4 Considerations Before Choosing A Bariatric Procedure

With an array of bariatric procedures available, you may be overwhelmed with your choices. Before you make your decision, there are factors you should consider to help you make the appropriate choice.

Develop A Long-Term Mindset

Although most bariatric procedures are designed to be permanent, the intragastric balloon and laparoscopic banding are either temporary or are easily reversed. No matter the procedure you choose, you should develop a permanent mindset. This can make it easier to decide if a bariatric procedure is right for you and help you stick with your dietary changes. One self-defeating thought process is anxiously awaiting the time when your procedure is over (intragastric balloon) or when you can return to eating "normal" foods (bariatric surgery). With this thought process, you are not developing long-term eating patterns that are conducive to keeping the weight off and are turning your procedure into another fad diet.

Factor In Your Weight History

The amount of excess weight you have now is not the only factor you should consider when choosing a procedure. You should consider your previous struggles with weight. For example, if you have always been overweight, but not necessarily obese, or have recently put on 50lbs that you cannot lose, a less invasive procedure might be better for you. Since you do not need to lose a significant amount of weight and are not prone to gaining large amounts of weight, you may do fine with a procedure that simply gives you a jumpstart on your weight loss. If you have been considered obese for many years and possibly since childhood, weight loss with a less drastic procedure may not be sustainable. Bariatric surgery is often a better option for people with a long history of obesity.

Consider Your Medical Needs

You will need to consider your current and future medical needs when selecting a bariatric procedure. For example, if you plan to have children, you may want a procedure that has the potential to be reversed or at least one that leaves you with a larger stomach. You may want to avoid a traditional gastric bypass simply because the pouch is smaller, which may cause difficulties incorporating adequate nutrients during pregnancy.

Another concern is your use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). If these medications are important to you, either for a chronic disease or for acute pain, the gastric bypass procedure is not recommended due to the increased risk of marginal ulcers. Some bariatric procedures, such as the duodenal switch, rely significantly on a malabsorptive component for weight loss. You must consider if you are willing to engage in a supplement regimen (often several times per day) for the rest of your life. Due to the risk of malnutrition, you will also need follow-up visits for life.

Think About Revisions

Although you should have a long-term mindset when choosing any bariatric procedure, you should realistically make your choice based on which procedure is unlikely to need a revision. To be realistic, if you have frequently been morbidly obese for most of your life, it might be unrealistic to believe a laparoscopic band will be a long-term solution. Unfortunately, people can stretch out their stomach over the years or figure out ways to eat more calories, even with a smaller stomach.

You might choose the most extreme bariatric procedure, which incorporates both the vertical sleeve gastrectomy and duodenal switch, to avoid a revision to a different procedure in the future. If you are considering the duodenal switch, you should also take into consideration the traditional approach and the newer, modified version. Since duodenal switch is uncommon compared to other forms of bariatric surgery, and the modified approach does not have a long history, it is difficult to determine if the modified approach will yield the same results as a traditional duodenal switch.

Making the decision to have any bariatric procedure requires significant planning to make the right decision for your needs. Before having any weight loss procedure, make sure you are choosing an option that gives you the best chance at sustainable weight loss. Contact a clinic like Belly Balloon Texas for more information.