4. Depression may be an issue for you
Bariatric surgery is about 80 percent effective, but it takes time and focus to keep weight off. It is important that your emotional energy is working to support your efforts, Ms. Schulz says.
After surgery, your body is recovering and eating is physically restricted. If you suffer from depression, it’s even harder to stay on track, particularly if you struggle with food addiction.
Work with your doctor or a counselor to develop and maintain a positive attitude about the process.
5. Understand the risks of other addictions
Alcohol and tobacco addictions also can undermine your efforts to lose weight — with or without surgery.
Alcohol is high in calories and reduces your inhibitions, which makes you more susceptible to overeating. You also will feel its intoxicating effects more quickly after surgery — one drink can put you over the legal blood alcohol limit to drive, Ms. Schulz says.
Tobacco use increases the risk of surgical complications, respiratory problems and ulcers — patients who return to smoking after surgery can develop a post-surgical stomach irritation or ulcer.
Bariatric surgery can change your life for the better and is a powerful tool that can provide sustained relief for overweight people.
The benefits of sustained weight loss through bariatric surgery can include:
- Long-term remission for type 2 diabetes
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Relief from depression
- Elimination of obstructive sleep apnea
- Relief from joint pain
- Improved fertility
- Alleviation of other medical conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complications, gallbladder disease and more
But bariatric surgery is the beginning — rather than the end — of your weight-loss journey, so you’ll still have plenty of work ahead of you.
“You need to have constant awareness of the behaviors and choices we teach patients that work with their new stomach,” Ms. Schulz says. “It’s like going to church every Sunday — you have to keep it at the top of your mind for the rest of your life.”