Turtle

Q:

I have T2 diabetes and over the years, have become morbidly obese. I have tried everything I can do to lose weight and as I lose some, I gain it back plus some. Finally, due to all the pain in my artificial knees and injured hip, I asked my doctor about bariatric surgery. She wrote it up and put it into the clinic for review. I just learned it has been authorized. I am making efforts now to eat smaller amounts and small snacks. Do you think this is right to do? Are there any other treatments?

Amy Campbell

A:

Bariatric surgery sounds like a good option for you, given your challenges with being able to lose weight and keep it off. There are specific criteria that a physician uses to determine if one is a good “candidate” for this type of surgery, including a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 35, along with other health issues related to your weight (diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea, for example); being able to demonstrate that traditional methods of weight loss (diet and exercise) have not been successful; being able to commit to lifestyle changes after the surgery; and making sure that one understands the risks of the surgery. It’s important that the person undergoing bariatric surgery have a team that includes the surgeon, a dietitian and even a mental health professional. Also, if you decide to go forward, make sure that you understand which procedure is best for you (e.g, Roux-en-Y, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, etc). Realize, too, that having bariatric surgery isn’t a guarantee that you will lose weight and keep it off. You must be able and willing to adhere to a fairly strict eating regimen after the procedure, and make a point of being physically active pretty much every day. Otherwise, you could end up regaining any weight that you’ve lost. Bariatric surgery is a big decision, but for many people, it’s definitely the right one. Other treatments, such as dieting, use of meal replacements, and medication can also lead to weight loss, but as you’ve experienced, it’s often difficult to maintain that weight loss over time. My main piece of advice for you is to make sure you fully understand the procedure that’s recommended for you, ask a lot of questions, have a team to help you, and be committed to making lifestyle changes so that you will be successful.

January 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm

1 reply

Turtle
Turtle 2013-01-12 23:44:13 -0600 Report

Thank you for writing back to me about the surgery. I meet all the requirements of surgery. My BMI is over 44. I am committed to sticking to the diet as they give it to me. I know, for example, that after surgery, at first I may only be able to eat 1-2 tablespoons of whatever I am to eat and if I still feel hungry, it is in my head because after surgery, my stomach will only be able to hold that and I will be full. I will do every thing I am told to do. I saw a diatiecian last week. She helped me a lot. She said if I stop eating grains all together, I will lose 30 lbs. fast. I do not know which surgery I will have yet. I have to ask questions and listen to answers before I decide. I have started being more active and exercising 2-3 x a week now. I hope to gradually work up.