Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is the umbrella term for a series of medical procedures that help you lose weight.
Bariatric procedures are generally recommended for people who are obese or severely obese. If you have struggled and failed to lose weight, weight loss surgery might be an option.
Each procedure works differently and your doctor will advise you on what treatment best works in your case.
Weight loss surgery can help you improve your health and treat obesity-related conditions, often providing life-changing results.
Below, we are going to give you an overview of who is eligible for bariatric surgery, where to start planning your surgery, and what to expect.
Is weight loss surgery right for you?
Body mass index (BMI) is the general medical benchmark used to determine whether an individual is eligible for weight loss surgery. You can calculate your BMI here.
Typically, patients who meet the following criteria can undergo bariatric surgery:
- BMI ≥ 40, or more than 45 kg overweight
- BMI > 35 and at least one obesity-related disease
- BMI ≥ 32-35 and at least two obesity-related comorbidities e.g. type II diabetes (T2D), hypertension, apnoea and other respiratory diseases, fatty liver, osteoarthritis, lipid disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and/or heart disease
- Patients who have struggled and failed to lose weight with diet or exercise alone
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a non-surgical bariatric procedure that can be performed on patients whose BMI is 27 or higher. This procedure is also recommended for people who need to lose some weight before undergoing a more invasive surgery as it gives them the possibility to lose some weight in advance.
If you have one of these conditions, you may not be eligible for weight loss surgery:
- Blood-clotting disorders
- Severe heart disease (the use of anesthesia may pose a health risk)
- Other medical conditions where anesthesia might compromise your safety
Doctors will decide on an individual basis whether bariatric surgery is the right course of action. If you feel weight loss surgery might be what you’re looking for, get in touch with us anytime. Our team of experienced specialists will walk you through the procedures and assess with you which treatment can help you take back control of your body and health.
How do you start your weight loss journey?
If you’re considering bariatric surgery, the first step is consulting with one of our patient coordinators. They will talk to you about the procedure and ask you questions about your medical record, expectations, and how long you’ve been trying to lose weight.
They will also explain what to expect before and after a weight loss procedure and evaluate whether you’re ready for surgery. They may also address medical, behavioral, or psychological concerns to prepare you for surgery.
Once it has been determined that bariatric surgery is right for you, you will undergo a few preliminary tests to confirm that surgery can be carried out with no health risk. These tests may include:
- Exercise test on a treadmill, ECG, Echocardiography
- Chest x-ray
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Laboratory tests such as morphology, HCV, electrolytes Hbs anti-body, urea, HbsAg, cortisol, vitamin B12, calcium, and more
- Video-gastroscopy with Helicobacter-test, carried out under anaesthesia
A few weeks before bariatric surgery, patients will have to be on a liquid diet to prepare the stomach and liver for the operation. The liquid diet will also help have a safer procedure and prevent complications. The doctor will typically advise a protein-rich diet with the addition of multivitamins or supplements.
What should you expect from weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery can be life-changing. We have helped many patients get the help they needed when no other method seemed to work. It can be very frustrating when diet and exercise don’t seem to give the results you were hoping for. This is where weight loss procedures may help. At the same time, it is very important that patients understand that weight loss surgery is just a piece of the puzzle toward a healthier life.
You should be ready to change your eating behavior as well as follow a regular exercise routine. This is crucial to ensure that surgery is effective and that your weight loss journey is successful. You will not be alone: our team will be beside you before and after surgery to ensure that your treatment goes as planned.
In general, before having weight loss surgery, you can ask yourself the following questions to understand if you are ready:
- Are you motivated to embark on a journey of lifestyle changes?
- Are you ready to drastically change your eating habits and follow a balanced diet?
- Are you willing to set goals for yourself that can help you achieve the desired weight loss?
After weight loss surgery
After the procedure, you will be given aa aftercare treatment plan to follow. It will include your new diet plan, which typically includes a high-protein and low-carb diet. The doctor will also recommend that you eat in small portions, that you chew your food thoroughly, and that you drink plenty of water every day.
Our team will also give you exercise recommendations. Having an exercise routine can help you lose more weight and feel more energetic. Right after the procedure, you will take things slow, increasing the pace in the following weeks until the transition to cardio and strength training. This is a great way to improve your overall health!
At KCM Clinic, we believe that follow-up consultations are crucial to ensure long-term success. This is why we organise weekly psychology and dietary support groups in English, German, and Polish. Moreover, our Facebook group Weight Loss Surgery Poland has welcomed hundreds of patients over the last few years, where they can discuss and share their stories. You are welcome to join!
This may all sound overwhelming but don’t worry: patients adjust slowly to their new lifestyle and you will have time and support to do the same.
Bariatric surgery can change your life for the better. We strongly encourage you to understand if you are ready to embrace all the changes and commitment it brings with it. And if you need support, we’re one click away.
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