When is weight loss surgery the right choice?
If you’ve struggled with weight loss, you might be considering surgery as an option. Bariatric surgeon John Scott, MD, shared how surgery can help you meet your weight loss goals.
“There are many options for reaching any weight loss goals you may have,” said Dr. Scott. “There are both nonsurgical and surgical options available.” Nonsurgical weight loss programs offer diet plans and medical therapy options for losing weight, while surgical options clearly involve surgery and a recovery period.
Who are candidates for weight loss surgery?
“In order to be a candidate for weight loss surgery you must have a body mass index (BMI) over 40 or over 35 with other medical conditions related to your weight. Other medical conditions that would make you a candidate include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
While surgical options for weight loss involve more recovery and are more involved physically and emotionally, the surgery has many benefits, including:
- Rapid weight loss
- Becoming a healthier person
- Remission of other medical conditions
“Patients with type 2 diabetes can potentially be cured or drastically reduced with weight loss surgery,” said Dr. Scott. “About 80% of patients who have early type 2 diabetes will go into remission after bariatric surgery.”
What does the weight loss surgery process involve?
Dr. Scott said training is done prior to surgery to help you prepare your mind and body for the challenges of weight loss surgery. “Your body will undergo a lot of changes and you need to be prepared for what is to come and know how to manage and maintain your weight loss after surgery. There are also support groups to help you with your new lifestyle,” said Dr. Scott.
The vast majority of surgical procedures are done laparoscopically, meaning they’re done through tiny keyhole size incisions. Patients usually stay in the hospital 1–2 days and the recovery time is about 1–3 weeks, depending on the type of surgery.
“Most individuals are usually up on their feet and drinking the day of surgery. Following surgery, the weight will come off pretty quickly, with most losing 30% of their body weight within the first three months after surgery,” said Dr. Scott. Remission of other medical conditions also happens relatively quickly with some individuals being able to stop certain medications within a matter of days or weeks.
“If you are looking to lose weight, know that there are nonsurgical and surgical options to help you reach your goals. Talk to your doctor about your options,” said Dr. Scott.
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