Gastric-bypasses, stomach stapling, liposuction and other weight-loss surgeries are becoming more and more common. Many people who are overweight are turning to these procedures for an immediate answer to obesity and even moderate weight loss. While these surgeries may have a place in health care, they are not the best first choice for anyone. It’s extremely important to know why and when to resort to weight loss surgery.
For those who are obese or morbidly obese, weight loss is a must. Serious overweight is a serious health hazard. It causes stroke, heart attack, disability and a host of other health issues. However, even physicians advise their obese patients to try losing weight through diet before considering surgery. There are many reasons for this. Chief among them is the fact that weight loss surgery is dangerous. Surgery is potentially dangerous for those in good health; for those who are obese it is much more so. The stress obesity places on the heart, lungs and blood pressure is further complicated by anesthesia, severe pain and the pain medication used during healing. The dangers of surgery should not be taken lightly, especially by those who are significantly overweight.
For those who are only moderately overweight, the temptation to resort to weight loss surgery should be carefully considered. Weight loss surgery may be a fast answer, but it isn’t necessarily permanent. Many people are under the impression that surgery will result in a permanent weight loss, but this isn’t true. A significant number of people who undergo even a gastric bypass will eventually regain their weight. Sustaining weight lost during a surgical procedure requires lifestyle changes and behavior modification. Many people turn to surgery because they don’t want to make those changes. In these cases, they are very disappointed to find that the weight comes back within a few years.
If you only need to lose a moderate amount of weight, do so by making those lifestyle changes and modifying those behaviors that led to being overweight. You’ll have to do it whether you have surgery or not. By changing your habits, you can lose the weight safely and permanently without the danger of surgery or the pain of recovery.
One of the most common reasons people when they resort to weight loss surgery is, “I just can’t stick with a diet.” The fact is that statement isn’t necessarily the problem; it may be the solution to the problem. A safe and effective diet allows freedom in your choice of foods and the opportunity to enjoy less healthy foods on occasion. A diet that you have to “stick with” is usually a restrictive program. An effective diet involves making healthier choices and building better habits. In other words, you don’t “stick with” a good diet; it “sticks with” you. If you’re tempted to resort to weight loss surgery because you’ve not been able to lose weight by dieting, then you’ve been trying the wrong diets.
As said before, weight loss surgery does have its place. There may be cases where it is needed, due to serious health issues caused by obesity. However, it should only be undertaken after the advice of at least two physicians, and neither of those physicians should be doctors who perform weight loss surgery themselves. Weight loss surgery is a serious step. Patients must be physically and psychologically ready for the demands and even the results of weight loss surgery. If you have been advised by more than one physician to have some form of weight loss surgery, do as much as possible to prepare for it. If you’re looking at weight loss surgery as an alternative to dieting, then surgery is not for you.
Photo Credit: Army Medicine
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