Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, makes surgical changes to your stomach and digestive system. These changes work to limit how much food you can eat and how many nutrients you absorb, which leads to weight loss. Weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weight-related health problems too — such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and sleep apnea.
Breakthroughs in bariatric surgery have improved the lives of many, but it isn’t for everyone. Like any major surgical procedure, there are significant health risks, and there may be side effects. In addition, the long-term success of gastric bypass surgery is dependent on your ability to make permanent changes in your lifestyle. How do you decide if it’s right for you?
In many cases, you must meet certain medical guidelines and go through a thorough screening process to see if you qualify. Here are some general guidelines to see if weight-loss surgery might be an option you should consider:
- If efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
- If your body mass index (BMI) falls into the extreme obesity category (40 or higher)
- If your BMI falls into the obese category (35 to 39.9), and you have a serious weight-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, severe arthritis, or obstructive sleep apnea
- In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.
Bariatric surgery is lifesaving for some people, taking off pounds that have hurt their health, but it’s not right for everyone who has a lot of weight to lose. If you’re thinking about it, talk with Dr. Tsuda about the benefits and risks, and whether it’s a good idea for you.