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?
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.