Weight Loss Surgery
Recently, a number of high-profile celebrities, from TV
weatherman Al Roker to American Idol’s Randy Jackson, have made
headlines as a result of undergoing weight loss surgery.
Supporters of such surgery say that it offers hope for people who
seem unable to lose weight any other way. They maintain that
it is difficult to lose 50 or more pounds without surgical
intervention. Critics, however, maintain that
surgery—especially stomach surgery—is risky business and should be
approached with the utmost caution. They worry that
surgery is a quick fix which does not help to resolve an
individual’s problem dealing with food.
You might wonder under what conditions surgery would be
recommended. Generally speaking, surgery is only an option for
those who have suffered from obesity for a protracted period of
time (meaning years), have a body mass index or BMI of more
than 40, and whose lives could be cut short because of their
excessive weight gain. Also, stomach stapling surgery is
usually limited to those who have already reached adulthood.
Conversely, you would not be a candidate for stomach reduction
surgery if you have been severely overweight for a short period of
time; if you suffer from drug or alcohol addiction; or you have been
diagnosed with mental illness. In other words, you need to be
fully cognizant and have a detailed understanding of the reasons for
You should know that stomach reduction surgery is a proven
weight-reducer. You could lose nearly all of your extra weight
by undergoing the procedure. Thus, surgery may negate the need
for a diet plan, although there is the slim possibility that you
could end up putting on additional pounds after your
There are a myriad of reasons why you might consider stomach
stapling surgery. For instance, if you are suffering from
adult onset diabetes or heart trouble, you might want to undergo the
operation. If you are so obese that you can barely walk,
surgery might be for you. If your weight has gotten to the
point where you literally find it difficult to get out of bed, an
operation might be appropriate.
Of course, stomach stapling surgery is not without its
risks. In less than two percent of the cases, death may
occur. Also, there is the possibility that after surgery you
may experience vomiting if you attempt to eat too much. And
then there’s the psychological fallout. If you’ve been a heavy
person all your life, you may have trouble adjusting to your new
thin status. You may even find that your relationships with
relatives and friends change after you have undergone surgery.
As a result of this, some physicians recommend that candidates for
stomach stapling surgery meet with a psychotherapist who can help
them develop coping mechanisms before and after the surgery.
Obviously, undergoing surgery is a serious step—one that should
not be undertaken lightly. As a result, you might want to ask
yourself some questions before going under the knife: Why do I
want to undergo surgery? What if I discover there are
unexpected side-effects from surgery? Will I be able to deal
with them? What are my options if I do not undergo
surgery? Will my family and friends support my decision to
undergo an operation? Am I considering surgery out of vanity,
or because of a serious health threat? Will years be added to
my life after I undergo surgery?
Of course, you cannot make the decision for stomach surgery on
your own. You will need to consult your family physician to
determine if an operation is right for you. If your doctor
gives the O.K., you will then have to meet with the surgeon.
Make sure to check the surgeon’s credentials and consider having a
second opinion. The more preparation you do before your
operation, the better off you will be. Obviously, stomach
stapling surgery is not for everyone. It carries with it
physical and emotional risks. However, the prognosis for those
who undergo such surgery is good. And you could end up being
in much better health in the long run, if you are able to
successfully lose your excess weight.