What you need to know about weight loss surgery

If there are 100 people in a room and all meet the criteria for weight loss surgery, the numbers show only one person will actually have the surgery. An expert on the surgery in Michigan tells us many people are missing out on this life-changing opportunity. 

Should you consider weight loss surgery? Consider how many of the following things describe you: 

"If someone is more than 75 pounds over an ideal body weight; if they've tried some structured weight loss program; and if they have health conditions they want to improve or get rid of - things like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, chronic back pain or other joint issues - they certainly could benefit from surgery," lists Dr. Kevin Krause. 

He's the Director of Bariatric Surgery at Beaumont Hospital, and says only 1 percent of people who qualify for the surgery choose to have it. Why is that? 

"I think of a lot of it can be fear. Change is always daunting," he says. And your relationship with food would change. Drastically. 

It's both a mental and a physical change. With gastric bypass, food actually is rerouted to bypass most of your stomach. Or there's the gastric sleeve, which removes about 80 percent of your stomach, creating a "sleeve" shape. 

"You have a functional small stomach and so the way you eat is different. You eat very small portions and fill up quickly. And so it's really, small meals throughout the day," Dr. Krause says.

We've all heard the stories, too, of patients gaining the weight back after surgery, but Dr. Krause says if you put in the work - it works. 

"We look at the numbers, the vast majority of people are successful both at achieving the weight and maintaining it over time," he says. "So about 85 percent of people in the long term will maintain the vast majority of weight loss they've achieved, but those people are working on it. It's going to be a lifetime task to continue to work to maintain that success you've achieved."

The bottom line: do your research and don't commit once you're mentally ready. 

If you'd like more information, you can get some here from Beaumont online here.