Independent advice on private healthcare
Should I consider obesity surgery?
If non-surgical treatments have not helped you to lose weight and keep it off, you still have another option. Studies show that weight-loss surgery can be an extremely effective and safe option for those who have been unable to lose weight using other approaches. Some people are reluctant to consider weight loss / obesity surgery because they think it is an admission of failure, that if they only had more willpower they should be able to manage on their own. This is neither a realistic nor an accurate assessment of what is actually going on.
The first thing to remember is that appetite regulation in humans is exceedingly complex and controlled by many chemical and hormonal messengers. Some individuals – for reasons we do not yet understand – find it difficult control their appetite in the normal way. For these people it becomes a constant struggle to resist the drive to eat; in effect they have to wage war against their own biology. So there is no reason to feel ashamed about this. On the contrary, it takes real courage to admit that you just cannot manage to achieve sustained weight loss and have come to the end of the line and need help.
Despite what you may have been told or read, for the majority of people obesity surgery is emphatically not a high-risk option. With modern anaesthetic and surgical techniques, complications associated with weight loss surgery can be kept to an absolute minimum and whatever small risks there may be, these have to be set against the potentially dramatic health benefits of surgery.
You must also remember that obesity is a disease. Being seriously overweight represents a major threat to your long-term health. Indeed, if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40+, you have only a 1 in 7 chance of a normal life-expectancy. So although it is true that any form of surgery carries a risk, this has to be set against the risk of doing nothing – which may be much greater.
The good news is that obesity surgery can change all that! It can reduce or even entirely eliminate health risks for major diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke and can add enormously to the quality of your life through improved mobility, self-confidence and self-esteem. Recent evidence also shows that it has a dramatic effect on long-term survival rates.
Obesity surgery and weight loss surgery guide
- Types of obesity surgery
- Risks of surgery
- Benefits of surgery