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Considering Weight Loss Surgery

If you have already tried a number of weight loss diets, exercise programs, and even prescription anti-obesity drugs, but your weight continues to rise, then perhaps it is time consider weight loss surgery. While no surgical procedure should be undertaken lightly, weight loss surgeries have improved dramatically over the last several years and are offering higher benefits with lower risks than ever before.

As always, it is best to consult with your physician prior to making any drastic weight loss decisions, especially those involving an invasive surgery. Once you have chosen an operation and a clinic, you will be evaluated again by your operating surgeon to ensure that you are a good candidate for the surgery.

If you are serious about losing weight and feel you have no other options, you can start educating yourself on weight loss surgery now.

Safety Concerns

As with any other operation, there are some risks associated with weight loss surgery. Your surgeon will assess your risk level prior to approving you for the operation. As the technology has improved, the risks have been reduced. With some weight loss surgeries, you can even go home the same day.

Weight Loss Surgery vs. Cosmetic Surgery

There are several different surgeries you can get to enhance your physical features: various implants, augmentations, lifts, and shaping. Weight loss surgery is not about vanity, it is about doing whatever it takes to get healthy. Liposuction focuses on small pockets of fat and is thus more of a cosmetic surgery than an actual weight loss surgery.

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (also common referred to as "stomach stapling) on the other hand modifies your body internally to help you lose weight. In just a few months, successful VBG patients may lose up to 50% of their original body mass. At least 50% of people that undergo VBG keep the majority of the weight off long-term.

Because many of these operations are considered major surgeries, weight loss surgery should only be considered as a last resort when diet and exercise alone cannot alleviate the problem.

Other Weight Loss Surgery Issues

While insurance coverage for weight issues is improving along with social awareness, few policies currently cover weight loss surgery. On the plus side, many surgical clinics offering these procedures also offer payment plans.

Be aware that results vary from patient to patient and surgery to surgery. The less you weigh prior to a weight loss surgery, the less you are likely to lose. Other factors like eating habits and exercise can help or hurt your final results.

Be prepared to help yourself post-surgery. For most patients, weight loss surgery is just a starting point. These procedures focus on extracting or flushing fat, not on preventing the absorption of it. Thus if you want to keep the weight off you should be prepared to change your lifestyle choices accordingly. Also be aware that some weight loss surgeries require secondary or complimentary surgeries.

If your weight has spiraled out of control to the point that it is affecting your quality of life, perhaps it is time to consider weight loss surgery.

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