Weight loss surgery should never be seen as a cure for obesity. Even the operation itself is a big decision that most individuals rarely make on a whim. This procedure carries life changing consequences, usually for the better.
But the surgery is also not for everyone.
If you expect it to solve all your problems or if you are not willing to change your lifestyle habits, then the operation is probably not for you. Everyone has different reasons for wanting it done whether for medical purposes or to change their life.
The decision needs to be carefully discussed with a doctor and even family members. Use the following five questions if you are considering weight loss surgery to determine if the choice is right for you.
What is my body mass index (BMI)?
The BMI is a rough indication to determine level of obesity by comparing your height with your weight. You can either do this yourself or visit your healthcare provider. If your BMI is 35 or over, then weight loss surgery may be a viable option if you are healthy enough for the operation.
Do I have any potentially threatening medical conditions?
Individuals who are overweight are more at risk for certain conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and even heart disease. Research now shows that weight loss surgery helps to alleviate these health problems.
Have I really tried losing weight on my own?
Weight loss surgery should only be seriously considered if all other weight loss methods have failed to produce results. It is tempting to think that the procedure can solve obesity problems but often it is not suitable for some candidates.
Am I willing to alter my lifestyle habits?
If you expect to forever keep a slim body following weight loss surgery then you will be in for a surprise. Regular exercise and healthy diets must be incorporated into your lifestyle to maintain the results. Even before getting the surgery done, these changes need to be gradually implemented.
Can I afford the costs?
Operations such as gastric sleeve surgery are not exactly cheap. Generally health insurance providers cover some costs if the operation is a medical necessity. But if not, it means you will have to pay for everything out of your pocket which easily runs in the thousands of dollars.
Once you have thoroughly answered these questions and have made a decision to follow through, the next step is to find a qualified bariatric surgeon with the experience to do your operation.