Reasons Not To Have Bariatric Surgery
Many people who are very overweight or obese struggle with their weight problem for years. They try to lose weight by changing their eating habits, exercise regimens, and even taking diet pills and other products in an effort to reduce their excess fat stores. Many times these methods don’t work because the person doesn’t find it easy to stick to them long term. In fact many people give up before giving themselves a fair chance at success.
The reason why these efforts often fail can be attributed to one thing – motivation. Motivation is what drives us forward when we set out to accomplish something. It’s what makes us want to succeed. When it comes to losing weight, if you’re motivated to do so, you will almost always win over those who aren’t as motivated. This means that if you truly want to lose your obesity, then there are several things you must consider before having bariatric surgery. If you follow some of these tips, I assure you that you’ll never regret getting your belly button back!
First off, let me say that I believe that no matter how much you weigh you should seriously consider getting surgery done. There are a number of reasons why this might sound strange. The first is because you probably think that once you’ve lost all that weight, you’ll feel better about yourself and your life. That isn’t necessarily true. As I mentioned above, if you were really struggling with your weight but still didn’t want to take drastic measures such as trying to get pregnant, then maybe you shouldn’t. Also, if you suffer from any health problems (such as diabetes), you may need to wait until you’ve lost more weight.
However, if you’re just tired of looking at yourself in the mirror yearning for a thinner you, then please go ahead and get the ball rolling now. Just remember that if you do decide to have the surgery done, make sure you consult your doctor first. He/she will help you determine which type of procedure would be best suited for you.
Next, I’d like to discuss some of the risks involved with having bariatric surgery. Most people are aware that having major surgery has its risks, however few understand the magnitude of risk actually associated with bariatric procedures. For example, gastric bypass carries a mortality rate as low as 1%, while lap-band patients are lucky to survive the operation at less than 5%. These statistics mean that the chances of dying during a standard open heart surgery are ten times higher than the odds of dying during a lap-band surgery. And that’s only considering death during the actual surgical process! Afterward, there are also incidences where patients complain that they developed infections, suffered severe internal bleeding, and had other serious medical issues months or years later.
All of these things are certainly scary. However, keep in mind that the majority of the time these complications occur due to poor patient care. Surgeons are human too, and sometimes they slip up. But the important thing to realize is that if you choose the right surgeon, he will spend his entire career performing operations without incident. You can rest assured knowing that your surgeon is well trained and capable of handling whatever situation arises during your surgery. The same cannot be said for doctors who perform surgeries under unskilled supervision.
So what else could possibly cause you not to want to have the surgery? Well, here are a couple of good examples…
Smoking is a big no-no
Most surgeons won’t allow you to smoke prior to your surgery, and there are a variety of reasons for this. One is that smoking causes blood vessels within the lungs to constrict, making it harder for oxygenated blood to get into the arteries. This results in the formation of clots that block the flow of blood through the lungs. Another concern with smoking is that nicotine helps your brain release dopamine, which raises your appetite. So smokers tend to eat more food, putting additional stress on your digestive system. Now, imagine all of this happening to someone who hasn’t had a solid meal in days!
Another reason why surgeons don’t want you to smoke prior to surgery is that it affects your ability to heal properly. During the healing process, cells called fibroblasts produce collagen fibers that hold everything together. Cigarette smoke contains toxins that damage and kill these cells, forcing your body to use extra energy to replace them. This leads to slower recovery times, scar tissue, and weakened tissues. Smoking can also increase the likelihood of infection.
In addition to these physical drawbacks, smoking can also affect your mental state. A lot of smokers report feeling depressed and anxious preoperatively. This is probably because they know that they are going to be missing out on their favorite vice for quite awhile, and they worry about the future.
If you do happen to be a smoker, ask your doctor whether you can stop smoking before you undergo surgery. If the answer is yes, you should definitely do so. Your surgeon will likely agree with this decision since it poses little threat to your health. Of course, if you don’t quit smoking, your surgeon may refuse to operate on you unless you enter a rehab program.
These tips apply to both men and women. While male smokers usually look down upon the practice, female smokers, on the other hand, seem to embrace it. Women who smoke are considered “heavy” smokers, and they frequently experience difficulty quitting. Because of this, it may be beneficial to talk to your physician about your history with cigarettes. He or she may suggest that you enroll in a smoking cessation program.
A high BMI does not automatically qualify you for surgery
As stated previously, the first criteria that surgeons use to evaluate potential candidates for bariatric surgery is their BMI. Although a high BMI alone is not sufficient to gain access to surgery, it’s a necessary step. If the BMI was lower, then the next criterion used to determine candidacy would be your age. Generally speaking, younger patients are given preference for certain types of surgery (for instance, sleeve gastrectomies are more popular among young females).
Unfortunately, some people who are older than 40 end up being denied surgery even though they meet the general guidelines. Why is this? Well, the truth is that your age may be a bigger factor than your BMI when it comes to deciding whether or not to offer you the surgery.
For example, surgeons generally prefer younger patients for gastric bypasses because they have longer lifespans. If you are an elderly woman, you may not live long enough to benefit from this surgery. On the other hand, if you are a man, then you may have plenty of time to enjoy the benefits of the surgery.
But regardless of your gender, age, and other factors, you should consult with your doctor regarding your eligibility for surgery. If you are denied, you should request further evaluation. Don’t accept denial lightly; it may indicate that you are suffering from another disorder, disease, or condition.
One last point that I’d like to touch on is the cost of bariatric surgery. In today’s world, money can buy anything. Unfortunately, it can also limit your options.
People who are extremely wealthy can afford to pay thousands of dollars per month for private physicians, specialists, and top quality hospitals. People who are middle class or below average income levels, on the other hand, often cannot afford these services.
Even if you do manage to scrape together enough cash for healthcare costs, you may discover that insurance companies refuse to cover the expenses. Some insurance providers flatly reject coverage altogether, citing insufficient evidence that the surgery was medically necessary. Others charge exorbitant premiums or deductibles for treatments involving elective procedures.
I’m not saying that anyone should be deprived of their basic needs, but it seems unfair that we should have to endure financial struggles just to save our lives. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can provide relief to moderate-income families.
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