Having weight loss surgery is a process, and that process actually starts long before you actually go under the knife. Most patients work with a team of doctors and surgeons for at least a month or two before their surgery is scheduled to ensure they really are a good candidate for the procedure, and also to ensure they know exactly what to expect. So there are a lot of steps that need to be taken before you can actually have weight loss surgery. But how do you know you're ready to take the first step and schedule that first consultation with a doctor who offers weight loss surgery? Well, you ask yourself these questions.
Have you tried several traditional diet-and-exercise weight loss routines?
Most doctors will not approve you for surgery unless you have tried, and failed, to lose weight with diet and exercise. And while people sometimes think of weight loss surgery as an easy way out, it's actually a lot to go through. If you're capable of losing weight via diet and exercise, this is usually easier in the long run. So you really do not want to pursue weight loss surgery unless you've tried several diet and exercise approaches to no avail.
Are you dealing with other health problems as a result of your weight?
Being overweight is not good for your overall health. Eventually, it tends to lead to consequences such as heart disease, diabetes, skin infections, and sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with another health condition related to your weight, then it is really important to move forward in your weight loss efforts, and surgery may be the best way for you to do that.
Do you have time to dedicate to recovery?
It takes many patients a month or more to recover from weight loss surgery to the degree that they're able to return to work and everyday life. Some procedures, like the gastric band procedure, can have a shorter recovery time for some patients, but you still want to ensure you have lots of time set aside in case there are complications you need to overcome. If you are able to take a month off, then this is a sign you're ready to take steps towards weight loss surgery.
Weight loss surgery can be really effective, but it's not for everyone. If you struggle to lose weight via diet and exercise, have a month to dedicate to recovery, and have health conditions related to your weight, you should look further into surgery.