How Do I Choose a Bariatric Procedure?
The short answer is: you don’t, not completely. Any kind of surgery is serious and needs to be taken seriously, and that generally means having support in making the decision to move forward with it.
If you are morbidly or seriously obese, then your doctor has probably already tried several other interventions with you; no doctor likes to see his or her patient risking the kinds of diseases that accompany obesity. It may be that your doctor has already recommended a procedure.
In any case, here are some of the questions to ask and issues to raise before you make the final decision:
Do you want a procedure that’s reversible? If you do, then gastric bypass surgery is not a good choice. Gastric banding (also known as lap-band) is a good alternative, as the band can be removed. If you don’t have as much weight to lose, then you could consider a gastric balloon.
Do you want a permanent solution? The plan is, of course, that any procedure will be permanent in terms of its effects-that is to say that you’ll lose weight and keep that weight off. If you’re looking for a non-reversible procedure, then both the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery might be good choices.
How much weight do you need to lose? As mentioned above, some procedures are more effective for less weight loss than for someone who needs, for example, to lose 100 pounds or more.
How will this affect my life after the procedure? Here the answer is clear: you will be making lifestyle changes both in eating and in exercise, and all procedures come with strict aftercare instructions. There is no magic pill that will allow you to continue to lead an unhealthy and sedentary life.
How much money is involved? The reality is that some procedures are more expensive than others. You need to be clear with your medical team about what you can and cannot afford. But remember as you do the costs that you’re getting rid of: the high cost of diseases and the cost of diets!
How do you choose a bariatric procedure?
By working with your doctor, by coming in to see one of our team, by learning as much as you can about your own body and situation and then about the options open to you. It may be one of the most important decisions of your life, so make sure that you have the support you need.