Weight Loss Surgery Considerations

This article will discuss important factors to consider before choosing weight loss surgery, including the different types of procedures available, the potential risks and complications, the recovery process, and the necessary lifestyle changes post-surgery. 

By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether weight loss surgery is the right choice for you. If you’re considering options for weight loss including nutritional support, medications, or surgery, our team at Detroit Weight Loss Center, with locations in Southfield and Commerce Charter Twp, is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need. Schedule an appointment today to start your weight loss journey!

Why is Weight Loss Surgery Usually Performed?

Weight loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) is a procedure that helps people lose weight when other methods haven’t worked. It should be considered when someone has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher with obesity-related health problems like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or diabetes

There are different types of weight loss surgeries, but one common type is gastric bypass surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon makes the stomach smaller and changes the way it connects to the intestines.

What is the Psychological Effect of Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery not only changes your body but can also have psychological effects. After bariatric surgery procedures, many people experience a mix of emotions. While they may feel excited about the significant weight loss they achieve, they might also feel anxious or overwhelmed.

One common psychological effect is the adjustment to a new body image. After significant weight loss, people may need time to get used to their new appearance. This adjustment can sometimes lead to feelings of insecurity or even depression.

Another psychological effect is changes in relationships. Some people find that their relationships with friends and family change after weight loss surgery. This can be because of jealousy or because the person who had surgery now has different interests and priorities.

Additionally, some people may struggle with food cravings or emotional eating even after bariatric surgery. It’s important to address these issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms to avoid regaining weight.

Before undergoing weight loss surgery, it’s crucial to consider these psychological effects. It’s also essential to discuss them with a doctor or therapist who can provide support and guidance throughout the bariatric surgery process.

How to Prepare for Weight Loss Procedures

Preparing for weight loss surgery involves several steps to ensure the best possible outcome. Here’s what you can do to get ready for your weight loss procedure:

  1. Educate Yourself: Learn about the different types of weight loss surgeries available, such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and duodenal switch. Understand the benefits, risks, and expected outcomes of each procedure.
  2. Consult with a Bariatric Surgeon: Schedule a consultation with a bariatric surgeon to discuss your options. Your surgeon will evaluate your health, medical history, and weight loss goals to determine the most suitable procedure for you.
  3. Undergo Medical Evaluation: Before surgery, you’ll need to undergo a series of medical tests to assess your overall health. These tests may include blood work, imaging tests, and evaluations by other specialists, such as a cardiologist or pulmonologist.
  4. Nutritional Counseling: Meet with a registered dietitian who specializes in bariatric nutrition. They will provide you with a pre-operative diet plan to help you lose weight and prepare your body for surgery. Following this diet will also help reduce the size of your liver, making surgery safer and easier.
  5. Exercise Routine: Start incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine. Even small changes, like taking short walks, can improve your fitness level and help you recover faster after surgery.
  6. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol: If you smoke, try to quit before surgery, as smoking can increase the risk of complications. Additionally, limit your alcohol intake, as excessive drinking can interfere with your weight loss goals.
  7. Emotional Preparation: Prepare yourself emotionally for the changes that come with weight loss surgery. Consider joining a support group or talking to a therapist who specializes in bariatric surgery to help you manage any anxiety or concerns you may have.

By following these steps and working closely with your healthcare team, you can prepare yourself both physically and emotionally for a successful weight loss surgery journey.

What Happens During Weight Loss Surgery?

During weight loss surgery, the surgeon makes changes to your stomach and sometimes your intestines to help you lose weight. Here’s what happens during a typical weight loss surgery procedure:

  1. Anesthesia: You’ll be given anesthesia to make sure you’re comfortable and asleep during the surgery.
  2. Incisions: The surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen. These incisions allow them to insert small instruments and a camera, which is used to see inside your body during the surgery.
  3. Procedure: There are different types of weight loss surgeries, but they all aim to reduce the size of your stomach and sometimes change the way food moves through your digestive system.
    • Gastric Bypass: In this procedure, the surgeon divides your stomach into a small upper section and a larger bottom section. Then, they connect the small intestine to the smaller stomach pouch, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine.
    • Gastric Sleeve: During a gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach, leaving a small sleeve-shaped section.
    • Single Anastomosis Duodenoileostomy (SADI) with Sleeve Gastrectomy: This powerful surgery adds a loop intestinal bypass and rerouting of intestines after the sleeve-shaped stomach. 
  4. Closing Incisions: After the surgery is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions with stitches or surgical staples.

Weight Loss Surgery Recovery

Recovering from weight loss surgery is an important process that requires time and commitment. Here’s what you can expect during the recovery period:

  1. Hospital Stay: You may go home the same day or have an overnight stay. 
  2. Pain Management: You may experience some mild pain or discomfort after surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort.
  3. Dietary Changes: Initially, you’ll be on a liquid diet, followed by a gradual transition to soft foods and then solid foods. It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s dietary guidelines carefully.
  4. Physical Activity: It’s important to start moving around as soon as possible to prevent blood clots and promote healing.
  5. Follow-Up Appointments: You’ll have regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns.
  6. Lifestyle Changes: After surgery, you’ll need to make significant lifestyle changes, including adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine, to support your weight loss goals and maintain your results.

Weight Loss Surgery Risks

Weight loss surgeries can help people lose a lot of excess weight, but they also come with risks. These risks include blood clots, infection, and problems from the surgery itself. It’s important for anyone considering weight loss surgery to understand these risks and talk to their doctor about whether it’s the right choice for them.

Some common bariatric surgery risks include:

  1. Infection: There is a risk of infection at the site of the incision or internally. We take precautions to prevent and detect these problems to minimize this risk. 
  2. Blood Clots: After surgery, blood clots can form in your legs and potentially travel to other parts of your body, such as your lungs. 
  3. Bleeding: During surgery, there is a risk of bleeding, which may require a blood transfusion.
  4. Gallstones: Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of developing gallstones.
  5. Nutritional Deficiencies: Changes in how your body absorbs nutrients can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blake Movitz at Detroit Weight Loss Center today! Our experienced bariatric surgeon can provide the guidance and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals safely and effectively.

Call us to inquire about our weight loss management program—the “Coaching Corner.” We can work together to help you achieve your health and weight loss goals. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Blake Movitz, MD, FACS