If you’re unsure whether you qualify as overweight, obese, or morbidly obese, you should visit your doctor for a physical.
Your doctor can measure body fat in many ways. One of the most common ways people measure body fat is with the Body Mass Index (BMI), based on your height and weight. For men and women, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. A BMI of 30 is considered obese, and a BMI over 40 is morbidly obese.
Comorbidities linked to obesity include heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, GERD, liver issues, respiratory issues, and so on. If you fall into the morbidly obese category, it’s vital that you work with a bariatric professional so you can regain your health.
Can You Lose the Weight Without Surgery?
The answer is yes. It can be done — slowly, but surely. Some individuals spring towards bariatric surgery, but this is not a cure-all. Surgery is invasive and will permanently affect your lifestyle.
Meet with a bariatric doctor to arrange for a diet and exercise regimen that fits your needs. To lose weight, you need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat. Proper exercise and diet can help you create this deficit.
Since many obese patients have knee pain due to the extra weight, your regimen may need to include low-impact activities, like water aerobics or cycling. If you work hard on your diet and exercise efforts but are still unsuccessful, it may be time to consider surgery.
When Is Bariatric Surgery an Option?
Bariatric surgery is usually only considered when the dangers of serious health problems, like severe sleep apnea, outweigh the risks of surgery. Besides being unable to lose weight with diet and exercise, surgery of this nature is usually reserved for people with BMIs of 35 or higher.
Some doctors may require you to lose a little weight before the surgery since any lost pounds can make the procedure safer.
How Does One Prepare for Bariatric Surgery?
Besides meeting with a surgeon, you will need to meet with a host of other professionals to make sure this is the right route for you. For instance, you may need to meet with a dietitian and psychologist.
Some people’s eating disorders stem from past trauma or other emotional and mental issues. Even with surgery, if a person ignores the root of their eating disorder, they can gain all the weight back.
And besides healing from the physical wounds of surgery, individuals need to be mentally ready for such a big lifestyle change. After surgery, you may need to be on supplements for the rest of your life and adhere to a strict diet.
It’s important in your preparations that you understand the scope of benefits and downsides of surgery.
Do You Understand the Benefits and Downsides of Surgery?
Studies have shown great improvements in comorbidities linked to obesity. This means that if you have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., a lot of these issues will be much easier to manage.
Some people may even stop symptoms of certain conditions altogether with weight loss. For example, if your sleep apnea is caused by the excess weight, profound weight loss could cure the issue. In short, your quality of life will increase since your health will be greatly improved.
Like any surgical procedure, there are always some risks. For instance, after surgery, you may experience ulcers, vomiting, malnutrition, or low blood sugar. If you follow your doctor’s instructions, you can keep these issues to a minimum.
For instance, immediately after surgery, you will be restricted to a liquid diet. Follow this diet so you don’t upset your stomach. Your doctor will also prescribe a multivitamin since the surgery can make it harder to absorb essential nutrients.
What Surgical Routes Can You Take?
Every surgical route has its pros and cons, so talk with your doctor to find the best fit. Here are four surgical routes you can take:
Laparoscopic Adjustable Banding
During this procedure, your surgeon will close off a part of your stomach so that you have a small pouch. Having a smaller pouch means you will feel satiated more quickly when you eat. This surgery has the benefit of having a short hospital stay — usually a day or less. The biggest downside that patients face is the possibility of losing weight more slowly than other surgeries.
Vertical Sleeve Surgery
During sleeve surgery, your surgeon will cut away about 85% of your stomach, leaving a sleeve-shaped stomach. Like laparoscopic surgery, you’ll feel full more quickly after eating.
Balloon surgery can actually be completed in less than half an hour, and it doesn’t leave large scars on your body. This surgery is great for patients who don’t want to have as strict of guidelines. It’s also a very affordable surgery compared to other bariatric options. The biggest con is that this surgery can cause nausea, so you need to work with a dietician.
Bypass surgery is one of the most well researched surgeries, so it has very effective results. A bypass surgery is also permanent, so you need to be sure of your decision before going through with it.
To learn more about your bariatric treatment options, contact The Surgical Clinic today. We will happily set up an appointment for you at the Columbia Bariatric Surgery Clinic or the nearest office to you.