Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?
If you’re interested in finding out more about weight loss surgery, it’s important to understand the criteria. The main requirements are:
- Aged 16 to 65 years.
- Have a BMI of at least 35, or a BMI of at least 30 with one or more weight-related medical complications (e.g. type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea).
- Be prepared to make changes to your lifestyle to support your long-term health.
There are also other things to consider, such as:
- Being unable to maintain weight loss in the past.
- Being limited by your excess weight, such as your ability to socialise and undertake normal daily activities.
- Your excess weight impacting your health and causing/exacerbating other medical issues.
Understanding weight loss surgery
Most patients who present for weight loss surgery have already done extensive research, trawling online forums and websites, or spending countless hours talking to relatives, friends or a health practitioner. Many people also know someone who has had weight loss surgery.
But there’s a lot of information out in the world, and not all of it is true. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, it’s important to discuss it with a trained and experienced surgeon, who understands your exact situation and medical history.
Which weight loss surgery is best?
The short story is that there is no clearly superior treatment. Each operation has its advantages and disadvantages, and not all surgeons do all operations. Sometimes because they have more experience in certain procedures, they may interpret scientific literature to favour one or local facilities may be better suited to one than the other.
There are 3 ways in which weight loss surgery works:
- Limiting the amount of food stored in the stomach.
- Limiting the absorption of food.
- Causing hormonal changes that are produced by your gut (affecting your metabolism and reducing hunger).
In Australia the 4 commonly used operations are:
When considering which procedure is right for you, you must consider the scientific results as well as your own personal preferences. You may have a friend or relative who has been through one of the procedures with good results. They may have a good understanding of what is required for success, have extensive knowledge they can share with you, and perhaps have even offered to be a support person during your journey to better health. If that is the case, these personal factors may be a strong factor in your choice of operation, and you should not ignore this opportunity.
There is no right or wrong answer, so you need to carefully listen to your surgeon, so you understand what options are available, and what is recommended to yield the best results in your unique case.
If you would like to discuss the weight loss surgery options available, call us on (08) 8465 6300 or make an appointment to see one of our surgeons today.