Obesity’s steady rise is consequently contributing to the rise of serious medical conditions like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and sleep apnea. In an ever-growing self-absorbed society, many deem the phrase “looks matter” as fact. Diet pills, empire gyms and health magazines everywhere inundate us with advice and encouragement on lifestyle changes, but for some the goals are lofty and seemingly unattainable while old habits are hard to break.
The field of bariatric medicine has emerged as a response to this weight loss need, not only for our self-confidence but more importantly for our overall, sustained health. Bariatrics investigates the cause of obesity and creates action plans for treatment. Options for medical weight loss have since grown as the need grows. In certain cases, surgical intervention is necessary for the amount of weight loss needed.
Who are Good Candidates for Bariatric Surgery?
Candidates for bariatric surgery include individuals that have the following characteristics:
- Body mass index (BMI) over 40
- Men approximately 100 pounds overweight
- Women approximately 80 pounds overweight
- BMI over 35 that have two associated co-morbidities (like heart disease and diabetes)
What Types of Procedures are Involved?
No matter the weight loss surgery you elect, each alters the process of digestion to help you achieve significant weight loss. While each surgery varies in its technique, each will work in one of the following ways:
- Restriction: Reducing stomach size to help you feel fuller faster and eat less
- Malabsorption: Bypassing the small intestine to lower caloric intake and digest foods faster
- Combination: Using both restriction and malabsorption methods
The most popular weight loss surgeries include:
- Gastric sleeve surgery
- Gastric band surgery (Lap band)
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery
- Duodenal switch surgery
Depending upon your individualized needs, together with your surgeon, you will decide the option that will bring you optimal results. Your starting weight, goal weight and any associated risks will all factor into making the best decision for your health.
How do You Choose the Right Bariatric Surgeon?
First and foremost, if you are considering a bariatric procedure, find a surgeon that you trust. An ideal surgeon will make you feel comfortable through your weight loss journey, paying close attention to any questions or concerns you may have. To find a surgeon, several factors should be considered:
- Reputation: Ask around and find people in your community (many have support groups) who have gone through surgery to find a trusted surgeon in your area. Patients who have good experiences will be able to guide you in the right direction while people who have had little success and experienced frustration can help you avert a negative experience.
- Experience: Be sure to ask surgeons you are considering if they are board-certified to practice general surgery. Get to know the surgeons surgical expertise by inquiring into what types of bariatric procedures they perform, the time they have spent practicing medicine and how many procedures they have completed.
- Location: Follow-ups and supervision is a huge part of success. Patients who fail to follow up with their surgeons have less success at keeping off the weight. Make sure your surgeon provides ongoing support once your surgery is completed.
The right surgeon will help guide you every step of the way, maximizing your weight loss success and investing crucial time into your care. In fact, choosing the right bariatric surgeon for you may just be the most important element to your weight loss success.
Request more information about bariatric surgery today. Call (470) 419-4380 or contact us online.