How to Decide Which Surgery to Have
Deciding what surgery to have is the first step in a weight loss surgery journey. It can be confusing to figure out what surgery to have. When you first start thinking about surgery, you might start searching the internet to see people’s experiences. This is one of the first things I did when I was considering the surgery. It is great to see the success of other people. Surgery can be scary and many times this is the first surgery for people. Seeing other people go through it can help put your anxiety at ease. There is an amazing bariatric community through Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Facebook has many support groups where people share their experiences, both the good and the hard times about the surgery. In addition, YouTube has a great number of videos, both from the patient’s perspective as well as the doctors. Instagram is a great platform to see before and after photos of people who have gone through the surgery. I encourage you to use social media to see the success of other patients if you are feeling nervous about the procedure.
Social media can really help with getting information about the different surgeries. However, this can’t be the only thing you use to decide what surgery to have. I highly recommend that you do research on all the surgeries. Read about success rates, side effects, pre op procedures, how the surgery works, and other statistics. Something that was important to me was figuring out which surgery had the greatest chance for long term success. There are pros and cons to each surgery but doing research will help you in figuring out what surgery is best for you. Through research you will see that gastric bypass is typically for people with obesity related issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. You will also see that 50% of patients regain some sort of their weight back after weight loss surgery. I mention this not to scare you, but to inform you of some of the key facts you need to research before committing to the surgery.
Social media and research can help you tremendously when you are trying to decide which surgery to have. However, the most important thing you should do is talk with your surgeon to see which surgery they recommend. I went into my first appointment with the idea that I was going to have gastric bypass. My surgeon discussed all the procedures with me, and I felt more confident with having the surgery after meeting with him. After our discussion, he told me that he would recommend gastric sleeve over gastric bypass. This was because I did not have any other comorbidities, other than pseudotumor cerebri. My age also played a role in his reasoning behind recommending gastric sleeve. In the end, he told me that it would be best to start with gastric sleeve, and then convert to gastric bypass if any issues came up after surgery. After discussing with him, I felt more confident about having the surgery and was extremely excited.
If you are considering weight loss surgery, I highly recommend that you do your homework. This is a lifechanging procedure and you must be prepared for the changes that will come with the surgery. Even though the surgeries are similar, there are different side effects for each of them. Make sure you take the time to do research and figure out which surgery is right for you. Trust your doctor and if you need to, get a second opinion. I know it can be scary when you are first starting this journey, but trust in yourself that you will make the right decision for you. You might even find after research that weight loss surgery isn’t for you. Regardless, doing research and talking with your surgeon will set you up for success and help get you on the right path towards a healthier you.
- Kimberly H.