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.


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