Embrace Life Again
It’s February, and love is definitely in the air, but, if you’re living with obesity, you may still not love your body even after working hard to lose weight with diet and exercise. Seeing little or no results from your hard work can be incredibly frustrating.
The good news is that you do have an option which will increase your confidence and make you love your body again: gastric sleeve surgery.
What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery is also known as sleeve gastrectomy and is a form of bariatric surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach. Because of what’s involved with this kind of surgery, it is incredibly important to be aware of certain things prior to the surgery.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Many obese individuals have numerous obesity-related health conditions, all which can hamper self-esteem and quality of life The good news is that with bariatric surgery, you are much more likely to shed these conditions along with the pounds you lose.
Some of the potential benefits of sleeve gastrectomy include:
Remission of Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, gastric sleeve surgery can result in long-term remission of the condition. Remission also means that there will be no need for diabetes medications.
Relief of Joint Pain
The body’s weight-bearing joints are subject to additional stress when there is excess weight to carry. This can make it difficult to maintain an exercise routine, and can also cause damage to the joints, leading to chronic pain, and joint and spine destruction.Weight loss surgery relieves joint stress, which can lead to more mobility as well as the elimination of pain medications.
In both male and female patients of childbearing age, gastric sleeve surgery can improve fertility.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Gastric sleeve surgery can lower your risk of vascular disease, as well as coronary heart disease and stroke. Without excess weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure—the two main contributors to cardiovascular disease—can normalize.
Elimination of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common condition suffered by those with obesity, requiring the use of a CPAP machine. However, following vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the condition often disappears, eliminating the need for the machine.
In addition to the above, weight loss surgery can also alleviate a number of other medical conditions, such as reflux disease, PCOS, legs edema: so-called venous insufficiency, metabolic syndrome, and pregnancy complications, to name but a few.
However, despite the many health benefits of gastric sleeve surgery, and the good chance that the surgery will alleviate many symptoms and conditions, some may remain even months following a successful procedure. Therefore, it’s vital to consider the possibility that counseling or medication may be needed to overcome them.
Being excessively overweight can cause serious depression. Some turn to food as comfort to alleviate these feelings, which can perpetuate obesity. In order to reach weight loss goals, this cycle must be broken. It may be that help is needed to deal with feelings of depression and the unhealthy eating habits it can sometimes perpetuate.
Breaking the cycle can sometimes be difficult, due to the fact that obesity can cause low self-esteem As well, those with obesity may isolate themselves from social situations.
Finally, those dealing with obesity may also face discrimination in being hired for jobs, be stereotyped by friends and family, and feel ostracized, which can only add to the difficulty of breaking the cycle.
In addition, depression can manifest itself after weight loss surgery. In this instance, you may be impacted by the way in which your new body looks, as you may not have seen yourself look this way in years—or ever—depending on how long you’ve been obese. Because of this attachment to your appearance, you may struggle with who you “really” are and have trouble forming an updated sense of self as a result.
Distorted Body Image
Those who already have a distorted body image prior to weight loss surgery may still have the condition even months afterward. This is because body image distortion is a mental perception that can cause you to see yourself in a way that’s different from reality.
A person can still experience a distorted body image even after losing a significant amount of weight due to the fact that mental adjustment to the new look of their body has not yet occurred. Considering that this condition typically manifests itself in childhood and adolescence, it’s easy to see how a distorted body image may have become entrenched in the psyche.
Of course, both depression and distorted body image may also be non-existent following weight loss surgery. However, even with this possibility, it’s a good idea to ensure that a dependable support network exists, including both friends and family, and other types of support.
Options for Support Before and After Surgery
As someone who is either thinking about having weight loss surgery or who is looking for support for emotional changes after gastric sleeve, you do have several options.
Think Outside the Box
There may be activities you wish to partake in but are not able to because you are overweight. Similarly, if you have already had surgery, you may not be ready to participate in these activities. In both instances, it’s important to start thinking about how you will begin to take part.
If you’ve not yet had surgery, consider the new opportunities that will be available to you once you’ve lost the excess weight. It can help to research some of the activities you’re thinking about participating in. You can even make a list of the some of the thing you want to try once you’re living a healthier lifestyle.
If you’ve already had bariatric surgery and have already started participating in these activities, it’s important to concentrate on how different they make you feel. Perhaps you no longer feel short of breath after a few minutes of activity or are no longer in pain when you exercise. Thinking about the positives will help solidify the reality that you are now a healthier person.
Get Involved with a Support Group
Family and friends may not fully understand nor appreciate what you’re going through and, as such, may not know how to help you deal with obesity or weight loss surgery. Where this is the case, a support group can be of great benefit.
There are many online and offline groups in existence, and the fact that you’re interacting with others who are going through a similar experience can go a long way to helping you feel understood and positive about your situation.
Just as with support groups, there are many books on the subject of personal development and learning how to love yourself. This option can be useful if you’re not comfortable in a virtual or physical support group setting. Even if you are already a member of a support group, these books can be a valuable complement, helping to reinforce positive body image and self-talk.
Find a Professional
In many instances, those who are considering weight loss surgery or who have already had it will be meeting with their weight loss doctor or dietician on a regular basis. If this is the case, and you feel overwhelmed by this major life change, they can refer you to resources such as counseling.
The amount and type of counseling you will need will depend on many variables which are unique to you. However, in having access to professionals, you can ensure you remain on the right track with your new, healthier lifestyle.
Taking the First Step
Regardless of how insignificant they may seem to you, each step you take toward a healthier lifestyle is vitally important. In choosing an experienced professional to perform your weight-loss surgery, you’ll be guided every step of the way, verify your professional credentials, reviews, and his or her available support program before the surgery.
The right professionals for you will be ones who have dedicated themselves to helping you maintain your healthy weight, not just complete the procedure. Ideally, the professional you choose should offer both pre- and post-surgery support. It’s this compassionate approach that will allow you to remain healthy for life.
Bariatric Care Centers understands how our patients feel; as such, each of our patients is treated with the utmost dignity, privacy, and respect. The long-lasting relationships we have with our patients, as well as the provision of full and complete support and guidance, are what make us the choice of so many in the Houston Metro Area.
Our highly trained team can help you lose weight and achieve the healthy lifestyle goals you’ve set; call 713-339-1353 and book your free consultation today.
This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, posts, or videos. Each patient has individual needs and limitations that only his or her treating physicians can be aware of.
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