Three Reasons Why Bariatric Surgery Is Not “The Easy Way Out”
By Andrea Hanson, MS, RDN, LN, Avera Bariatric Dietitian
No matter how we look at it, weight loss is hard. While there are plenty of opinions about bariatric surgery, some people who want to lose weight think of it as “the easy way out.”
As a member of the team that guides patients through this serious surgical approach, I’ll be the first to be honest with you and anyone considering this approach: It’s not an easy way out of being obese, and it’s not a shortcut to a healthier you.
- It’s a major surgical procedure. Although done using minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopy, bariatric surgery is a significant procedure that leads to some serious changes to your internal anatomy. It could mean the complete removal of 80 percent of your stomach, or the creation of a bypass of the stomach that allows malabsorption. No matter what approach the patient and surgeon takes, the procedures come with many of the same risks and complications of other surgeries.
- It’s only one piece of the puzzle. Bariatric surgery is not the “magic fix” some would make it out to be. It’s simply a tool, that when used correctly, can help facilitate weight loss. Think about it this way: you wouldn’t buy a new car, fill it with the wrong fuel, ignore its scheduled oil changes and leave it in “Drive” all the time, right? Bariatric surgery is similar, and your stomach, after surgery, is like this new car. You have to provide it with the right fuel, like protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy and take proper care of it if you want to improve your health and see results.
- There’s no easy way out. When it comes to extreme weight loss, or really any weight loss for that matter, let’s face the facts: there is no easy way out. It takes hard work, devotion and patience to use all the tools available to make progress and your best life. Facing that fact and dedicating yourself to the journey knowing it can make success more likely.
So whether your weight loss journey includes the ups and downs of the dieting roller coaster, or it incorporates an intense exercise-routine or if leads you to an operating room, remember the truth: weight loss is hard!
There is no easy way out, but there are plenty of options, including bariatric surgery with the support of a strong, professional team. It can help you succeed.