Would YOU Have Surgery for Weight Loss?

by Suzette Kroll, RD
(Tucson, AZ)

Weight Loss Surgeon

Weight Loss Surgeon

Would you have surgery for weight loss?

(Have you already had it? Go here to tell us about it!)

I'm gathering opinions on the subject of weight loss surgery. Would you consider it? (There's no right or wrong answer.) What's your opinion? Is surgery for weight loss an answer?

Answer here | See the replies

Being a dietitian, I can see both sides of the argument.

On one hand, all a person has to do is eat less and exercise more to lose weight. Why is that so hard for most of us? Is surgery necessary to make us eat less? Do we really need surgery to make us exercise self control?

At any given time 45% of women and 30% of men in the United States are trying to exercise self control and lose weight. Unfortunately, statistics suggest most of them will be unsuccessful in the long run.

It pains me to admit that only a very small percentage of people are able to successfully lose weight and keep it off. The odds are not good. While weight loss (and maintenance of weight loss) is possible, it's not probable.

That thought alone sends me into mid life crisis mode.

I've spent the last 18 years of my life devoted to helping people lose weight. Have I been wasting my time? Should I continue to hold on to such hope and belief that weight loss success is possible when the odds suggest just the opposite?

Well, yes. I'll probably be the most hopeful person and the best rah-rah coach that I naturally am until my dying day. And I like to think that my patients (and website visitors!) beat the odds more than most.

However, at the same time, I'm able to maintain an understanding and appreciation of surgery for weight loss when it's indicated.

It's a well known fact that obesity and being overweight are associated with a number of health conditions including (but not limited to):

  • metabolic syndrome

  • hypertension

  • type 2 diabetes

  • coronary heart disease

  • high cholesterol

  • sleep apnea

  • gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)

These conditions are an extreme cost to our health care system, but can often be corrected by weight loss.

If a person has a 90% or greater chance of resolving or improving type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea or GERD as a result of weight loss surgery, when they have a slim to none chance of losing weight on their own and never resolving those health issues, why wouldn't it be a good choice?

Is surgery for weight loss therefore a reasonable option?

Do you consider weight loss surgery a viable option or do you see it as "an easy way out?" Do you think it treats the symptom (excess weight) without treating the disease (poor eating habits)?

What's your opinion?

Comments for Would YOU Have Surgery for Weight Loss?

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I wouldn't, but I've seen good results
by: Anonymous

I personally don't believe in weight loss surgery, nor would ever have it myself.

However, my best friend was obese and had the lap-band surgery. Although I didn't agree with her choice, I was supportive of her decision and I'm happy to say I've seen her lose 60 pounds and improve her health and self esteem.

She'd been trying to lose weight her whole life and had never been successful until the surgery. She'd always "cheat" because she could, and with the lap-band, she simply can't. If she eats too much, she'll throw up.

I wish she didn't have to go to such an extreme, but apparently it's what she needed.

I hope that she keeps the weight off.

by: Anonymous


Having been banded
by: Anonymous

I believe surgery is the last resort and that poor eating habit is the cause... But many people have a cause of something in their life... Only god walked on water, the rest just have to tread.

My opinion is that when you have nothing left to try because you have failed for so long that you weight becomes more of a life threatening experience than the surgery itself, then it is time to make the step to a better health. For me being over weight as much as I was became a reason to be overweight, I hated myself for what I had done to my body and that became a reason to eat, for comfort. For me there has been a lot of emotional healing being 100lbs lighter than I was a year ago, and I love my life again. I understand my emotional eating pattern and mostly recognize it, but it sure is nice to have a daily reminder that you have to remember. It keeps me from falling back into that trap and address the stuff that is making me want to eat that is not attached to the hunger itself.

If i had it to do again, I would have years ago...

by: CatJasper

I am going to have gastric bypass on Sep 23, 2008...and I can't wait (no pun intented).
I am 55 years old and I have be fighting a weight problem all of my life. I need and want the help and health that gastric bypass will give me. The last 6 years have been even more of a challenge and I now have several of the co-morbidities that go with being over weight. This surgery will chance my life forever and for the better! I consider this coming time as a whole new chapter in my life.

Yes! I had Duodenal Switch
by: Bev C

Yes, I would have weight loss surgery and did! In March 08 I had Duodenal Switch surgery. I am 7 months post-op, down 100 lbs, and am over half way to my goal weight. I researched all the options and this was the best one for me. It has the highest excess weight loss and maintenance but it does require you to be vitamin compliant and have your blood work monitored regularly. Contrary to the diarrhea people like to talk about with this surgery I have regular (1 to 2 a day) firm bowel movements. No one would have surgery to lose weight if they were going to be on the toilet all day. So do your research when looking into surgery and make sure you get the facts.

i had the surgery
by: rachel from kentucky

I had the roux-en-y on April 21,2010 and it was the best decision I could have ever made for not only myself but for my family as well.

It has only been 3 months since my surgery and I have lost 60 lbs so far and am still losing.

Before my surgery I had tried everything possible to lose weight and nothing was lasting long term. I had no complications and was only in the hospital for 2 days.

I would only suggest this surgery to those who intend on eating the right way after their surgery and not those intending on having this for a quick fix.

The surgery is the easiest part..the maintaining your new eating habits and exercise is the hard part.

I am very much happy with my decision in having surgery. It is changing my life in such a positive way.

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