Weight loss surgery is a serious, life-changing weight loss tool. It is recommended for individuals who have exhausted all other weight loss methods and are facing health complications from obesity.
The emotional/behavioral side of the weight loss surgery process is more significant than many people realize. Relationships with food, self-esteem, body image, emotions, and coping skills are all intricately tangled up in this weight loss journey.
While diets are known to be ineffective, research indicates that a number of weight loss surgery patients will regain some or all of their weight. Lasting success depends a great deal on the patient's ability - despite normal barriers - to stay committed to a life-long plan of self care. That plan includes much more than food.
Psychological clearance for surgery doesn't guarantee success. More support is often needed. The "honeymoon period" of weight loss surgery typically lasts about six months and then the patient must depend less on the surgical tool and more on him/herself to continue weight loss or maintenance. One to two years post-surgery, maintenane is even more the patient's responsibility, because many of the barriers that surgery may have put in place to help the weight come off are no longer there.
These realities highlight the importance of comprehensive, multidisciplinary support both before and after surgery in order to promote each patient's best chance for lifelong success.
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