Weight loss surgery success is based on reaching a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) and the amount of time the BMI is maintained. There are a number of factors that determine success. One is the type of surgery used, including gastric banding (LAP-BAND and REALIZE), sleeve gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass) and Biliopancreatic diversion. Next is not maintaining the eating plan your surgeon prescribes for you. Some patients do not start or continue with a physical exercise program.
Determining the right weight loss surgery for you is not a process to be taken lightly. Before you even consider surgery, look at what the National Institutes of Health guidelines are for this type of surgery:
- BMI of patient is 40 or higher (morbidly obese), or
- BMI of patient is between 35 – 40 with obesity comorbidities
You’ll need to discuss this with your doctor or surgeon first and then see if your health insurance will cover your surgery. Your surgeon will go over the different types of surgeries in detail, his or her preferences and what you feel most comfortable with. Often patients attend seminars or look for support groups to get advice. Learning as much as you can is important and feeling comfortable with your surgeon and staff is paramount.
Patients may have to deal with emotional eating, or the belief that they can eat anything because of their surgery. This is a behavioral eating issue. A therapist or support group is usually the way to deal with this type of issue. Sometimes this is a deep routed issue that can cause a patient to gain back all or most of the weight lost after bariatric surgery.
Some patients have not been physically active because of being obese prior to their surgery. Beginning and maintaining some type of exercise program can be difficult for that reason, but it is important to keep the weight off. Again, a support group, even if it’s not a post-weight loss surgery group, can be the answer.
Maintaining weight loss after surgery can be made easier by choosing the right surgery for you, by following the eating plan recommended by your doctor and by taking part in a physical exercise program.