Weight loss surgery can deliver amazing results. It can lose 60%-80% of your excess weight in the first two years.
Unfortunately, 15%-35% of bariatric surgery patients fail to reach their weight loss goal after surgery.
That’s what you don’t want.
What you do want is to lose the excess weight fast and for life!
That’s where bariatric surgery comes into play. Procedures like the gastric sleeve or gastric balloon can help you shed the extra pounds and live the healthy life you want.
To be successful with bariatric surgery, it helps to remember ten factors. Ensure all of them are present if you hope to enjoy the most successful procedure and the longest-lasting weight loss!
1. You Are an Excellent Candidate for Surgery
You are considered suitable for weight loss surgery when you have reached a body mass index (BMI) score of 40 or more. At this point, you are considered to be morbidly obese. Sometimes, a bariatric surgeon will clear you for surgery if your BMI is in the 35 or higher range and one or more associated conditions are present, like type 2 diabetes.
2. You Are Generally Healthy
The first step in undergoing weight loss surgery is to schedule a consultation with a qualified bariatric surgeon. One of the primary reasons for requiring the consultation is to assess you for proper health. The surgeon will examine your previous and current medical history. Given your medical profile, it determines if weight loss surgery is safe.
For example, a previous history of abdominal surgery or hypertension (high blood pressure) may hinder your weight loss surgery results. So many surgeons will turn you away from surgery based on these facts.
However, just because you are experiencing another ailment on top of obesity does not automatically bar you from weight loss surgery. Obesity often brings a host of comorbid (associated) ailments like hypertension, two diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
What is interesting is that having weight loss surgery can help with these associated conditions. Comorbid conditions can sometimes disappear entirely soon after undergoing bariatric surgery. That includes being able to toss out any medication you were taking for those conditions.
The point is, never try to self-assess your health, especially using the internet. It never works out well. Schedule a consultation with a bariatric surgeon. Have your health assessed by a trained professional before opting for surgery?
3. You Have No Mental-Health Concerns
Another important aspect of an initial consultation with a qualified surgeon is that you can be assessed psychologically and physically. Around 23% of those seeking or undergoing weight loss surgery suffer from some type of behavioral health problem, such as depression and anxiety, or even binge eating disorders.
If you suspect that weight loss surgery will help or cure your psychological issues entirely, you will become upset to learn that often isn’t the case. Undergoing a procedure like the permanent gastric sleeve or even a temporary gastric balloon can trigger many emotional responses. For instance, losing significant amounts of weight might make you feel strange, like losing an important part of yourself. Turning to healthier eating habits might make you feel deprived. It will force you to crave rebelling on your diet with a cheat day or several.
You may feel uncomfortable being the center of attention because of your significant weight loss, even if the attention is from friends and family and is backed by love.
Suppose you are one to turn to alcohol to soothe your mind and body. In that case, you may find that bariatric surgery causes your body to react differently to alcohol than before, putting you at greater risk while drinking.
A bariatric surgeon can put you in contact with psychologists or psychotherapists. They can help you heal mentally before tackling your physical health with lifelong surgery-assisted weight loss.
4. You Practice Healthy Living Habits
The best bariatric surgeon will ensure you eat healthy before wheeling you into surgery. Eating healthily and exercising regularly are associated with the longest weight loss surgical outcomes!
If your habits are a little less than healthy (and even if that’s putting it mildly), there is still hope. You could still be cleared for surgery. You may only need a little practice in the eating and moving departments first.
During your consultation, you may find that the surgeon recommends six months of a restricted dietary program along with a regular exercise regimen. Consider any tips and guidelines the surgeon gives you as introductions to the bariatric surgery lifestyle.
This time does not have to be filled with struggle, so never dread the healthy living aspect of weight loss surgery. Embrace it, and you will have a much better time and superior outcomes, and you’ll see that eating right and moving regularly can be lots of fun!
Your surgeon will give you a series of tips as part of this program, including quitting smoking (or other tobacco and nicotine products) and eating regular and healthy meals, such as three solid meals with two sensible snacks each day. Your surgeon may recommend you stop eating four hours before bed and always eat breakfast. Whether or not one should skip the first meal of the day seems to be a question on many bariatric patients’ minds.
Your program will likely include food and water tracking, with you striving to drink around 64 ounces of water per day. You will be advised to avoid sugary and overly fizzy drinks, as well as alcohol and caffeine. When consuming meals, food should be consumed separately, with a 30-minute gap between eating and drinking.
By giving you this Bariatric Surgery Lifestyle Plan, your surgeon prepares you for surgery. However, he will also give you the tools to change your relationship with food. It is best to think of the foods we eat as fuel for our bodies, so your surgeon will advise you to pay attention to the foods you eat and how your body reacts to them. Pay attention before meals, during, and after to feel the difference between mildly hungry, starving, overfly full, and properly satiated.
That is the eating aspect of the lifestyle. For the exercise part, start small if you are unused to moderate or even light activity. Try to create a consistent physical activity plan, like walking or doing pushups and body squats, first thing when getting out of bed (even if you have to do the pushups on your knees at first). Gradually build up your time exercising by adding a few minutes of activity every single day.
You say that losing excess Weight is important to you. Are you willing to back it up by living healthily? Bariatric Patients who follow a healthy lifestyle tend to have higher chances of meeting their weight loss surgery goals.
