surgery 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 success.
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.