It’s important to mention first and foremost that bariatric surgery is not the right option for everyone. It’s also imperative that every prospective patient understands that they may not qualify for bariatric surgery. Finally, bariatric surgery is a very personal decision. It comes with requirements and a lifelong commitment. Prospective patients need to be willing to modify their lifestyle for the long-term.
Is Bariatric Surgery Right for You?
Beyond the highly personal decisions behind bariatric surgery, explored below, some patients, especially those who have undergone previous abdominal surgeries may not be able to have bariatric surgery. Also those who are unwilling to commit to a long-term change in lifestyle are not good patients for bariatric surgery. Finally, age is an important factor – most surgeons will not perform on those under 18 or over 70, due to the risk of additional complications or considerations of surgery.
Will You Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?
This is an answer that depends on many factors, not least of which is the method of payment. Insurance companies have a strict set of criteria for coverage of bariatric surgery. Financing may require certain minimum credit scores. Ultimately medical necessity determines the true need for bariatric surgery – Are you obese? Do you have diseases associated with morbid obesity? Are the risks of doing nothing greater than the risks of surgery? If you answered yes to these questions, you may qualify for surgery.
A Personal Decision:
Bariatric patients need to understand that undergoing surgery begins a commitment to healthy diet and regular exercise. Bariatric surgery cannot be effective without this commitment. Further, as one loses weight, their lives may change drastically. Beyond the health benefits of weight loss, patients should consider their social and personal lives. While not necessarily true in every case, friendships, romantic relationships and marriages have can be strained by the personality changes (positive or negative) that can arise from losing weight, not least of which is increased self-confidence.
Surgical intervention is almost always a last resort and other safe weight loss options should be exhausted before considering surgery. If surgery is right for you however, it can be a huge step toward a new and healthier life.