Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

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If you have spent a huge part of your life worrying about how much you weigh, only to find you weigh more and more each year, you may want to think of something other than a diet to help you lose those extra pounds. Weight loss surgery is one option that many consider, and some undertake, but it is not right for everyone. Even if you fit the requirements, you should take your time before you go for any of the helpful types of weight loss surgery options available to you.

How to know if weight loss surgery is right for you

To know the exact requirements for weight loss surgery, you may have to talk with a doctor. There are different types of this surgery and each has their own requirements. For the most part, you have to be considered obese. Some say this is a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more, or 30-35 or more with a high risk factor for disease like heart attack, stroke, or diabetes. In most cases, you have to be over age 18, though there are some exceptions made on an individual basis.

Factors that may mean weight loss surgery is not right for you

Along with that, there are things that are going to disqualify you. Anyone with an uncontrolled or untreated eating disorder like binge eating is not eligible. Those that have specific eating patterns based around medications can not have the surgery until this is no longer a problem. Medical conditions like thyroid disease should be treated as a first attempt at weight control before bypass or other weight loss surgery is considered. Those who are considering surgery must show they are willing to follow program guidelines and do not have addictions to alcohol or drugs of any type.

Beyond physical health factors

The mental health of the patient in question can also determined if someone is right for weight loss surgery. Anyone with any mental health issues that have not been treated are not candidates for surgery. It is hard enough to adjust after the surgery and as the weight comes off without having existing mental problem. Therapy for those undergoing the surgery is always recommended and so is follow up therapy as the weight comes off.

What else is there?

If it doesn’t look like weight loss surgery is right for you, you may be wondering what else you can possibly do to overcome your obesity.  The first thing you should know is that there are many options available to you, so you shouldn’t worry that you’ve lost your only option just because you won’t be having surgery.  There are other less invasive procedures available, as well as prescription drugs and other types of obesity therapies.

To start, there are certain alternatives to weight loss surgery if it isn’t right for you, including the lap band and a procedure involving the insertion of saline-filled balloons into your stomach.  These are both designed to shrink the available space within your stomach without being as aggressive as bariatric surgery, for example.  These products, which must be obtained through your doctor, don’t cause you to automatically lose weight.  Instead, like with bariatric surgery, they make it so that you will have to eat less food in order to fill your stomach and experience the “full” or “satisfied” feeling from your meal.

Obesity Treatment Medications

If weight loss surgery isn’t right for you or if you would prefer to leave it as an option of last resort, there are a number of other types of therapy you can try first.  Many of them include the use of prescription diet drugs.  These medications usually involve drugs from one of two types.  They’re either appetite suppressants or fat blockers.  The most commonly prescribed form is appetite suppressants, usually in the form of Phentermine (also known as Adipex in its brand name version). 

Like the surgeries and procedures, Phentermine isn’t meant to cause you to lose the weight all on its own. Instead, it shrinks your appetite to help you to more comfortably eat less food without having to feel like you’re starving.  The goal is to adopt the right eating habits so that you can naturally reduce your caloric intake and, therefore, your body weight.

If weight loss surgery is right for you

If you are willing to put the time and effort into readying yourself both physically and mentally before the surgery, and you qualify through the physical requirements, weight loss surgery may be a great option for you in your fight against obesity. Don't think of it as an easy way out or as a short cut because it is anything but that. It takes hard work and dedication, just like any other weight loss plan. For some, this is the only option they have to save their life.