-up and behavioral change. Most surgical programs provide free information sessions that will introduce you to the many factors that you will consider when deciding if surgical weight loss is right for you. Take advantage of every opportunity to become informed as you begin your journey toward a healthier life.
For More Information on Weight Loss Surgery.
For more information on bariatric surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Baptista, please contact Florida Surgical Physicians today.