A common misperception is that bariatric surgery should be considered only after all other weight loss options have failed. Truth is patients overweight by more than 80 lbs. have a very high failure rate (near 98 percent) in maintaining weight loss over the long term without bariatric surgery. It’s often more effective to have weight loss surgery earlier in life before the comorbidities associated with obesity can cause additional health issues such as end organ damage.
Think of bariatric, or weight loss, surgery as an instrument or tool that helps you learn behaviors in order to lose weight to prevent and treat rather than simply minimize medical problems. In many cases, weight loss through bariatric surgery can reduce and also has the chance to actually eliminate diabetes, acid reflux, sleep apnea and hypertension or high blood pressure. This is in addition to reducing body fat and joint damage due to mechanical wear and tear.
Knowing ones genetics, environment and behaviors helps in planning a strategy to combat unwanted weight gain as well. These three things play different but integrated roles in determining your body type and predisposition to have weight issues. Let’s explore each one and why it’s important when considering bariatric surgery before all else fails.
We are all born “equal” with a finite number of muscle cells and bones. So why do we all appear different? Although as human beings we are all coded with DNA to have similar overall features, our metabolic rate is pretty much predetermined by our genetics which, in turn, determine our body composition of fat and muscle.
Environmental factors play a tremendous role in lifestyle and ultimately determine the ability to gain or lose weight. We live in an open environment with an abundance of information and easy access to products. Strong artificial environmental factors of our modern world (think aggressive marketing for less-than-healthy products and ideals) make it especially difficult to lose a great amount of weight with consistent results.
Learned helplessness occurs when unrealistic goals are repeatedly attempted with ongoing failures. Patients trying to lose massive amounts of weight often fall into this category of learned helplessness when they lose weight only to regain it again. Unless this cycle is broken, successful weight loss can be difficult to achieve.
To successfully battle obesity, bariatric surgeons address realistic genetic potential and behavior patterns with an aim of breaking the vicious cycle of weight loss-weight gain for their patients. With appropriate coaching and supervision, studies have shown that a potential loss of between 35 and 80 percent of excess body weight is achievable through bariatric surgery. It’s a process designed to change behavior patterns and to eliminate enablers and the tempting impulses that unnecessarily challenge self-control.
It’s unfortunate that many individuals visit with a bariatric surgeon only after they have spent a great deal of time and money on products and programs that don’t work. Too often surgeons hear bariatric patients admit that they wish they would have considered surgery earlier in life. What are you waiting for?
Visit with the staff at Lee Bariatrics today for a weight loss plan that’s unique to you. Schedule a consultation at 1-888-715-4330.