All of us can be characterized by a stereotype - it may be based on our race, class, gender, sexual identity, size or even the where we grew up. Society places immense pressure on people to look good, stay thin and to fit into a certain size. This can stigmatize people who don’t fit such descriptions. The causes of obesity are rarely limited to genetic factors, prolonged overeating or a sedentary lifestyle. What we do and don't do often results from how we think and feel. Feelings of shame, rejection, loneliness, low self-esteem and depression are common in obese adults and even overweight children.
The emotional stigma of obesity can be complex and learning to develop coping strategies for dealing with it are the first steps toward greater happiness and a healthier life.
Dealing with obesity and similar weight-control problems requires adopting new habits that foster a healthier lifestyle. If traditional methods of weight loss have proven ineffective for achieving and maintaining significant weight reduction, Bariatric Surgery can offer you the opportunity to experience significant weight loss that can be maintained.
Patients are typically required to complete a thorough evaluation, by our team of qualified health professionals and once you have been deemed as a candidate for surgery there are various procedures available.
Am I A Candidate For Weight Loss Surgery?
Patients are asked by our team how they have come to this decision and their rationale for having bariatric surgery. Given the seriousness of this choice, it is critical that patients are seeking surgery for the right reasons and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved. The things we evaluate include:
Weight and diet history
Most patients have an extensive history of diet attempts with minimal long-term success. If patients have not yet attempted the more traditional approaches they are encouraged to follow a presurgical diet and exercise plan to see what they can achieve before proceeding with surgery.
Current eating behaviors
Our team completes a thorough assessment of eating habits , as motivation and attitude about a lifestyle change are indicative in a patient's eating and exercise behaviors before surgery.
Understanding the surgery and its associated lifestyle changes
Social supports and history
The dramatic lifestyle changes experienced by patients who undergo bariatric surgery occur within the framework of the social network that surrounds them. They will need support.
Patients are assessed with regard to symptoms of many conditions, including depression, anxiety, family history of mental health issues and any treatment experiences.
Remember: There are no guarantees for any method, including surgery, to produce rapid weight loss and for maintaining it.
Success with weight loss surgery entails maximum cooperation and commitment on your part, for the rest of your life. Behavioral change and medical follow-up are fundamental in ensuring both your health and optimal achievement in safely loosing those extra pounds.
You may be a candidate for weight loss or obesity surgery if you have:
A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more or about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women.
A full understanding of the chosen procedure and the impact on your lifestyle.
Weight loss surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying nonsurgical approaches, or for people who have an obesity-related disease. Anyone thinking about undergoing weight loss surgery should understand what it involves. Answers to the following questions may help you decide whether weight loss surgery is right for you.
Unlike traditional diets for which risks are low and discontinuation can occur at any time, Bariatric Surgery requires highly restrictive, long-term behavioral changes.
PRE AND POST OPERATIVE SUPPORT
The professionals at Salus are available to provide support you need, before your surgery and even once you have returned home. However, while your ultimate weight loss surgery success lies with you, those around you daily - your family and friends - play a large role in that success because they are usually the ones who are by your side when you interact with food. From the simplest everyday family dinner to the large family holiday celebrations, food, family and friends are closely linked.
No matter which type of bariatric surgery you will undergone - it is important that you share with your family how significant their support and encouragement are in your weight loss surgery success.
Friends and family members who are looking to support you must:
Learn about the surgical procedure.
Just as patients research and learn about what changes their bodies will undergo, it’s important for family members to do the same. Understanding the journey your family member is about to take will help you guide, coach and offer support throughout the process.
Respect patient’s new eating habits.
The weight loss surgery patient’s eating habits are going to change drastically immediately after weight loss surgery. Be respectful of their weight loss goal: don’t bring them “treats”; don’t encourage them to finish their plate when they are full; refrain from tempting them with food - “a little bite won’t hurt you”
Do not blame the patient.
Over and over again, patients state that many of the toughest times during weight loss is when the family eats together. In many cases, the person who is in charge of putting meals on the table is also the weight loss surgery patient, and the family sees a difference in the type of food that is served. This frequently frustrates family members who have not had bariatric surgery.Fried chicken becomes grilled chicken. Bread and butter are no longer on the table.
Try to remember that while it may take some getting used to, healthier meals benefit everyone in your family. Many of our patients’ spouses tell us that they have lost weight too as a result of their new diet.
Prepare for the relationship to change.
As your loved one’s weight comes off, prepare for the dynamics of your relationship to change. No longer the underdog, but the belle of the ball! But that doesn’t mean that it has to change for the worse. Find new ways to connect. Instead of bonding over food, do things together that are not related to food. Understand your family member is still the person you’ve always known and loved. They are developing a new relationship to food. What you’re seeing is the new, confident side of them that’s always been there but that they were uncomfortable expressing when they were carrying the extra weight.
Cheer their success and support them during setbacks.
Complimenting your loved one during their successes will be easy! But just as important will be how you support them when they have setbacks. And they will have setbacks. Almost everyone does. Just remember that you need to be there for them during the rough spots. You won’t have the answers for them but you can suggest that they attend support groups or tell them to make an appointment with one of our dietitians, doctors or psychologist depending on the nature of their problem.
Patients are typically required to complete a thorough evaluation by our team of qualified health professionals and once you have been deemed as a candidate for surgery there are various procedures available. These include: