If you have ever heard of “stomach stapling” or lap band surgery, or any of the other names given to bariatric surgery, then you probably realize how successful it can be. But before you start seeking out specialists to help you with your weight loss there are some things you need to be aware of. First, this is surgery we’re talking about… major surgery that can require some intensive recovery. Not everyone is a candidate for these types of procedures, but if you think you might make a good candidate then keep reading. Following are the four things you need to know before opting for bariatric surgery.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate
As stated earlier, not everyone that needs to lose weight is a candidate for this surgery. But if you meet most of the following then there could be a chance you would benefit from bariatric surgery.
- At least 100 pounds overweight. This is based off standards for a person of your gender, height and weight.
- You have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or higher. BMI is a simple measurement which gives practitioners a way to quickly measure your fat mass to your overall body mass. This is not always indicative of your overall health, but it is a good indicator of how much fat mass you are carrying.
- Attempted and failed at other structured weight loss programs for at least 6 months
- Have a condition that is known to be improved with weight loss (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, etc…)
Do You Have Support Systems?
Some surgeons won’t conduct bariatric surgery unless they can be assured that you have a support system in place. They want to know that you have people (family and friends) that will keep you accountable and be supportive, especially in your weaker moments.
Willingness To Change Habits
If you go into the surgery with the mentality of doing what you’ve always done, then you are not an ideal candidate. The truth is, you will need to be diligent and eat a very specific diet. What is essentially happening is that you are cutting off part of your stomach. If you eat like you always had before the surgery, then you can cause yourself a lot of pain and a waste of resources.
Do Not Have Addictions
This should go without saying, but unfortunately there have been cases of a patient hiding the fact that they are alcoholic or a smoker. This poses unnecessary stress on their body and increases the likelihood of failure. Know that treating these addictions are the first step to getting yourself on a healthy path to weight loss.
So, after reading through all of that you should know whether you meet the requirements to have bariatric surgery. This is not exhaustive list though. If you are still interested in this surgery, then schedule an appointment with a doctor and create a list of questions or concerns that you may have. Make sure this list is handy when you meet and don’t make a decision until you worked through all of your questions and the doctor has assured you that it’s a good choice for you.
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James Cash is a fitness instructer and part time writer.