is major surgery. Although most patients enjoy an improvement in obesity-related
health conditions (such as mobility, self-image and self-esteem) after
the successful results of weight-loss surgery, these results should not
be the overriding motivation for having the procedure. The goal is to
live better, healthier and longer.
That is why you should make the decision to have weight-loss surgery only
after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric
surgeon or a knowledgeable family physician. A qualified surgeon should
answer your questions clearly and explain the exact details of the procedure,
the extent of the recovery period and the reality of the follow-up care
that will be required. They may, as part of routine evaluation for weight-loss
surgery, require that you consult with a dietician/nutritionist and a
psychiatrist/therapist. This is to help establish a clear understanding
of the post-operative changes in behavior that are essential for long-term
It is important to remember that there are no ironclad guarantees in any
kind of medicine or surgery. There can be unexpected outcomes in even
the simplest procedures. What can be said, however, is that weight loss
surgery will only succeed when the patient makes a lifelong commitment.
Some of the challenges facing a person after weight loss surgery can be
unexpected. Lifestyle changes can strain relationships within families
and between married couples. To help patients achieve their goals and
deal with the changes surgery and weight loss can bring, most bariatric
surgeons offer follow-up care that includes support groups, dieticians
and other forms of continuing education.
Ultimately, the decision to have the procedure is entirely up to you.
After having heard all the information, you must decide if the benefits
outweigh the side effects and potential complications. This surgery is
only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on strict adherence to the
recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes.