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Healthy Expectations of Weight Loss Surgery

May 30, 2014 | Uncategorized

Setting reasonable expectations of weight loss surgery is crucial to enjoying a successful outcome. At Texas Laparoscopic Consultants, we work alongside our bariatric patients to help them understand what is and isn’t possible with surgery. Bariatric surgery isn’t a magic solution to obesity. It’s a tool that requires dedication and commitment to achieve the desired results.

This is an important issue to address during the pre-operative stages. According to a study that was published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, research from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Boston Medical Center suggests that patients set unrealistically high expectations for weight loss after surgery.

We have found that the people who struggle most to stay committed or dedicated do so because they have set unrealistic expectations. Failing to meet high or ambitious expectations right away may cause someone to give up early in the process and feel as though they’ve failed.

Realistic Weight Loss

The lead author of the study, Christina Wee, MD, MPH, of BIDMC, cautioned that some “patients and health providers may focus on the best case scenario in the short-term rather than the reality of how much weight loss is actually maintained over the long-term after weight loss surgery.” What Wee infers is that some patients place the emphasis on losing a lot of weight quickly after surgery, rather than sustaining reasonable and steady weight loss over time.

As the saying goes, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” You may find that you lose a lot of weight right after surgery but that your weight loss tapers off. Keep this in mind as you go through your weight loss surgery journey. If your weight loss does plateau after a few months, consult with our team of professionals to recalibrate your diet and exercise efforts.

Lifestyle Changes

It’s also important to be realistic about the changes you will have to make to your lifestyle. As previously mentioned, weight loss surgery is simply a tool to make it easier to lose weight. It’s up to you to make the necessary lifestyle changes to facilitate steady weight loss. If you continue to live your pre-operative lifestyle, you likely won’t be able to enjoy optimal results.

For example, you will need to make exercise and activity a priority, even on days when you don’t feel energetic or enthusiastic about it. You may need to adjust your schedule to accommodate trips to the gym, hikes with your family and fitness classes. Sacrifices may need to be made in order to stay active.

Also, since you’ll be on a strict post-operative diet, you may need to change the way you approach activities that revolve around eating, such as office potlucks, going to restaurants and attending family holiday gatherings. You may need to plan ahead to look at menus or to prepare a healthy dish to bring. Additionally, you may not be able to drink socially anymore, as alcohol may affect you differently after surgery.

Don’t worry: these lifestyle changes may seem overwhelming but our team will support you throughout your journey and give you tips and tricks to successfully manage your life after weight loss surgery. We are your partner and your biggest source of support!

Talk to Our Team

If you’re considering bariatric surgery and have questions about setting appropriate expectations for yourself, contact TLC by calling (713) 264-8024 or sending us an email today.

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BMI < 20
BMI 20 - 24.9
healthy weight
BMI 25 - 29.9
BMI 30 - 34.9
BMI 35 - 39.9
severe obesity
BMI 40 - 49.9
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super morbid obesity


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