Weight Loss Surgery: A New Year’s Resolution for Your Health

Having weight loss surgery is not a decision to be made impulsively, but the commitment to undergo bariatric surgery may be one of the best New Year’s Resolutions you can make if you are unable to manage your obesity.

Research shows that the health risks associated with obesity can grow more severe over the long term. Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and sleep apnea have all been identified as serious medical issues linked to obesity. Although staying obese does not necessarily mean one will experience these specific conditions, at the very least it will lead to poor health and, in many cases, low self-esteem or depression.

A New Beginning
Weight loss surgery can provide a turning point. Joining a gym on January 1st and going on a six-week diet may work for people who are simply overweight. That’s their turning point. But when an obese person has reached a certain size, they are often incapable of losing enough weight through dieting alone, and sudden exercise could present a health risk. In such cases, weight loss surgery can be the best bet.

“Almost all of my patients have dieted,” notes Temple, Texas weight loss surgery specialist Dr. David Provost. When an individual becomes morbidly obese, however, the likelihood that a diet will be effective for long-term weight loss is about 2%, he explains. Bariatric surgery becomes the only viable option for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Recipe for Success
The decision to undergo weight loss surgery is actually a two-fold resolution. First and foremost, you are choosing to have surgery. With the counsel of a qualified medical professional, you have determined that bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity offers the greatest likelihood of success, based on your previous attempts at weight loss and your current health condition.

But that’s not all. In choosing to have weight loss surgery, you are resolving to do things differently. Although the procedure will help you shed pounds very quickly, you need to follow your doctor’s dietary guidelines carefully and get regular physical exercise — not only for the first year after surgery, but for the rest of your life. You are resolving to change the way you live.

What does that look like? First, weight loss surgery patients are encouraged to get moving immediately after their surgery, even if they can only manage a few laps around the living room couch.

“Within a few months, they generally lose enough weight that more intensive exercise, like jogging, dancing or swimming, becomes a safe proposition,” says Dr. Provost.

In terms of the dietary changes, you will make a gradual transition from liquids to purees and soft foods for the first several weeks after surgery before switching over to small portions of normal foods. Surprisingly, these changes often come easier, because the surgery restricts the amount of food that a patient can comfortably eat. In short, you’re not hungry, so you don’t mind eating less. Together, regular physical activity and a healthy diet built on small portions of low-fat, low-sugar foods provide the foundation for lasting success.

A Lifelong Resolution
Like other New Year’s Resolutions, the commitment to make changes after having weight loss surgery can be broken. Some patients who have had a gastric bypass or Lap-Band procedure actually regain all of their weight over time, because they failed to stick with the guidelines provided by their doctor and maintain a lifelong commitment to new eating and exercise habits.

Weight loss surgery is only a tool, notes Dr. Provost. By joining a support group, planning meals carefully, and scheduling time to exercise, patients can dramatically increase their odds of maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding medical complications, and living a longer, happier life.

If you are considering a bariatric procedure in the New Year, call Provost Bariatrics for a consultation at 254-724-2397.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.