Why Weight Loss Surgery Is Not the Easy Way Out
A common reason patients postpone their weight loss procedure revolves around their misconception of weight loss surgery being “the easy way out.” This can be exacerbated by the stigma that surrounds weight loss surgery and obesity more generally. Oftentimes, when someone who doesn’t understand the struggle of obesity hears weight loss surgery, they scoff. However, they don’t know how hard it was for that patient to get where they are.
It is important to understand, first and foremost, weight loss surgery is not a magic bullet. It is not the last effort a patient must make before melting away dozens or even hundreds of pounds. Rather, it is only the first step in what will be a lifelong struggle with a chronic disease. However, it is a great and effective first step that, with the appropriate focus and attention to one’s health, could be incredibly rewarding and can lead to a lifetime of better health, both mentally and physically.
After surgery, the real work begins. Patients will be on a modified diet, cycling through various levels of restriction over the first six weeks after surgery. These phases will progress from a clear liquid diet, to a full liquid diet, then soft food and finally a modified solid food diet. Just following the dietary plan is a challenge (though it gets easier as you go). Patients also have to take the time and effort to exercise. In the beginning, most find this to be very challenging. Over time, following the diet and exercise plan becomes easier, but there are always hiccups in the road and opportunities to stray from the path and go back to old habits. Temptation, as it relates to food and drink, is everywhere and never has it been harder for someone to lose weight and maintain that weight loss
So, when considering bariatric surgery, it is important to remember it is not the easy way out. If anything, the decision to undergo surgery may actually be the hardest part of the whole process. But even so, once you feel healthier, both physically and mentally, and have turned your life around for the better, you will realize and understand the path to get there was not easy. It was not a cop out, but rather a very brave decision to take control of your health and life.
Of course, that’s not to say bariatric surgery is right for everyone. There are federal and practice level guidelines we follow to make sure each patient undergoing weight loss surgery is appropriate for the procedure. To determine this, we have a comprehensive preoperative work up that includes diagnostic testing and a pre-operative diet to increase the odds of success. Of course, the first step is a phone call to our practice, and we will be happy to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons.
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