There are many factors to consider before you decide if weight loss surgery is right for you. To start with, you have to meet specific criteria in order to qualify for weight loss surgery. Some of the things your doctor will consider are the following:
You must be at least 100 pounds overweight. This can be reduced to 75 pounds if you have extreme weight related illnesses such as diabetes, serious sleep apnea, hypertension, or heart disease related to your weight. This is because the risks of weight loss surgery are less than the risk of dying due to the illness.
Your body mass index (BMI) should be 40 or greater. This puts a person in the morbidly obese category. You must have seriously tried to lose your excess weight for at least five years or more, by a variety of methods, including diet and exercise.
You must be totally committed, and motivated, to follow exactly the diet and exercise programs that go with the weight loss surgery you have.
Even if you meet the above guidelines, your doctor may disqualify you from having the surgery. The characteristics that might cause you to be disqualified are:
a) Severe psychiatric illnesses which are uncontrolled.
b) Addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.
c) If you have cancer and are not in remission.
d) Most people over 65 can be disqualified, but this is not automatic.
e) If your expectations are unrealistic, you doctor may advise against you having weight loss
f) If you are a woman and would like to become pregnant before a year after your surgery.
Once you have decided to have weight loss surgery and your doctor has approved, you will have many tests, including various lab test, an Upper Gastrointestinal test, an electrocardiogram, and psychiatric interviews and tests.
Your doctor will want to be sure you understand precisely the diet, exercise, and medical rules you must follow for the rest of your life.
Having weight loss surgery is a big step. It would also benefit you to talk to other people who have had the surgery and look online for support groups and forums that discuss the surgery. Before you make the final decision, you must educate yourself on the different types of surgery and what will be required of you after you have the surgery. If you have a family, they must also understand the changes in your life that will occur after the surgery.
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