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Is Bariatric Surgery Right For You?

Bariatric surgery may be the next step if you remain severely obese after trying non-surgical approaches, or if you have an obesity-related disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery should be considered only for a person diagnosed with morbid obesity; it is not for those with a mild weight problem. It is a serious undertaking, not a cosmetic procedure. Anyone thinking about undergoing this type of operation should understand that the surgery will cause a reduction in the number of calories you may consume, and you must commit to lifestyle and dietary changes to derive maximum benefit from the procedure. The surgery in not a cure, it is only a tool. Success is possible only with your full cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up, which must be carried out for long time.

The following questions may help you decide whether weight-loss surgery is right for you:

• Do you meet the weight and health guidelines established to determine eligibility?

• Are you determined to lose weight and improve your health?

• Have you been unsuccessful at long-term weight loss using non-surgical methods?

• Are you well informed about the surgical procedure and the effects of treatment?

• Do you fully realize how your life may change after the operation, such as requiring you to chew food well and eat smaller meals?

• Have you been informed of the potential for serious complications, dietary restrictions, and occasional failures?

• Are you committed to lifelong medical follow-up and vitamin/mineral supplementation?

Your doctor has told you that you have diabetes or prediabetes (your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not as high as with diabetes).