Bariatric surgery, often referred to as weight-loss surgery, alters both the structure and function of your digestive system. Northern Virginia weight loss surgery can be instrumental in shedding excess weight and managing medical conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
Various surgical procedures fall under the umbrella of weight-loss surgery, with the common goal of reducing your food intake and, in some cases, limiting nutrient absorption. In the United States, sleeve gastrectomy is the most prevalent weight-loss surgery, involving the removal of a significant portion of the stomach to create a tube-like sleeve.
It’s crucial to recognize that weight-loss surgery represents just one facet of a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan will encompass dietary guidance, physical activity, and mental health care. Achieving your weight-loss objectives requires a long-term commitment to following this plan.
If you’re contemplating weight-loss surgery, you’ll consult with multiple specialists who will assist you in determining whether it’s a suitable option for your individual circumstances.
What are the Medical Guidelines?
The criteria for weight-loss surgery are generally determined by body mass index (BMI), a formula that considers weight and height to estimate body fat. For adults, weight-loss surgery may be considered if the BMI is 40 or higher. Additionally, it can be an option for adults who meet the following conditions:
- BMI of 35 or higher
- At least one obesity-related medical condition
- A minimum of six months of supervised weight-loss efforts
In certain situations, weight-loss surgery might be appropriate for adolescents, with guidelines as follows:
- BMI of 40 or higher and the presence of any obesity-related medical condition
- BMI of 35 or higher and a severe obesity-related medical condition
For adolescents, rather than relying solely on BMI numbers, surgeons may refer to growth charts that establish the typical BMI range for each age. The decision to recommend the procedure would depend on how much an adolescent’s BMI exceeds the standard BMI range.
It’s worth noting that, based on the type and severity of obesity-related conditions, some adults or adolescents with lower BMIs may still be eligible for weight-loss surgery.
How to Know if You’re Ready for Surgery
Wondering if Northern Virginia weight-loss surgery is right for you? During the consultation process, you’ll collaborate with a healthcare team comprising various professionals, such as:
- Primary care doctor
- Nurse with expertise in weight management
- Psychologist or psychiatrist
- Potentially, other specialists based on your specific medical conditions
Each member of your team will guide you through the process, outlining expectations both before and after the procedure. They will assess your readiness for surgery and assist in determining if it’s a suitable option for your circumstances. Additionally, they may identify and address any medical, behavioral, or psychological concerns that require attention prior to proceeding with the surgery.
Behavioral and Mental Health
Post-surgery weight loss is based on your ability to modify eating and exercise behaviors. Moreover, maintaining good mental health is crucial for successfully adhering to your treatment plan. Your healthcare team’s objectives include recognizing psychological or behavioral risk factors, addressing any issues, and determining your readiness for surgery.
[Related: Weight Loss & Mental Health]
Northern Virginia Weight Loss Surgery
If you are considering weight loss surgery, its essential to have a bariatric dietician in your corner. The support, knowledge, and guidance that you receive from them is truly invaluable during your weight loss journey. To learn more, please contact Maryland Bariatrics today.