Perhaps you’ve tried every diet and exercise routine under the sun. And yet. The weight just doesn’t want to budge. If you feel like you’re stuck in an endless cycle of dieting, then regaining the weight, you may be considering bariatric surgery.

If you’re thinking about getting weight loss surgery, ask yourself these questions:  

Am I ready for this change?

Bariatric surgery will help you lose weight. But it’s a commitment to a lifestyle change. Your bariatric team will recommend an eating and exercise plan to follow after surgery. Sticking to that plan helps you maintain your weight loss. 

The good news is you won’t do it alone. You’ll have plenty of support along the way from all of the professional support services available. 

Do I qualify for bariatric surgery?

Talk to your primary care doctor about bariatric surgery. They can help you decide if this surgery is your next weight loss option.  

Typically, doctors recommend bariatric surgery for people with a: 

  • BMI of greater than 40 or those that weigh more than 100 pounds over their healthy weight 
  • BMI greater than 35 to 39 with one weight-related medical problem, such as sleep apnea or diabetes 
  • History of failed weight loss programs 
Do I understand the long-term effects and risks?

While bariatric surgery may feel like a magic bullet, it’s major surgery. You may have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and vitamin deficiencies after the surgery. Some patients develop infections, gastric bleeding or ulcers.

This information should not scare you — thousands of patients have bariatric surgery safely every year. But it’s helpful to understand what may happen. Discuss all of your concerns with your doctor and bariatric team so that you understand the risks. 

Have I thought about other options?

If you’re seriously considering bariatric surgery, then you’ve probably tried different weight loss solutions. Before bariatric surgery, you will most likely need to try a 6-month diet that you document, particularly if you expect your health insurance to cover the procedure.  

Have I thought about how to share this news with friends and family?

Sudden weight loss is different than a typical diet — people will notice almost immediately. You will have to take time off work to recover from surgery. And since you need to change your eating habits, your friends and family may notice. Hopefully, everyone in your life will support your decision, but some may challenge you or disagree. That lack of support may make you question your decision.

Discuss this decision with some trusted friends and loved ones. Many bariatric surgery centers hold in-person or online seminars so you can learn about their approach. Consider bringing along someone who will give you honest and empathetic feedback.

Managing health is a lifelong process. Bariatric surgery may be the next step in your weight management plan. Or maybe you want to think about it for longer. In either case, do as much research as you can so you can feel confident in your choice. If you feel like this may be right for you, request an appointment with the Blessing Bariatric Institute.