Category Archives: Getting Started
Have you found that what seems like endless days of dieting slowly yield fewer and fewer incremental pounds lost? Today, we will discuss why obese patients who try to embark on dietary restriction alone have difficulty maintaining their weight loss progress and often end up regaining their weight.
Restricting your caloric intake is the fastest way to lose weight, certainly at the beginning of your dietary program. Avoiding ingesting calories in the first place is far easier than burning them off later, either through exercise or resting metabolic activity. However, the human body is incredibly adaptable and will make changes to compensate for this reduced caloric intake. The body, which has considered your higher weight as normal for years, will work hard to maintain what it wrongly believes to be an equilibrium. We now know that the body develops a sort of set point. It will adjust the metabolism and how it stores fat to maintain that setpoint. Dieting alone is often insufficient to break through and continue losing weight long-term.
One of the biggest hurdles to patients looking to have bariatric surgery involves preop testing. And while we would love to provide each patient with a quick way to push through to surgery, pre op testing plays an incredibly important role in the safety and effectiveness of the bariatric procedure. Cardiovascular and pulmonary testing helps ensure that the patient is suitable for surgery and that the anesthesia and trauma to the body from the surgical procedure doesn’t cause significant issues. Psychological testing is also used to make the patient aware of their responsibilities after surgery dash mostly that surgery is not a magic bullet dash and prepare them for what’s to come.
Most of our patients start their weight loss surgery process with a great deal of enthusiasm and motivation. But as they start navigating what can be up to six months of pre-operative preparation, they can become frustrated and ultimately drop out from the process. So, what can we do to keep that motivation level up and push through the pre-op process as quickly and efficiently as possible?
You are in an incredible place. You’ve done the research, met, and chosen a surgeon, feel comfortable with the staff and the support plan, and above all else, are putting yourself first for probably the first time in quite a while. You are ready to have bariatric surgery and are committed to whatever it takes to ensure the success of your procedure and the long-term results.
What many of us forget to add to our checklist are the very real conversations that need to be had with family and friends. Some of you have already done this, weighing their opinions and thoughts during the decision-making process. While some have family and friends who are solid sounding boards and cheerleaders for their life decisions, not everyone has that type of support system. Some actually have friends and family who have not only challenged their decision to undergo surgery but have probably even contributed to the negative feelings about themselves and led to the coping behaviors, like food, which medicated these tough relationships for years.
Insurance coverage is one of the most asked about topics when it comes to bariatric surgery. Patients are often surprised to learn that weight loss surgery is a covered benefit under many insurance policies. But coverage does not necessarily mean no cost to the patient or that you can have surgery tomorrow. Many factors come into play when determining what your cost for surgery might be, when all is said and done. Our team will work with you to help you navigate this process, but we always encourage patients to become familiar with their policy, as ultimately, it is the responsibility of the patient. From obesity coverage to your tailored surgery estimate, our team will be with you every step of the way to help you feel comfortable with the financial side of weight loss surgery.
When prospective patients start their bariatric surgery research, it can get confusing…fast. Most diet and exercise programs fail to offer long-term results on their own 5 or 10 years out, even if lots of weight is lost in the short-term. We also know that living with excess weight, especially morbid obesity, is not sustainable and is the fast track toward many serious follow-on diseases. So, how do we figure out what works and what doesn’t and most importantly the best option for our particular circumstance?
Non-surgical Versus Surgical Weight Loss
One of the first decisions we have to make revolves around the mechanism for losing weight. Non-surgical weight loss, in the form of physician supervised weight loss programs or weight loss medication, have some proven effectiveness. Many patients will lose up to 30% of their excess bodyweight and can often maintain it – but only as long as they continue the program. This is where non-surgical weight loss fails; only a small number of people are able to maintain their weight once they end the program.