5. You Are Motivated to Lose Weight
Research shows that a motivation to lose Weight is critical to long-term weight loss following bariatric surgery. Seeking a surgeon cannot prove your motivation to shed the excess pounds. Instead, your surgeon should see that you are willing to change no matter what. In medical circles, this motivation is referred to as having a high readiness to change or RTC. It means you will follow your bariatric surgeon’s suggestions, not just in healthier eating and regular exercise. Also included are listening to your surgeon when advised to seek follow-up care in six months following surgery, for example, and telling your surgeon the moment weight loss has stalled or you experience complications. This regular communication with your surgeon and willingness to follow your doctor’s guidance is key to lifelong weight loss with bariatric surgery.
6. You Have Gathered A Sound Support System
Making a lifelong change, like defeating obesity, requires strength and resilience, but you’re not a superhero. You should expect to waver sometimes, so a good support system is necessary.
A friend, family member, parent, counselor, or anyone else who can provide emotional support will help you achieve your weight loss goals by showing you that you are not alone in your struggle to be healthy.
Some patients seek out weight loss surgery support groups. You can share ideas with like-minded people going through the same experiences there. A good bariatric surgeon can put you in touch with one or more support groups in your area and put you in contact with counselors, nutritionists, and fitness experts. With help like that, you will succeed on your weight loss journey.
7. You Have the Best Bariatric (Weight Loss Surgeon)
Most weight loss surgeons today use minimally invasive procedures. One of the procedures is the sleeve gastrectomy, which the surgeon performs using tiny incisions and a laparoscopic camera. These surgeries have low complication rates and high susceptibility to positive long-term outcomes.
And while many weight loss surgeons offer bariatric surgery, you will still want to do your due diligence. The best bariatric surgeon for you has a long track record of helping patients like you achieve a healthier weight. You should be able to find a collection of positive online reviews describing the surgeon’s bedside manner and weight loss surgical technique. Most of all, there should be many testimonials from satisfied patients who hail the doctor as skilled and able to achieve the intended results.
Following those methods will help you find a qualified surgeon. However, how do you know if the surgeon is right for you, specifically? The best way is to schedule a consultation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many bariatric surgeons, such as Dr. Moeinololki of Healthy Life Bariatrics in Los Angeles, offer virtual consultations. These video-based chats can help determine if you mesh with the surgeon before visiting the surgical center for a full physical and psychological assessment. Make sure you do your homework in finding a doctor, however. Your choice of weight loss surgeon is one of the most important decisions if you hope for the best and longest-lasting bariatric outcomes.
8. Your Surgeon is Using the Best Bariatric Surgical Technique
Bariatric surgery has come a long way since it was first introduced to patients in 1950. Back then, open gastric bypass was the surgery du jour. Then came the gastric band in the 70s, the duodenal switch in the 80s, and open sleeve gastrectomy in the late nineties before the lap band became popular at the turn of the century. Today, the laparoscopic gastric sleeve and gastric balloons are the most common weight loss surgeries. They have the highest chances of positive outcomes (along with low complication rates).
We have gone through many different procedures because medicine has improved, and so has our knowledge of how the body works. In the fifties and sixties, and even in the nineties, bariatric surgeons had no idea that procedures like the open gastric bypass and lap band were associated with serious complications.
Ensure the surgeon you opt for has experience with an FDA-approved and commonly accepted weight loss surgical procedure. The gastric sleeve and gastric balloon are two examples. Your surgeon should be able to perform those surgeries and have case studies to back up their credibility. Don’t be afraid to ask for before and after cases where the surgery worked for patients before you. Asking pertinent questions and carefully vetting your surgeon on the procedure can protect your health. It will ensure the highest chances of success following weight loss surgery.
9. You’re Willing to Seek Follow-Up Bariatric Surgery Care
Your obligation as a weight loss surgery patient does not end when you wake up from surgery. That moment is instead when you need to do the most work. After surgery, you must watch out for complications and relay them to your surgeon. You must keep up with your after-care appointments so your bariatric surgeon can remove your drains, asses your gastric stapling, and ask about your progress.
As you will learn from the surgeon during your initial consultation, the success of any bariatric surgical procedure is unknown at the time of your discharge. Weight loss following surgery generally occurs over a 12 to 18-month period. Follow-up care with your surgeon will help maximize your success because adjustments can be made if your weight loss stalls at any stage during your recovery.
As for how many follow-ups are needed, many surgeons require four to six after-care appointments following bariatrics during the first post-surgical year.
10. A State-of-the-Art Bariatric Surgery Center
All surgeries come with risks. Minimally invasive surgery like bariatrics is no different. You can minimize infection or bleeding risks by asking about the surgical center during your initial consultation. The best weight loss surgeon will use a state-of-the-art bariatric facility that follows all federal and local safety and sanitation guidelines. Do not be afraid to ask about the type of surgical center your doctor will use during the consultation. Or ask if the weight loss surgery will be conducted in a hospital setting. This detail is critical so you know your surgeon has access to the best weight loss surgical equipment and follows the necessary safety protocols to protect your health before, during, and after surgery.
You now have a handy checklist you can use to ensure you have the most positive weight loss surgery outcome. Suppose you want to lose excess Weight for life. You will surely reach your weight goals with bariatric surgery by ensuring you are a good candidate for surgery and opting for the best procedure, the most qualified doctor, and the safest surgical center.
Discover if Weight Loss Surgery is Right for You!
Are you looking to lose excess Weight? If you have a BMI over 35 with one or more associated health conditions, or 40 and above, which is considered morbidly obese, schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Moeinolmolki at Healthy Life Bariatrics and ask about our new cutting-edge surgical center in sunny and beautiful Los Angeles, California. Dr. Moeinolmolki can help you shed the excess weight safely and for life. Call (310) 807-1735 to learn more.