If you are morbidly obese (high body mass index of 35 or more), you may be considering surgeries like gastric bypasses or gastric sleeves. While surgery can be an appealing solution for its quick results, it's not always the best option.
Another way to tackle your weight is with the help of a bariatric physician. These physicians help patients lose weight through behavioral modifications, nutrition counseling, exercise plans and medication. Read on to see why these kinds of weight loss programs are better than invasive procedures.
Losing weight slowly can be daunting since it requires a lot of patience. However, having someone help you with your diet and exercise is so much safer than surgery. For instance, many obese individuals have contraindications, like heart disease and diabetes, that make surgery risky.
When a person has excess weight, they usually face a greater risk when it comes to surgical anesthesia, since it may take them longer to regain consciousness and even breathe properly with some analgesics, like opiates. Also, because the person has larger masses of soft tissue, it can be harder for physicians to use their instruments to navigate deeper structures.
While some doctors are willing to perform these high-risk surgeries, some insurance companies and hospitals won't allow it. And if a doctor does make an exception, you may still need to lose a prescribed amount of weight beforehand to reduce complications.
New Strategies for Dealing With Health Conditions and Temptations
Even if you have a successful surgery, that doesn't mean that food temptations are going to go away. For example, many people struggle with holiday weight gain. However, a bariatric doctor can help you develop strategies so that these situations are no longer a stressor.
Your doctor may have you keep a journal or a simple food log. These tools will give you insight on not only what you eat and how much but why you are eating so much. Some people eat to cope with stress. Research has shown that many mental illnesses, such as depression, night-eating syndrome and anxiety, can cause people to turn to food for comfort.
Your doctor will help you figure out if you have underlying health conditions that cause weight gain as a side effect. These health problems cannot be fixed by surgery. Conditions like Cushing's syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can cause severe weight gain. Your doctor can use medications along with your behavioral changes to combat these conditions' side effects.
As you can see, a surgery may help you lose the weight, but it will not erase old habits nor current health issues.
Better Maintenance of Desired Weight
With both gastric bypasses and gastric sleeves, you face the risk of stomach stretching. While many patients can maintain their new stomach sizes, some actually stretch the stomach back out if they eat too much.
Sometime this stretching is so gradual that you can fall back into old eating habits. And patients who experience this issue may actually gain back all their weight! A doctor could do a revision surgery to reset the pouch, but again, this would put you at risk for complications.
Since weight loss with the assistance of a doctor is usually slow and steady, you will be better able to maintain your goal weight. Your body will have time to adjust, and your eating habits will gradually adjust as well.
People who have drastic surgeries over and over or who yo-yo diet (cycle between losing and gaining lots of weight) can strain their body. This great fluctuation in weight can damage the gall bladder, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
If you are overweight, obese or morbidly obese, it's in your best interest to contact a doctor at WaistLines for more help before pursuing surgical options.