Obesity is a widespread health issue, afflicting more than one third of adults in the United States.

Obesity can lead to severe health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and certain types of cancer. If you’ve already tried unsuccessfully to lose weight through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, weight loss surgery might be the right choice for you.

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, consists of altering your stomach and digestive system through surgery to limit how much food you can eat and how many nutrients you absorb. The changes lead to weight loss and can help reduce your risk of obesity-related health conditions.

Though it has positive outcomes, weight loss surgery is a major surgical procedure that requires permanent changes in your lifestyle and can have health risks and side effects. As you consider whether weight loss surgery is right for you, here are some signs you may be a candidate.

1. Your BMI is 40 or higher

If your body mass index, or BMI, is 40 or higher, you fall in the range of severe obesity. BMI is used to measure healthy weights for a given height, with a normal BMI ranging between 18.5 and 24.9. If you already fall in the range of severe obesity, with a BMI of 40 or higher, weight loss surgery may be one of the only options for losing the weight and keeping it off. Bariatric surgery can decrease your chances of developing chronic illnesses associated with obesity and help extend the length of your life.

2. Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 and you have a serious weight-related health problem

Falling in the range of obesity, which consists of a body mass index of 35 to 39.9, may not make you a candidate for weight loss surgery by itself. But if you are also dealing with a serious weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, severe sleep apnea or type 2 diabetes, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery. In some cases, individuals with a BMI from 30 to 34 may also qualify for weight loss surgery if they are dealing with serious weight-related health conditions.

3. You have had unsuccessful attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise

If you have not tried to lose weight through diet and exercise, your healthcare team will likely recommend making lifestyle changes before pursuing weight loss surgery. But if you have made prior attempts at weight loss that have been unsuccessful, bariatric surgery might be your answer.

4. You are prepared to change your lifestyle to keep the weight off

Making significant lifestyle changes following bariatric surgery is just as important as the surgery itself in losing weight and keeping it off. You need to be prepared to change how you eat, since you won’t be able to consume as much food as you used to. You will need to be able to follow through on diet and exercise changes recommended by your healthcare team.

5. You are well informed of the risks and benefits

Before committing to weight loss surgery, it’s imperative you fully understand the effects of the surgical procedure, including the benefits and the health risks. You should research all of the potential side effects as well as what lifestyle changes are expected following the surgery.

If you think you are prepared for weight loss surgery, talk to our experienced professionals at Lee Bariatrics in Denton, TX.

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