Talking to Your Doctor About Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is simply another way to say weight loss surgery. And when it comes to bariatric surgery, you’ve got quite a few options. There is no one-size-fits-all, but there are one-size-fits-many, and taking everything about your body and your life into account, your doctor will help you to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.
Once you and your doctor have decided that weight loss surgery is right for you, it is imperative that you begin to develop healthy eating habits, and that you get a plan in place to start exercising regularly. Your doctor will let you know when you will need to get started with your exercise plan, but you will be responsible for keeping up with your food intake, and getting your doctor-recommended exercise.
Before you talk to your doctor about weight loss surgery, it’s important that you understand some of the different types you might be dealing with. Here’s a breakdown of some of your options when it comes to bariatric surgery.
‘Gastric surgery’ encompasses several different procedures. Gastric bypass involves stapling off part of the stomach, and attaching the opening of the small intestine to the smallest part of the newly-created stomach. Another option, the gastric sleeve, removes three-quarters of the stomach, transforming it into a sleeve shape that limits the amount of food you can eat. Gastric plication involves stapling the stomach over on itself, again limiting the amount of food you can take in. All of these gastric procedures are permanent, but can help you live a long, productive life.
A great option for most candidates of bariatric surgery is the lap band. The Lap Band is a fully-adjustable, removable device that constricts the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food you can take in. If you have the lap band, you will more than likely have to undergo several procedures. The lap band is a great option, but adjusting it involves small incisions to either insert or remove the silicone that fills the band. After you’ve reached your desired weight, the lap band can come off, and you can continue eating with the good habits that you’ve established while you were wearing your lap band.
Another great, adjustable option is Obera, the gastric balloon. Obera is inserted, adjusted, and removed orally; anyone that has the procedure will still undergo full anesthesia. Unlike the other procedures, though, this one doesn’t require surgery. Your primary care doctor and your medical team will help you to decide which procedure is right for you, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and make suggestions.
Choosing the Right Bariatric Surgery
After you and your doctor decide that you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery, they will help you decide which type of bariatric surgery is best for you. Your doctor will refer you to a medical team at a clinic for bariatric surgery to have a consultation. During your consultation, you’ll be able to ask any questions that you may have about the procedure, and you will already have your doctor’s recommendation by the time you decide that you’re truly ready to move forward with the procedure. If you’ve got any last-minute concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgeon. In the unlikely event that they can’t answer a question for you, your doctor can.