When to Consider Weight Loss Surgery

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Weight loss surgery can be an effective option for weight reduction and control for the right patients. In most cases, weight loss surgery is reserved for people who are unable to achieve sustained weight loss with nonsurgical alternatives.

You may qualify for weight loss surgery if you are at least 100 pounds over your ideal body weight. Most candidates for weight loss surgery must have a BMI over 40 or a BMI over 35 with obesity-related health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

BMI is the measurement of your body fat in relation to your height and weight. If you’re unsure of your BMI, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has a tool that lets you check your BMI online.

The best way to find out about your eligibility for weight loss surgery is with a complete physical examination. Internal medicine specialist Vincent R.C. Maribao, MD, of Saint Clair Shores, Michigan, has the expertise necessary to evaluate your condition and recommend the weight loss options that are most appropriate for you.

How does weight loss surgery work?

Weight loss surgery is recommended when patients can’t succeed in losing weight by traditional means, such as diet and activity modifications. Some of the most popular types of weight loss surgery include gastric bypass and gastric banding, which involve physical changes to your stomach and digestive system.

These surgical options reduce the size of your stomach so you need less food to feel full. Typically, this leads to a reduction in the amount and frequency of food consumption, which results in weight loss.

While the procedures are complicated and require permanent changes in your eating habits, weight loss surgery can help you fight severe obesity and maintain healthy, long-term weight loss. Studies indicate that more than 90% of previously obese people maintain 50% or more of their excess weight loss after weight loss surgery.

What are the benefits of weight loss surgery?

Obesity is harmful to your health and can lead to premature death. Being 40% overweight can make you twice as likely to die prematurely than if you’re of average weight. Living with obesity puts you at an increased risk for these potentially life-threatening medical conditions:  

Losing weight and returning to a normal BMI reduces you to a normal risk for these diseases. After weight loss surgery, many patients report that symptoms related to these conditions disappear and that they can reduce or discontinue medications. Weight loss surgery also reduces your risk for premature death when compared to obese people who don’t have weight loss surgery.

Is weight loss surgery right for me?

If you meet the BMI criteria, you might consider weight loss surgery if you’re frustrated by living with obesity and ready to make a drastic change for proven results. In addition to providing health benefits, weight loss surgery can help improve your quality of life. After weight loss surgery, you’re more likely to experience:

Weight loss surgery is a major procedure, and it requires a long-term commitment to lifestyle modification to be effective. However, it may be just the motivation you need to make permanent changes for long-term good health. While there is risk in any surgical procedure, the medical risk of weight loss surgery is often considered relatively low in comparison to the greater health risks of living with long-term obesity.

If you’re obese, don’t spend another day wondering if you’re doing all you can to achieve a healthy weight. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Maribao to find out about weight loss surgery and other effective options to help you live a healthier and more satisfying life.

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