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Is Bariatric Surgery a Drastic Measure?

A book titled Obesity and Health under a stethoscope highlights the major impacts obesity can have on health when untreated

Most of us begin to struggle with our weight past 30 or so. Some have struggled with excess weight from their teenage years or even earlier. When the extra weight becomes an issue, the everyday struggle we all share is repeated failure of diet and exercise alone. It is estimated it only about 10% of obese people who lose a significant amount of weight with diet and exercise alone manage to maintain this new lower weight over the long term. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the diet industry is so massive and lucrative.

We have been told that our lack of weight loss is a failure of personal character or requires better mindfulness or self-control. There remains a stigma associated with anything other than traditional methods of losing weight. This is a primary reason why bariatric surgery, the most effective long-term weight loss option for those suffering from obesity and its related diseases, is only employed by about 1% of all people who would benefit from it.

Another stigma associated with weight loss surgery is self-created. Some patients have convinced themselves that it is a drastic measure. Let’s explore this. To be sure, surgery should not be decided upon flippantly. It is an effective procedure that most certainly comes with risk. However, when thinking about some of the other diseases that might require surgery, such as gallstones, heart disease, and even cancer, the concept of using surgery early in the treatment process is often beyond question.

You may say, “this is just weight loss – heart disease and cancer, a completely different beast.” On the surface, this may seem like a valid argument, but it’s important to remember that bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure. It is primarily focused on improving or resolving the myriad of diseases associated with morbid obesity. Just think about the fact that obese patients have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, hormonal problems, infertility, complications due to infections including COVID-19, and even cancer.

When we look at weight loss surgery through this prism, the paradigm shifts entirely, and surgery no longer seems dramatic. To be sure, the results cannot be seen immediately, and you could always question whether you could’ve done it yourself without the help of surgery. But many of our bariatric patients will tell you that had they not had the surgery; they would still be living a life fraught with visits to their physician, medication, and severely limited lifestyle, not to mention a whole host of psychological issues including depression and low self-esteem.

So, Is Weight Loss Surgery the Best Option for You?

The short answer is that only you know. We cannot tell you if you are ready – that is an intensely personal decision you have to make after reflection and weighing the benefits versus the risks. However, we will say that bariatric surgery is safer and more effective than ever and could change their lives immeasurably for the appropriately selected patient.

The first step toward understanding whether bariatric surgery is right for you revolves around watching Dr. Higa‘s online seminar, which will give you a good idea of what you should be aware of when deciding to have surgery. Once you’ve watched our seminar, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our office to take the next step toward surgery.

Of course, our office can answer any questions that you may have, so please don’t hesitate to contact us and learn more about your options.

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