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Losing weight can be a constant struggle. For people who are significantly overweight or obese, getting back on a healthy track can feel next to impossible.
“It can also be an emotional experience, where a person might feel it’s so difficult to lose weight that they give up,” says Nick Nicholson, MD, a bariatric surgeon and the medical director of the weight-loss surgery programs at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano and Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.
For some people, weight-loss surgery might be an option. Before you make the decision, though, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Do I understand the procedure?
Talk to your doctor about the details of weight-loss surgery, Dr. Nicholson advises. “People should know what will be happening to their bodies,” he adds. “You should understand what it will mean having a smaller stomach—and how that will affect your life moving forward.”
2. What is my goal?
“Getting your weight down is a fine goal,” Dr. Nicholson says, “but before you go into surgery, it’s important to set your sights on better long-term health and commit to making changes once you’re home after surgery.”
3. Am I committed to change?
“Having surgery doesn’t guarantee a healthy weight for life if you revert back to old, unhealthy habits,” Dr. Nicholson says.
He adds that while weight-loss surgery doesn’t make a person instantly healthy, it can help inspire healthful changes. “Being overweight can make it hard for some people to exercise,” he says. “Having less stress on the joints can make it easier for a person to start a workout program. And that can inspire healthy eating.”
4. Have I tried everything else?
Any surgery has risks, and in most cases, should be a last resort. “Before choosing surgery, I encourage patients to try a healthy diet and exercise program first,” Dr. Nicholson says. “If it’s not working for any reason, then we can discuss the surgical option.”
Trying to lose weight? Learn more about your weight loss options at Baylor Plano.
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