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Am I a Good Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

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By By Dr. Dieter Pohl

Thinking about getting weight loss surgery? Continue reading to find out if you’re a good candidate.

Who Qualifies for Weight Loss Surgery?

Do you know if you qualify for weight loss surgery? These are the determining factors that allow you to qualify:

  • You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • You have a BMI over 35 and have other health conditions, like diabetes or sleep apnea
  • You have been unsuccessful at dieting on your own or through a supervised weight loss program
  • You’re willing to make lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) for long-term success

 

People who have struggled with losing weight in the past may qualify for weight loss surgery. When all other methods have failed, weight loss surgery is a tool that can help those struggling to get healthier and reach their weight goals. People who are experiencing health conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or other conditions and have a BMI of at least 35 or more may qualify for weight loss surgery. All candidates must be willing to make lifestyle changes for long-term results.

What are the Risks and Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery can improve your quality of life in many ways. Not only does weight loss surgery help you to lose weight, it helps keep the weight off as well. When you cut down on your weight, you lessen your risk of having obesity related medical conditions. Some benefits of weight loss surgery include:

  • Long-term weight loss success
  • Improved longevity
  • Better quality of life

Although there are many benefits to getting weight loss surgery, there are still risks associated with any surgery.  Be sure to check with your primary care doctor or your bariatric surgeon to discuss your situation. Your surgeon may recommend one surgery over another based on your medical conditions. For example, if you have acid reflex, your surgeon may recommend the gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch verses the sleeve gastrectomy.

Life After Weight Loss Surgery

As you begin your post-surgical weight loss journey, you will be eating and drinking different foods to accommodate life after surgery. After surgery, you will follow a strict diet of liquid foods. After that, you will slowly start to add blenderized, pureed foods, then soft, ground foods to your diet. Eventually you will add regular foods back into your diet. It’s advised to permanently stay away from sugary foods and foods that are very caloric that add no nutrient value.  Eating a high protein diet is a necessity after weight loss surgery. Your new stomach will be much smaller than before, so meals will take longer to eat. You will have to drink plenty of water after weight loss surgery and avoid snacking throughout the day.

After losing weight, you might experience mood changes and have excess skin. Many people need time to adjust to a completely new way of eating and lifestyle and can experience emotional changes. You want your new lifestyle to be sustainable, so be sure to seek out help with this when you can. Everyone is going through this. Feel free to join a support group or seek out mental health counseling. Take to members of the team- your surgeon, nurse practitioner, or dietitian for advice. They can direct to you to resources that may be helpful.

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