This is a question that I received from someone that is checking into weight loss surgery. I commend this person for researching thoroughly the option of weight loss surgery and if it is right for this person.
Subject: Is weight loss surgery right for me?
Question: Hi Cathy. I am trying to decide if I should have weight loss surgery and am wondering how you know when it’s time to have surgery? I have been overweight all of my life, but in the past 5 years, I have gained about 100 pounds from work changes and other medical changes. I want to lose weight, but have failed at every diet I’ve tried. Surgery seems so drastic, but being overweight for the rest of my life doesn’t sound like a good choice either. How do I know if I should just take the leap and have surgery? Thanks.
My Answer: The decision to have weight loss surgery is a very personal decision and one that deserves a great deal of consideration.
An important first step is even asking if weight loss surgery is right for you so you’ve done that. It is a process that begins with even considering if weight loss surgery is the answer for you.
Do some research on the various procedures that are available. There are many procedures, some less drastic than others such as the lap band. Research the pros/cons of each of the surgeries. Check into the lifestyle changes that you’ll need to make. Know your behavior patterns. For example, with gastric bypass, consumption of sugar (and sometimes fat) can cause dumping syndrome for some post-ops. For me, sugary items are a big trigger food. I liked the aspect of dumping as a way to avoid eating certain trigger foods. As you research each of the procedures, note which aspects of the surgeries you like and don’t, and which one might work best for you. Another example for the lap band, you would need to commit to getting your fills when you know you need them. There are many resources available on the Internet.
Based on what you find out from your research, if you are still interested in pursuing weight loss surgery for yourself, you might talk with your primary care physician about the possibility and your desire for weight loss surgery. You can also check out bariatric (weight loss surgery) surgeons in your area. Find out if there are weight loss surgery support groups in your area and attend. Attending a support group would allow you to talk with other weight loss surgery patients.
Based on your research and talking with medical care professionals, you have knowledge of the options available to you. You might be ready to make the decision to move forward with surgery or, alternatively, you might decide that it is not for you. It might also interest you but you need more time to decide. All of these are part of the process in deciding what is best for you.
I will share with you my decision process. I was tired of being overweight and the limits it put on my life. A situation came up that was disappointing that my weight limited my participation and I was upset about it. I knew I needed to do something about my weight. My options were to join one of the diet programs that I’d joined countless times before that didn’t result in long-term weight loss success or to have surgery. I’d thought about surgery for probably a year. The thought of joining yet another diet program I couldn’t bring myself to do again. I seriously pursued weight loss surgery at that point. A year before, I wasn’t ready. It was a process of thinking about it before I made the decision.
It isn’t a decision to take lightly or enter into impulsively. I can tell by your question that you are already giving thoughtful consideration to this option. I would encourage you to research it to see if it is for you. Talk to your doctor and a bariatric surgeon. The more information you can obtain for yourself, the better you’ll be able to make the right decision for you.
The drastic nature of weight loss surgery concerned me as well. The possible co-morbid conditions of diabetes, sleep apnea and other medical issues that can arise of being obese were drastic as well.
Again, you will make the right decision that is best for you, whatever that is. I wish you the best of luck. If there’s anything else I can help with, let me know.
To your health, Cathy, CLC Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach