What you should know to determine if weight-loss surgery is right for you.
It’s been promoted as the final choice for those who have struggled with their weight without success for years on end. And for good reason. Over the years, thousands of people who are 100 or more pounds overweight have found freedom from the extra pounds and gone on to live healthy, prolonged lives.
However, while it may offer a solution to ongoing weight dilemmas, weight-loss surgery does have its potential downsides. So before you go under the knife for weight-loss surgery, consider these pros and cons.
Pro: As its proponents espouse, weight-loss surgery normally results in very fast, dramatic results. It does this by shrinking the size of the stomach or bypassing most or all of the stomach. These techniques can result in the loss of as much as half of unwanted pounds within just six months, with the remaining weight falling away within two years.
Con: One of the biggest challenges with weight-loss surgery is getting sufficient nutrients to keep your body in good health. Because food passes through your body faster after surgery and you can’t eat as much as previously, your body doesn’t have as much opportunity to grab hold of essential nutrients from food and drink. This can cause nutrient deficiencies, leaving you feeling listless and weak.
Pro: In addition to having a smaller stomach that can’t keep as much food as previous, weight-loss surgery can affect your hormone levels. When this occurs, you feel full faster and longer, not only because there is less room for food, but also because your hormones tell your body that it has enough food. An added perk is that the weight loss you experience may be sufficient to help you overcome a variety of health conditions, ranging from high blood pressure to type 2 diabetes to obstructive sleep apnea.
Con: It may seem odd, but life after weight-loss surgery can include gallstones. Much like kidney stones, gallstones are hard deposits. When they arise, they wind up in the gallbladder and can be as large as a golf ball, causing no symptoms at all or severe pain, nausea and vomiting, and other worrisome troubles. And like all surgical procedures, other risk factors may affect you after weight-loss surgery. These include infection, post-surgical hernias, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Pro: If you go with gastric bypass surgery, a special band is wrapped around your stomach, making a small pouch at the top of your stomach. Unlike other options, this option is adjustable and even reversible, giving you flexibility in how extreme you want your weight loss experience to be.
Con: Because gastric bypass is reversible, this procedure is more difficult to stick with for those who struggle with long-term healthy lifestyle choices. If you fear you’ll hunger to have your cake and eat it, too, avoid this procedure, as it makes it way too easy to negate any weight loss you work for in no time.
Pro: It’s a new start! With the help of qualified physicians, you will get a new lease on life that changes the way you approach food, exercise, and good health. Following weight-loss surgery, you can forget the old you that put you in this uncomfortable position and turn yourself into the thinner, healthier individual you’ve always wanted to be.
Con: Your whole life has to be overhauled. Eat like you used to and expect to find yourself vomiting on a regular basis. Think like you used to and you’ll really struggle to make the most of your surgery. If you’re not fully committed to the surgery, process, and results, you’ll be sorely disappointed after undergoing the procedure.