Having Weight Loss Surgery

Having weight loss surgery can be frightening when thinking about it. Several years ago I decided to research this option. I went through several emotions, sometimes at once. I was frightened, excited, terrified, nervous, thrilled, and this occurred during the research, let alone the actual surgery.

Why weight loss surgery? There are various reasons why weight loss surgery may be the best option and that’s between you and your doctor. However, it’s always nice to have some basic information about the entire process before even checking with a doctor. This gives you an idea of what to expect to help relieve anxiety, fear, and answer the unknown questions.

Having Weight Loss Surgery

 

How Do You Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

If you’re morbidly obese (100+ pounds overweight), there’s a good chance you’re a strong candidate for weight loss surgery. Morbidly obese is a term the medical profession uses. If your BMI is 35-40+ and your weight is causing negative health effects, then you may qualify as well. Each doctor will have their own details and checklist before scheduling a weight loss surgery consultation. Many of them may suggest other methods of weight loss first, depending on your circumstances. Age is also a factor with candidates being between the ages of 16-70.

 

More Than a Pretty Face: The Truth About My Life After Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Beauty & Finishing School Book 1)More Than a Pretty Face: The Truth About My Life After Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Beauty & Finishing School Book 1)More Than a Pretty Face: The Truth About My Life After Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Beauty & Finishing School Book 1)

 

When I decided to move forward with weight loss surgery 8 years ago, I was in the morbidly obese category. As a result of the weight loss surgery, I lost 130 pounds.

Having Weight Loss Surgery

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for Weight Loss Surgery?

This answer varies from clinic to clinic. I have heard stories of some taking a year, other candidates have taken at least 6 months, while others were within weeks. Your medical professionals can give more information regarding your specific circumstances. On average it takes approximately three months for the entire approval process. This is because a person has to be medically cleared and follow specific steps to ensure they’re a good candidate for the surgery.

Having Weight Loss Surgery

The medical field takes weight loss surgery seriously and they ensure a patient is able to tackle what their body is about to go through. Some handle it better than others, but it’s a huge change that definitely requires mental and physical preparation. It’s important to note that, once approved, many doctors will have programs that may take as long as six months to complete before the surgery actually occurs. This is to help the patient transition to the life changes they’re about to encounter.

The Everything Post Weight Loss Surgery Cookbook: All you need to meet and maintain your weight loss goals (Everything®)The Everything Post Weight Loss Surgery Cookbook: All you need to meet and maintain your weight loss goals (Everything®)The Everything Post Weight Loss Surgery Cookbook: All you need to meet and maintain your weight loss goals (Everything®)

 

It took me about 3 months from start to finish when I elected to have surgery at Walter Reed in Washington, DC. There were many tests I had to schedule and I moved fairly quickly through the process. When I had my revision surgery last month, I was immediately approved.

What is the Least Invasive Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery has changed quite a bit since it was first introduced. Having said that, the band is rarely recommended anymore. Very few doctors will perform that procedure and it’s not one I won’t dive into discussing.

The sleeve is considered not as invasive because you don’t have to have your intestines re-routed. Also, you do not “dump” as much (more on dumping later!) and many believe that you can eat more normally after the sleeve. This has become a popular surgery candidates opt for. I opted for this type of procedure because it wasn’t as invasive as other procedures.

PORTION CONTROL BOWL, MELAMINE for Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery, Diabetes and Healthier Diets. Educational, visual tool for adults and children by Dietitian Amanda ClarkPORTION CONTROL BOWL, MELAMINE for Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery, Diabetes and Healthier Diets. Educational, visual tool for adults and children by Dietitian Amanda ClarkPORTION CONTROL BOWL, MELAMINE for Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery, Diabetes and Healthier Diets. Educational, visual tool for adults and children by Dietitian Amanda Clark

 

Gastric bypass is where a portion of the stomach is turned into a smaller “pouch” and the larger portion of the stomach is capped off. This allows ingested food to be directed into the pouch and bypass part of the small intestine. This is one of the most common forms of weight loss surgery because it has stood the test of time. Also, it is one of the most successful surgeries.

