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Weight-Loss Surgery

Is Bariatric Surgery Right For You?

Bariatric surgery is not the first choice for treating obesity. Most people consider it after years or decades of frustration. Others have such extreme obesity that they want to lose a lot of weight quickly, or feel unable to do enough exercise to achieve normal weight. In general, doctors will only consider those who are over 18 years of age, since younger people should be sufficiently able to lose weight from exercise instead. On the other end of the age range, many surgeons are reluctant to work on those who are over age 60 because of the increased risk from anesthesia and because most of these people have complicating conditions of heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. Sometimes, obesity is due to a metabolic imbalance such as thyroid disease. In that case, of course, the underlying problem should be treated first. Before bariatric surgery, you will undergo an extensive workup to determine whether this operation is indicated and safe in your case. The preoperative screening will consist of complete blood tests, imaging studies, endoscopy, and consultations with various specialists. Surgery is a reasonable choice if:

  • you have been overweight for at least five years, and
  • you have tried repeatedly to lose weight without success, and
  • your BMI is above 30.

This is especially true if you suffer from obesityrelated health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, or joint problems. These limitations are being waived, as even healthy, mildly overweight people increasingly elect surgery. Surgery is not appropriate if you have any of the following:

  • Unusually high risk of dying from surgery
  • Severe inflammation of the esophagus
  • Ulcer of the stomach or duodenum
  • Bleeding from the stomach or intestine
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Malformations of the bowel
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Mental illness
  • Eating disorder

If you are planning to become pregnant, you should wait at least a year and a half after surgery.

Content taken from the book MEDICAL TOURISM TRAVEL GUIDE

Book cover Medical Tourism Travel Guide by Paul Gahlinger Sunrise River Press

The Medical Tourism Travel Guide is the essential guide for anyone considering a medical trip overseas. It tells you everything you need to know to get top-notch medical care in world-class medical facilities at a cost far less than treatment in the United States. The author, Dr. Paul Gahlinger, has personally visited a great number of the facilities described in this book, and here he shares information on hundreds of clinics, hospitals, and spas in about 50 countries, as well as important tips on how to travel, how to pay, how to prepare, what to do, and what to avoid.

With kind permission of Paul Gahlinger. For more information visit Sunrise River Press