Questions to Ask Before Your Weight Loss Surgery

September 08, 2020 | Weight Loss

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are the top five you should be sure to ask your doctor. 

The many benefits of weight loss surgery include increasing your mobility, boosting your confidence, and reducing your risk of serious health complications. If you’re interested in bariatric surgery, you can find a lot of information about the procedure online, but you’ll also want to speak to a professional to be fully informed. 

But where do you begin? You probably have a lot of questions about weight loss surgery swirling around in your head, and might be feeling a little overwhelmed. To help you make a confident decision, here are five key questions to ask your doctor: 

1. Is weight loss surgery right for me?

The first question you should ask your doctor is whether or not bariatric surgery is right for you. Weight loss surgery is recommended for people who meet several important criteria, and only your doctor can determine whether or not you meet them. If you’re over 100 pounds overweight, have a BMI of 35 or higher, and/or are experiencing weight-related health problems, bariatric surgery may be right for you. Also, surgery can be particularly beneficial if losing weight through diet and exercise hasn’t worked for you in the past.

Your doctor will likely recommend other solutions if it appears that surgery isn’t the best fit for your needs.

2. How is the surgery performed? 

If you’re nervous about having surgery, gathering all of the information you can about the procedure can help put your mind at ease. First, it’s important to identify which weight loss surgery you’re going to have. For example, gastric bypass restricts your calorie and nutrient intake by reducing the size of your stomach. Your surgeon will create a small stomach pouch and attach a Y-shaped section of your intestine to the pouch, which causes food to bypass part of your intestines. The procedure is minimally invasive, has a short recovery time, and can help you lose two thirds of your excess weight.

There are also non-surgical weight loss options available. With the Obera® gastric balloon, your surgeon inserts a soft silicone balloon into your stomach and leaves it there for six months. The balloon takes up space in your stomach so it’s easier to control your portions and practice eating healthfully. This procedure is non-surgical, painless, and you can go home the same day!  

3. What are the risks of bariatric surgery? 

All surgical procedures involve some degree of risk. Familiarizing yourself with these risks is key to making an informed decision about whether or not to undergo the procedure. Immediately after weight loss surgery, patients might experience excessive bleeding, infection, blood clots, or gastrointestinal leaks. Some long-term complications can include malnutrition, low blood sugar, and ulcers.  

These risks should be taken seriously, but the vast majority of patients make it through surgery successfully and move on to have amazing results. Plus, the risks of not having bariatric surgery are often far greater than the risks of having it. 

4. How much weight will I lose?

The answer to this question depends on which bariatric procedure you choose. Gastric bypass patients typically lose 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight, while patients who have gastric sleeve lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight on average. No matter what, any bariatric procedure can help you get down to a healthy weight and stay there.

5. What lifestyle changes will I need to make after weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery helps you lose weight faster and more sustainably than diet and exercise alone, but you’ll still have to work hard to maintain your success. Your lifestyle will change in many ways after bariatric surgery — asking your doctor exactly how will help prepare you for those changes.

After surgery, you’ll need to adjust your diet and eating habits. Make sure your meals are full of leafy greens, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid anything fried, smothered, breaded, or stuffed, and be careful not to drink your calories. 

You’ll also have to take up an exercise routine to boost your metabolism, blast fat, and build lean muscle. After surgery, you’ll need to take a few weeks to regain your strength — your bariatric specialist might recommend starting with some light stretching or walking to stay active. From there, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. An even mix of cardio, strength training, and mobility exercises will keep you strong and flexible. 

Talk to the Experts

This list only covers a few of the most burning questions you might have about weight loss surgery. For more information, set up a consultation with one of the bariatric surgery specialists at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors. Our dedicated team is more than happy to answer any questions you might have and help you feel more informed, secure, and confident as you start your journey to the new you. Contact us today!