Patients who are morbidly obese and considering undergoing obesity surgery should bear in mind that they also need to dramatically alter their eating habits, a US government agency official has advised.
Dr Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Maryland, US, told Reuters Health that this lifestyle change is necessary in order for the surgery to be successful.
The expert has recently written about obesity surgery in the publications 'Nursing for Women's Health' and 'Health for Women' and revealed: "People who succeed and lose weight and keep it off eat very, very differently.
"Essentially, you've got to eat a whole lot less."
According to Dr Clancy, patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above and those with a BMI of 35 or more who also have a condition such as diabetes are most likely to benefit from obesity surgery, although she stressed that the procedure is not risk-free.
"I think it's really important for all people, women and men, to know about the risks and to be very clear about what they're getting into," she added.
According to Dr David Ashton of the Healthier Weight Centre, obesity surgery is the most effective treatment for patients with chronic weight problems who have been unable to achieve and maintain weight loss through diet and exercise alone.