Eating Disorders a Concern After Bariatric Surgery

While many people who undergo bariatric surgery and follow post-operative instructions well tend to flourish as they race toward their weight-loss goals, some patients may develop a whole new set of problems. For some, eating disorders may complicate post-operative days leading to aew set of concerns for patients and their doctors.

The Johns Hopkins Eating Disorder Program reports that up to 10 percent of its patients are now post-surgical. Some patients suffered eating disorders, such as binge eating, prior to surgery. Others, however, develop anorexia or bulimia following their surgeries. These individuals tend to obsess over every bite of food taken and may sometimes turn post-surgical vomiting into a habit, doctors warn.

Although post-surgical eating disorders are relatively rare, the numbers are high enough for Johns Hopkins’ doctors to warn that potential weight-loss surgery patients should be carefully screened and those who undergo such procedures should have enhanced post-surgical follow-up. Support groups designed to extend care to patients after surgery can be especially helpful, as well.

People who are morbidly obese may find that weight-loss surgery provides them the assistance they need to shed pounds and keep them off. Patients, however, are urged to carefully explore the options and understand the potential pros and cons of such surgery. While research has shown bariatric surgery can lower the risks of such conditions as diabetes and heart disease, it is import for patients to understand surgical procedures are not magic bullets. Patients need to do their part to ensure a healthy recovery. Surgery isn’t a diet – it’s meant to help make diets more effective.

If you or a loved one is considering weight loss surgery, it’s recommended that advice from a qualified bariatric surgeon be sought out. Patients are generally screened closely to ensure they are good candidates for procedures. Reputable weight-loss surgeons also make sure their patients have access to the follow-up care and support required to successfully transition into post-surgical life. When patients go into this type of surgery with their eyes wide open, guided by a reputable medical team, the results can make a difference in health and patients’ lives.

Can Bariatric Surgery Change Your Life?

Carrying around an extra 100 or more pounds on a daily basis can take its toll on a person’s life in the present and future. When those pounds come off, however, some people find they feel better, look better and are much less likely to develop serious weight-related medical conditions. With that in mind, many seriously obese people consider the solution that bariatric surgery can provide for them.

While bariatric surgery has proven itself incredibly helpful for assisting those who struggle with excess weight, there are some things patients need to understand. Bariatric surgery is not a magic solution that will guarantee weight lost is kept off forever. It can have dramatic impacts in helping diets become much more successful, but it is up to the patient – not the surgeon – to produce effects that truly change lives.

What Patients Need to Know

Bariatric surgery has been the focus of much study in recent years with most studies finding it can truly prove to be the boost those suffering from obesity need to shed the pounds. That said, however, patients need to understand that:

• Bariatric surgery alone won’t do the trick – In order for patients to experience success, they must follow post-surgical diets and even begin exercise routines.
• Bariatric surgery is often permanent – While it’s not always the case, many types of bariatric surgery involved the permanent alteration of the stomach. Patients who opt to go in that direction will find what is done cannot be undone.
• Support following surgery must continue – Bariatric surgery patients often seek out and receive a great deal of support in the first few months to years after surgery. After about the three-year mark, however, some drop up from obtaining continued support and see their weight climb as a result. The struggle with weight is often a life-long concern, even if surgery is performed.
• The surgery is not the diet – Weight loss surgery is not a diet. It is meant to help make diets more effective.

People who are considering weight loss surgery are urged to speak with a licensed healthcare provider. This option can help the pounds come off, but it’s up to patients to ensure that the results are truly life-changing.