Is bariatric surgery right for me?

Many factors may determine if bariatric surgery is right for you, including being ready for a lifestyle change, your BMI, type of procedure and post-procedure compliance. Watch bariatric surgeon Michael Snyder, MD, describe these deciding factors.

To determine if bariatric surgery is right for you, first talk to people who have been through it. Bariatric surgery causes a dramatic change in your life. We're social creatures, and food is a big part of our social life. Bariatric surgery changes the way you eat when you go out to dinner, or when you eat with your family.

Bariatric surgery can affect people differently during recovery. The best thing to do to understand how you might be affected is to reach out to people. Find a support group in your community. People who have had bariatric surgery can give you a reasonable expectation of what you're going to go through. This can help you make sure you are making the right decision.

Another recommendation is to talk to your primary care doctor to make sure it is safe for you to have this type of procedure.

Also look into the different programs in your area and the various surgeons. Make sure you feel comfortable with the surgeon you choose. You will have a continued relationship with this doctor.

Rebecca Beecroft
Nursing Specialist

Only you and your physician can decide that. I would say that bariatric surgery is right for many people with obesity and additional co-morbidities (meaning other diseases and illnesses). So if you are obese and have arthritis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), chronic infections, trouble completing your own self-care, limited movement, trouble walking more than 100 feet, shortness of breath with routine activities, easy fatigue and tiredness, you should talk to your doctor.

Deciding if the surgery is right for you requires consideration of all lifestyle changes. You have to eat better. You need to eat smaller portions. If you do not change your eating habits, you will not be successful.

If you know you can give up chips, soda, beer, cookies, crackers, drive through, pizza, cheeseburgers and other products with high fat, salt and sugar contents, then you may be ready for gastric bypass. If you do not think you can sustain these lifestyle changes, start small and see how you do before you begin the surgical process.

Make one small change a week and you may surprise yourself with your own success!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.