Question: I have a very serious weight problem and have been told that I am a candidate for surgery. What are your thoughts on this?
Answer: Weight loss surgery is certainly an option if you are morbidly obese, but in my opinion, it should always be seen as a last resort. In fact, most physicians have certain requirements that must be met in order to proceed with surgery, and these include documented efforts to lose weight through behavior modification. If these attempts fail, then surgery may be considered as an alternative.
But it's important to recognize that, despite the success stories people often hear, there are significant risks inherent in all surgical procedures. Make no mistake, this is NOT minor surgery. I've seen patients that required months-long stays in the hospital after repeated surgeries to repair leaks and other problems encountered post-op.
And even if the surgery goes well, there are significant challenges that you must overcome when you're getting back into your daily routine at home. For example, the types and amounts of food that you consume at meals will be fundamentally altered after the procedure. And there can be serious repercussions for not changing your eating habits.
If surgery is deemed to be the best option for you, then it's important to choose the appropriate procedure in consultation with your physician. Bottom line - educate yourself on the benefits and risks so that you can make an informed decision.