Weight Loss Surgery

By+Kelli Stopczynski

Weight loss surgery is major elective surgery. Although most patients enjoy an improvement in self-image and self-esteem after the successful results of weight loss surgery, experts say these results should not be the overriding motivation for having the procedure.

“The goal is to live better, healthier and longer,” explained Taran Conyers, RN BSN CBN, of Memorial Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Center. “That is why you should make the decision to have weight loss surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon.”

A qualified surgeon should answer your questions clearly and explain the exact details of the procedure, the extent of the recovery period and the reality of the follow-up care that will be required, Conyers said. They may require you to consult with a nutritionist and therapist as part of routine evaluation for weight loss surgery. Those consultations are meant to help patients establish a clear understanding of the post-operative changes in behavior that are essential for long-term success.

“It is important to remember that there are no ironclad guarantees in any kind of medicine or surgery. There can be unexpected outcomes in even the simplest procedures,” Conyers said. “Weight loss surgery isn’t by any means a ‘quick fix,’ but simply a tool. Typically patients see the most success when they make a lifelong commitment.”

According to Memorial Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Center, one year after surgery, weight loss can average 77% of excess body weight. Studies show that after 10 to 14 years, 50-60% of excess body weight loss has been maintained by some patients.

A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96% of certain associated health conditions studied (back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression) were improved or resolved.


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