If you have a history of having difficulty with weight loss and you’re over your ideal weight by 100 pounds or more, you may be a candidate for stomach surgery. There are different types of stomach surgery, although the basic premise is the same with each procedure — to reduce the size of your stomach to reduce the amount of calories your body absorbs from the food you eat. Stomach surgery requires a firm commitment on your part and a strong determination to make healthy, productive changes.
To learn more about different types of weight loss surgery and to determine if you might be a good candidate, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Stomach surgery is meant to be a procedure that encourages permanent changes and not temporary solutions. Be prepared to make significant lifestyle adjustments after the procedure is performed. These changes typically include making healthier food selections in both the foods you prepare and what you eat in social settings. You’ll also be encouraged to find an exercise routine that works for you.
Preparing for surgery also includes a comprehensive medical exam that will likely occur during your initial consultation. A review of your medical history will also be done to identify any existing medical conditions. You may also be asked to discuss your previous attempts at weight loss. During this phase, you’re welcome to ask questions so you can develop a better understanding of your preferred procedure. Preparations also include:
Stomach surgery, regardless of the specific procedure involved, is performed under general anesthesia. The initial step with the operation is to make your stomach smaller, usually down to the size of a walnut or egg, by creating a pouch, or a smaller area where food will go during the digestion process. Adjustments may also be made to part of the small intestine.
Stomach surgery can be performed as an open procedure with a large cut or a minimally invasive procedure involving smaller cuts and the use of a special scope to guide the surgeon as the surgery progresses. The surgery itself typically lasts about 2 to 4 hours, but this can vary with each procedure.
Immediately after surgery, you’ll be asked to walk around a bit. You may start off on IV fluids before switching to a liquid diet. As your recovery continues, you’ll ease into a purred diet before moving to soft foods and back to a normal diet. Medication will likely be prescribed to minimize discomfort immediately after surgery and prevent infection at the surgical site. You will slowly ease back into your normal routine as you heal.
If the procedure is successful, the majority of the weight loss that you experience will be in the few months following the procedure. The exact results that are experienced typically vary from one patient to the next, and your doctor can give you an idea of the realistic expectations that you can experience.
It takes about 2-3 months before a new routine, whether it be changes to the way you eat or getting some type of exercise on a regular basis, becomes a habit, so allow yourself time to get used to your post-surgery lifestyle adjustments.
Hormonal changes you’ll experience as you lose weight will likely make it easier for you to keep the weight off long-term after you reach your initial goal weight. Surgical weight loss also tends to be more successful because there’s a shift in how calories are consumed that goes beyond simply avoiding certain foods through dieting alone. Learn to pay attention to the “fullness signals” your body gives to suggest that you’ve had enough to eat at any given time.
Sustained weight loss is encouraged with dietary recommendations that include changes in portion sizes and choices you make with the ingredients you use to cook. The good news is that once patients see results after their surgery, there’s a natural inclination to remain motivated to maintain the weight loss. You’re also likely to experience an increase in energy that may make it easier to stick with lifestyle changes.
There are many reasons to consider stomach surgery, although many doctors require that efforts should be made to lose weight through non-surgical methods before considering it. When other attempts to keep excess weight off fail, however, stomach surgery becomes a realistic option. It’s also an option you may want to consider if:
When combined with a personalized treatment plan that includes regular exercise and dietary changes, stomach surgery may be an effective weight loss solution. The National Institutes of Health considers this surgery to be the only effective treatment to combat serve obesity and achieve long-term results. Significant and sustained weight loss also tends to mean less dependence on medication to manage other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. If you go into stomach surgery as well-informed as possible, you’ll increase your odds of enjoying positive, sustained results.
An important part of seeing results and enjoying a smooth recovery is following the instructions provided by your doctor for both pre-surgery and post-surgical care. These instructions can be related to diet, medication, physical activity, and more. Be sure to follow these instructions exactly, especially because they will be tailored to you and your situation.
To learn more about weight loss surgery and the different options that are available to you, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We can start the process of determining the best next steps for you in order to meet your weight loss goals.
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