One of the most common questions patients ask when they begin their weight-loss journey is, “Why do I have to wait to get bariatric surgery?” The answer is more complicated than they think at first, but ultimately they understand how important laying the groundwork can be maximizing their chances for success.
The first part of the answer has to do with your insurance company. Most insurance plans mandate that patients spend anywhere from three to six months undergoing medically supervised weight loss before they will be approved for surgery. The rationale the insurance companies use is that they want to ensure the patients are dedicated to losing weight before the insurance company assumes the significant cost of weight loss surgery.
The second part of the answer has to do with what is best for the patient and what helps the patient’s chances of being successful long-term with weight loss surgery. It takes a while to get used to eating healthily. Eating small meals frequently helps patients get used to life after surgery because all of the operations involve limiting how much food patients can eat. Small, frequent meals mean you are eating before you get hungry and minimizes the risk of overeating. Overeating after surgery almost invariably leads to pain and/ or vomiting. Learning how to eat right takes practice.
The third part of the answer deals with physical conditioning. Many patients are not in good physical shape when they start. Improving physical conditioning before surgery helps patients recover more quickly and with fewer problems after the operation.
The final piece of the weight loss puzzle relates to the emotional issues related to overeating. A common misconception is that the operation will fix all of the problems obese patients have. Patients must prepare emotionally for their upcoming operation. It is a lifestyle change patients are undergoing, and making sure patients understand what changes will occur after surgery is vitally important. Building the foundation for a lifestyle change starts before the operation, and that foundation-building takes a little time.
If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help you find the right treatment.