We are so lucky to have Staci share her experience with pre and post bariatric surgery. Staci Starts by telling us a little about herself and what she is doing today. A few of the key points that we talk about are Staci’s struggle to find answers to why she was having extreme weight gain, how the surgery saved her life, and gave her a new and renewed confidence. Her story of how bariatric surgery gave her the confidence to go back to school and start her dream job in my eyes is really the highlight of this story.
View all of our podcasts here
Breaking Down the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is the medical name for weight-loss surgery, a group of operations that help people lose weight. If you’ve battled with the scale for any period of your life you might have considered weight-loss surgery at one point or another. Bariatric surgery comes with plenty of benefits when done right but it’s also mired by many misconceptions.
Are you wondering whether bariatric surgery would be beneficial for you? Or are you simply curious about the process and how it works? Whether you’re a candidate for weight-loss surgery or not, you’re about to learn some of the benefits of and roadblocks to the procedure.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery refers to a few types of surgical procedures that assist with weight loss. They work by making different changes to a person’s digestive system. The type of surgery that’s most beneficial for your situation is best determined by your doctor. There are three main weight-loss operations used in the United States: gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and the adjustable gastric band.
Gastric sleeve surgery removes the majority of your stomach to reduce the amount of food that can fit. This means you’ll feel full sooner and is intended to keep you from overeating once the surgery is complete. Gastric sleeve surgery cannot be reversed.
Gastric bypass surgery is a more intensive, three-step procedure. It involves first stapling off the stomach. Then the surgeon later divides the small intestine into two parts and reconnects them to different areas in the digestive system. Gastric bypass is hard to reverse but it can be done if medically necessary.
Adjustable Gastric Band
Adjustable gastric band surgery, also known as the “lap band”, places an inflatable band around the top of the stomach. This creates a smaller stomach pouch which makes you feel full sooner. The band is both adjustable and removable depending on the progress of the procedure.
How to Know Whether Bariatric Surgery is For You
People who undergo bariatric surgery often talk about the way their weight held them back in life. They wanted to do certain things but found they couldn’t because their body held them back. Others felt judgment and mistreatment because of their size, such as being passed up for promotions or overlooked by potential partners. Many had been overweight their entire lives and were finally ready to change.
Still, bariatric surgery is an intense and invasive process. Some procedures are irreversible. It’s always good to attempt losing weight through more accessible means, such as eating plans, exercise, or medications. These alternatives are more adaptable and keep you from having to undergo a surgical procedure.
If you’ve already tried losing weight by these means, though, you might be a candidate for bariatric surgery. Many adults who struggle with obesity find that bariatric surgery gives them the initial push and assistance they need to lose weight.
Seeking weight-loss surgery is a very personal decision. There are camps of people who are either avid supporters of the procedure or vehemently against it. Ultimately, you and your doctor are the two who know what’s best for your particular situation. For example, if you have serious health problems related to obesity, like type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea, weight-loss surgery is potentially life-saving.
Roadblocks to a Successful Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is oftentimes a life-altering procedure. It gives many people the additional help they need to get their weight down. They feel hopeful and motivated to keep their weight under control moving forward. Still, despite the benefits of bariatric surgery, it’s also not a magical, quick fix. There are some roadblocks to successful procedures.
Lacking a Solid Goal
Ask yourself why you want to undergo surgery. Obviously, you want to lose weight. But usually, there’s more to the story than weight loss alone. What will it look like once you’ve successfully dropped to your goal weight? How will you move forward? Do you have follow-up goals? If you lack a solid goal, the effects of surgery won’t last.
Neglecting to Make Necessary Changes
Weight-loss surgery requires you to make numerous changes to your lifestyle. Altering your digestive system takes care of the physical portion but there’s a behavioral component to weight loss, too. Keeping weight off requires you to exercise, make healthy food choices, and more. People who neglect to continue with the necessary lifestyle changes find they end up back at their pre-op size or even larger.
Maximizing the Recovery Process
Weight-loss surgery is a life-changing step but it’s also the first of many you need to take to lose weight and keep it off. What is your plan once your surgery is complete? Your bariatric surgery post-care is crucial if you want to maximize your recovery process.
Adhering to Post-Op Recommendations
Sticking with the diet and exercise recommendations your surgeon makes are two crucial parts of keeping the weight off. You need to incorporate healthy, well-rounded meals and regular exercise into your life. Another thing people tend to overlook is the importance of quality sleep. Adhering to your post-op recommendations is crucial if you want to get the weight off and keep it off.
Seeking Out Additional Support
Trying to adjust your entire lifestyle on your own is difficult; it’s never a bad idea to ask for help. Seeking out additional support after your procedure is a great way to ensure you stay on track with your recovery and follow-up goals. Finding someone who offers all-around life coaching is the perfect way to maintain your new approach to life.
It’s important to find someone who understands the unique challenges that come with life post-bariatric surgery. Finding someone who you can both relate to and confide in will make the difference between mediocrity and success.
Bariatric surgery has the potential to bridge the gap between watching from the sidelines and getting your life back. You don’t need to battle with your weight forever. When you have the drive, the determination, and the right people on your team, you can accomplish anything!