Does Bariatric Surgery Work?
For many people, bariatric surgery is a last-ditch effort to lose weight after everything else has failed. This surgery shrinks the size of your stomach to make it harder to eat large quantities of food in one sitting. Gastric bypass surgery might succeed where other programs have failed, but it's a drastic solution that requires weeks of downtime and massive changes in your diet. There's also the possibility of complications that could have a negative impact on your health going forward.
However, that doesn't mean that bariatric surgery doesn't work. In fact, many people have lived healthier lives after getting the surgery and sticking to a new diet. Ultimately, the success of your gastric bypass surgery is up to you. If you find yourself asking, "Is gastric bypass worth it?", here's a rundown of the ways that it could positively and negatively affect your life.
Does Bariatric Surgery Work?
Generally, bariatric surgery works if you're willing to maintain a healthier lifestyle after the procedure. Since this procedure shrinks the size of your stomach, you might find it easier to lose weight and stick to your weight loss program. You might notice that you feel full for longer periods of time and don't need to eat as much to feel satiated. Getting the surgery can also reduce your risk of major health problems and ease the symptoms of health problems that you experience due to your weight.
However, the surgery only works if you're willing to put in the effort afterward. Bariatric surgery might make it easier to lose weight, but you're not going to lose weight if you subvert the surgery by eating unhealthy foods and snacking on small meals throughout the day. Even if you commit to a diet, it can still take time to lose weight, which makes many people feel like the surgery wasn't worth it. Ultimately, this surgery requires a lot of patience if you want to see major changes in your health.
What Factors Could Influence the Success of Your Surgery?
Instead of asking yourself, "Is gastric bypass worth it?", you might want to ask yourself if you're ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Otherwise, it might all be for nothing. Here's a rundown of the factors that could affect the success of your surgery.
Sticking to a Diet
Before you qualify for weight loss surgery, many doctors will ask you to lose weight and adopt a healthier diet. This shows the doctor that you don't see gastric bypass as a magic cure-all that automatically makes you shed the weight. Instead, you're willing to make significant lifestyle changes that could make your surgery a success.
Unfortunately, some people aren't willing to make lifestyle changes after they get the surgery. They might go back to their regular diets, which causes them to maintain their unhealthy weight or even gain weight after the surgery. This drastically reduces the possibility of success after the procedure.
Other people don't stick to the strict diet that their doctor outlines for them after the surgery. After you get the surgery, you'll have to start with a liquid diet for a few weeks. Over time, you'll gradually advance to soft food. In the end, you'll be able to eat hard, crunchy foods again. Some people are tempted to skip right to solid food because they don't want to deal with the liquid diet. As a result, they increase their risk of complications like dumping syndrome.
Finally, some people subvert the surgery by eating small meals throughout the day. They might not be able to handle large quantities of food at once, but they may space out their meals and continue to gain weight. This could contribute to the gastric sleeve failure rate in the United States.
Forming Healthy Relationships
Some people struggle with weight loss because they're caught up in toxic relationships that discourage weight loss. In some cases, they might be trapped in an abusive relationship and use food to cope. In others, they might live with someone who discourages weight loss or downplays the negative health effects. Some people have friends and family members who simply want to maintain the status quo and don't want anyone to make major lifestyle changes.
If you're not surrounded by supportive people, you might find it difficult to develop new eating habits. For this reason, you might have to develop new relationships with people who want to help you succeed. Otherwise, it might be easy to succumb to the pressures from people around you.
Waiting for Results
Some people get discouraged because they don't lose weight as quickly as they'd hoped. As a result, they might give up and assume that bariatric surgery isn't worth it. While you might lose weight rapidly at first, most people plateau at a certain point. It's important to stick to your diet even when it seems difficult. If you can maintain a healthy lifestyle, you'll eventually lose weight. In fact, studies have shown that most patients keep 50% or more of the weight off in the years after their surgery.
Is Bariatric Surgery the Right Option for You?
If bariatric surgery isn't right for you, the potential for success might be limited. Talk to your doctor about gastric bypass surgery and whether it could make a difference in your weight loss efforts. Your doctor can give more advice that could increase your chances of keeping the weight off after your surgery.
Once you get the surgery, you'll need to stick to a diet of liquids and soft foods to reduce the risk of complications. At Bariatric Health and Wellness, we sell a variety of foods made specifically with gastric bypass patients in mind. Check out our inventory today to see what we offer.