Prior to surgery, you will meet with your surgeon and together decide which surgery would be the best fit. There are a lot of factors and over a certain BMI, many Dr’s will not perform the sleeve but will instead ask that you have RNY (gastric by-pass).

Having Weight Loss Surgery

Having Weight Loss Surgery

Is Weight Loss Surgery Covered by Insurance?

As weight loss surgery has become more popular and medical professionals deem it as a medical necessity for life, many insurance companies will cover weight loss surgery. When I had my weight loss surgery, my husband was active duty in the Army and we were covered under Tricare. I called the provider, scheduled a consult through my primary care physician and we were in business.

When I had my revision last month, it was at a new hospital here in the Nashville area. I completed the paperwork online and the hospital administration began the process of checking with the insurance to ensure it would be covered. I received word about a week or two later that my procedure would be covered and a consultation with the surgeon was scheduled.

Having Weight Loss Surgery

Often times, when surgery is deemed medically necessary, there’s a higher chance it will be covered by insurance. If you have a current insurance plan, check with your insurance provider to see what the guidelines on weight loss surgery are. If you don’t have an insurance plan and plan on choosing one, it would be well worth the time to check into the parameters each insurance company has on weight loss surgery.

Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery: Over 140 Delicious Low-Fat High-Protein Recipes to Enjoy in the Weeks, Months and Years After SurgeryEating Well After Weight Loss Surgery: Over 140 Delicious Low-Fat High-Protein Recipes to Enjoy in the Weeks, Months and Years After SurgeryEating Well After Weight Loss Surgery: Over 140 Delicious Low-Fat High-Protein Recipes to Enjoy in the Weeks, Months and Years After Surgery

 

How Fast Do You Lose Weight After Bariatric Surgery?

This will vary from person to person as habits are different across the spectrum. This number will also vary between the types of weight loss surgeries received. For example, about six months after gastric bypass, the average patient loses 30-40% of the weight they needed to lose. However, with other options, the numbers may be closer to 25-50 pounds six months after. Other patients could lose more. It really depends on your doctor’s dietary recommendations and each patient’s recovery from the surgery.

Having Weight Loss Surgery

You will start seeing results right away as long as the doctor’s instructions are followed closely. It’s important to note that the success of weight-loss surgery largely lies in the lap of the patient. If the patient adapts nicely to the changes in habits that led them to the weight loss surgery, then they will most likely see great results. Having weight loss surgery is NOT a quick fix. Let me repeat- HAVING WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY IS NOT A QUICK FIX.

Before & After, Second Revised Edition: Living And Eating Well After Weight-Loss SurgeryBefore & After, Second Revised Edition: Living And Eating Well After Weight-Loss SurgeryBefore & After, Second Revised Edition: Living And Eating Well After Weight-Loss Surgery

 

Weight loss surgery is a tool. Following your surgeon’s guidelines down to the smallest detail, consuming enough water and liquids, ensure you’re meeting your protein requirements and exercising are all very important aspects of the weight loss surgery journey. Don’t think you will have surgery and all your problems will be solved. Weight loss surgery is a marathon, not a sprint. If you don’t follow the rules and don’t follow the plan, you will only set yourself up to regain the weight later.

Having Weight Loss Surgery

Do You Lose More Weight with Bypass or Sleeve?

On average, most patients see around a drop of 40% or less in their excess body weight when opting for the bypass surgery. However, patients who opt for the sleeve option usually see closer to a 70% drop in their excess body weight, which can take up to 18 months to achieve. Again, as stated before, the level of success is primarily in the hands of the patient. Old habits must change. Adapting to a new lifestyle is a must. Failure to follow the recommended parameters for post-operation and weight loss percentages won’t be as high. 

Having Weight Loss Surgery

If you have tried every diet under the sun and it seems your weight isn’t budging, you’re not alone. I followed a strict diet and exercised constantly, yet my weight remained or I gained more weight. Thousands of other people have gone through this struggle and have found a breakthrough with weight loss surgery. The word surgery often makes it seem like it’s more serious than it truly is. Many bariatric surgery options are quite simple. Of course, all medical procedures come with risks. Speak with your medical provider to discuss your options. Weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone, but it might be the best option for those who are trying to regain control and live a healthier lifestyle. 

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