Weight Loss Surgery - Myths and Facts, Are You a Candidate?

Not everything you may have heard about weight loss surgery is true. Consider these common myths:

MYTH 1: Most people regain the weight

It’s true that some people may regain some of the weight after surgery, but studies show that you can be successful long term if you follow the lifestyle changes and guidelines recommended by your physician.

risksMYTH 2: Surgery is more dangerous than remaining obese

The opposite is true. The heavier you are, the shorter your life is likely to be, because of conditions related to obesity (diabetes, heart disease, cancer). While all types of surgery carry risks, weight loss surgery has been proven to be as safe or safer than many types of common surgeries, including gallbladder surgery, hysterectomy and total knee replacement.

diet planMYTH 3: You should be able to lose weight on your own

This is a misconception. For many people, diets may frequently fail or you can’t lose enough weight to have a positive impact on your health.

Are you a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

Together, you and your doctor and medical team will determine if weight loss surgery is right for you. Who is a candidate for this type of procedure depends on certain criteria. It will also depend on your willingness to commit to doing what it takes to be successful. Here’s what you and your doctor will consider:

Are you at least 100 lbs. overweight, with a BMI (body mass index) that’s at or greater than 40?

You’ll also be considered if your BMI is between 35-39 and you have associated medical conditions related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

Have you tried other weight loss methods with no success?

If you’ve lost weight by other means but have been unable to keep it off long-term, you may be a candidate for surgery.

Will you be able to follow post-op instructions?

You’ll have to maintain a prescribed specific diet for a while after your surgery, so it’s important that you understand and are prepared to make these changes.

Are you committed to the long-term changes surgery requires?

You’ll need to keep up with follow-up medical appointments, as well as with maintaining an active lifestyle and taking important vitamins and minerals. Also crucial to your long-term success is continuing a relationship with your dietitian and physician who will be long-term partners in your journey.

Are you healthy enough for the surgery itself?

You’ll undergo pre-op evaluation based on your history and age. This evaluation may include blood tests, X-rays and clearances from medical specialists. Prescribed pre-op testing is specific to the patient and their weight loss surgeon.

Weight loss surgery is generally designed for those with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious comorbidities. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Lap Band® is also FDA-approved for weight loss surgery in people with a BMI of 30 to 35 who have at least one obesity-related condition. Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like many types of surgery, it does have risks. Consult with your physician about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery.


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