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Thinking about Weight Loss Surgery: Where Should I Start?

Written By: Emma Squillace

Hundreds of thousands of people make a resolution during the holiday season that they are going to lose weight. Some people are looking to lose 10 pounds and others are looking to lose closer to 50 – 100 pounds. While dietary changes and exercise alone can lead to a 10-pound weight loss, losing 50 – 100 pounds with lifestyle changes alone is incredibly difficult. This difficulty is not as simple as a ‘lack of willpower’. Instead, the truth is that there are complex biological, environmental, hormonal, genetic, and lifestyle factors that get in the way of substantial weight loss. For this reason, many people consider weight loss surgery if they have failed to lose enough weight with diet and exercise alone. If you are one of the people thinking about having weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, in the new year, here are some things you can do to help yourself make an empowered decision:

Think about your reasons for wanting to lose weight

Everyone’s reasons for wanting to lose weight are different. There are a few categories to consider. First, do you have medical reasons for losing weight? Have you been told you are pre-diabetic? Is sleep apnea interfering with your quality of life? Are you experiencing sore knees, that may get better with weight loss? Second of all, what parts of your life are you hoping to improve weight loss? Perhaps you want to have more energy to play with your kids or go for hikes. Maybe you feel like your weight is causing you to avoid social situations where you could be having fun. There also may be external factors motivating your weight loss, like a concern that your weight may be negatively affecting your career.

Consider the lifestyle changes that come with having bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is an incredibly effective tool for losing weight, especially when compared to diet and exercise alone. But it is important to understand that these surgeries are not magic bullets. Instead, people who successfully lose weight after bariatric surgery, and keep that weight off, make significant lifestyle changes. Are you ready to commit to the new ways of eating, small portions, food restrictions, and potential side effects of eating more than you should, that come with bariatric surgery?

Learn about the options for weight loss surgery

There is no single ‘perfect’ bariatric surgery. Instead, there are multiple surgical options that work very well, and different people prefer different ones. One of the best ways to start thinking about the option of bariatric surgery is to start to educate yourself on choices.

    1. Start with the gastric sleeve – which you can learn more about here. It’s the most popular bariatric surgery right now.
    2. Also read about the gastric bypass – which you can learn more about here. It’s an especially good choice for some people with type 2 diabetes.

Learn about your insurance coverage

One of the most commonly asked questions is “will my health insurance cover bariatric surgery?” Insurance can be complicated, but we have experts who are able to help you answer that question. The sooner you ask, the better. The reason we say that is that many insurances have steps you need to take before they’ll cover your bariatric surgery, even if that treatment option is part of your plan. For instance, there may be medical tests you need to get done, or you may need to have documentation of your weight or weight loss attempts over several months. Whatever your insurance requirements are, we can help you understand them.

Come in for a consultation

One of the most important steps in the decision to have weight loss surgery is to come to our offices to meet with a surgeon. That is time for you to learn about our weight loss program, hear a professional opinion about your best options for success, and ask any questions that you want to.

At West Medical we know that having weight loss surgery is a life-changing decision. We want you to take as much time as you need with that decision, and to feel open about asking us anything that’s on your mind. You can reach our supportive weight loss team at 855-690-0565.

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