Is Bariatric Surgery Right for You?

Bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery can be an important tool to help people manage severe obesity and the health consequences it can bring. As you make that decision, consider these questions.


What is your BMI? A measure of weight-to-height ratio, your body mass index can show how much extra weight you are carrying (unless you are exceptionally muscular). If your BMI is more than 40, or if it is more than 35 with an accompanying health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may be a candidate for surgery. (Calculate your BMI: gwinnettbariatrics.com)


The body mass index (BMI) uses a ratio of your height to weight to approximate your body fat. Some medical professionals feel that BMI is a more reflective and important number to consider when assessing your weight. Carrying too much weight can cause many serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and pregnancy complications. According to experts, fat is more important to measure than weight since excessive fatness is the true definition of obesity. But BMI is not without its limits.


The BMI tool cannot distinguish between lean muscle mass and body fat and may overestimate the level of body fat in some people (i.e. athletes and body builders). In fact, two individuals with the same BMI might have a widely different percentage of body fat. In those cases, more sophisticated measuring devices, such as immersion tanks, might be used to provide a more accurate reading.

But for the majority of us, BMI offers a good gauge as to how we’re doing weight wise.
Here are the general BMI ranges for adults: 
  • Less than 18 means you are underweight. 
  • Less than 18.5 indicates you are thin for your height. 
  • A BMI between 18.6 and 24.9 indicates you are at a healthy weight. 
  • A BMI between 25 and 29.9 suggests you are overweight for your height. 
  • A BMI of 30 or greater indicates obesity. 
Have you tried to lose weight? To qualify for surgery, you must have tried unsuccessfully to manage your weight through diet and exercise. “For many weight loss patients, diets don’t work and never will,” says Merle Cantor Goldberg, LCSW, coauthor of Weight Loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?
 
Are you prepared to change your life? Surgery doesn’t cure obesity, but for many people it does make significant weight loss possible for the first time. You will need to commit to frequent doctor visits, support groups and behavior modification after the surgery. If you’re considering weight-loss surgery, your doctor can help you evaluate whether it is right for you.


There are times when dieting and exercise alone are not the answer. Sometimes losing excess body weight and keeping it off requires more than simply changing habits. We offer a range of proven bariatric surgical options as well as a complete support program to help patients lose weight and keep it off. Our comprehensive program includes a physical fitness program, life coaching classes, support groups, pre- and post-surgery educational workshops, nutrition counseling, cooking classes, massage therapy and a clothing exchange closet.


The Center for Surgical Management at Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, has the expert staff to offer the latest surgical weight loss and weight management options. Our goal is to help patients successfully deal with obesity-related medical conditions in the safest, most effective way possible for them.

Source: Obesity Action Coalition

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