Reasons Why Weight Loss Surgeries Do Not Work
Life after a weight loss surgery can be full of surprises as it can either give you positive or negative results. Different people have different reasons for undergoing bariatric surgery ranging from health risks associated with obesity to the desire of improving one’s self-esteem. Although the procedure may help you reduce your excess body fat, it is still possible to gain weight after the surgery. Some weight-loss surgeries may bring about serious health complications that could be life threatening. This article looks at some of the reasons why weight loss surgeries do not work and what other doctors may forget to mention when providing pre- and post-op guidance.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Complications
Complications that may arise after having a weight loss surgery may prevent you from losing weight, adding to problems that existed before the surgery. Creating a larger size stomach pouch during bariatric surgery can facilitate poor weight loss as the stomach may eventually grow back to its normal size. The use of the gastric band to reduce the size of the patients’ stomach may only be effective for the short term but can cause complications over time. Gastric band erosion is one of the major drawbacks of this type of weight-loss procedure as it may start growing into the stomach. Once it stops restricting the organ, it can make you feel hungry again and you may start regaining weight just like before.
Medical Conditions Associated with Obesity
Obese patients may develop other medical conditions known as comorbidities, which are associated with excess weight. Diabetes is one of the most common comorbidities for obesity that may not respond well to your weight-loss surgery. Diabetic patients need to take insulin and other medications that stimulate the production of cholesterol and fat, which may reduce your chances of losing weight. Other factors that may cause diabetic patients to gain weight include a protective increase in the amount of calorie intake to facilitate the reduction of urinary glucose losses, treat hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and encourage sodium and water retention.
Lack of Compliance
Patients are required to follow a strict diet and exercise program after their weight loss surgery to assess their progress. This is done to decrease the possibility of side effects, promote healing, and increase weight loss. However, patients who do not follow recommendations from their medical healthcare team regarding a healthy diet and exercise may reduce their chances of weight loss or suffer side effects that may lead to serious health complications. It is likely for some people to get bored or give up after their surgery because of the strict lifestyle inflicted on them by their physicians or healthcare professionals causing them to resume their old life and unhealthy eating habits.
Anxiety and Depression
Many weight loss patients usually have mixed feelings after surgery because of the excess skin hanging from their bodies. Loose or sagging skin is a common side effect of a rapid weight loss procedure that is often given little consideration before the surgery. Many patients suffer from anxiety and depression after a weight loss surgery as they have a hard time adjusting to their new look and lifestyle. This happens because of unpreparedness for the risks associated with weight loss surgery and loose skin is one of the common consequences that can lower an individual’s self-esteem or promote a negative self-image. Corrective surgery can help fix loose skin but cannot be done unless it is deemed medically necessary.
Maintaining Weight Loss Results in the Long Term
Having a weight-loss surgery does not mean that you will continue to lose weight for the rest of your life. It depends on other factors such as following a healthy lifestyle and visiting a physician regularly to achieve long-term results. The patient’s ability to incorporate new lifestyle changes and maintain them for several years after the procedure is what determines a successful weight loss after bariatric surgery. The only way to get back on track and ensure long-term weight loss after your surgical procedure is by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and scheduling frequent visits with your physician.
Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix or a magic pill to losing a lot of weight. Just like anything that requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice, weight-loss surgery can be too challenging and there are times when you may feel like giving up. There is no need for undergoing bariatric surgery if you can lose weight with normal weight loss procedures. It is important to exhaust natural weight loss options and understand the consequences of bariatric surgery before the procedure to make a wise decision on what works best for you.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.