8 Reasons Not to Have Bariatric Surgery 

Reasons Not to Have Bariatric Surgery

While undergoing bariatric surgery to help aid in weight loss is an option for many patients, it may not be an option for some due to various reasons. To determine if bariatric surgery is right for you and your needs, your bariatric surgeon will give you an individualized examination and assess your previous medical history. 

Your BMI is Too Low

In order to qualify for weight loss surgery, patients will need to be above a certain threshold when it comes to their BMI. Patients that have too low of a BMI may qualify for other interventions or options. A BMI of 30 or more alongside an obesity related condition or a BMI of 40 or greater is required to have weight loss surgery. Having a minimum requirement for BMI is to help ensure the safety of the patient. 

Undergoing bariatric surgery to lose just 30 or 40 pounds generally not advisable, unless you’re considering the gastric balloon procedure.

You Consume Nicotine

Prior to a surgery of any kind, your preoperative care guidelines will request that you will need to stop smoking prior to the procedure. This is to help ensure your safety during your surgery.

For weight loss surgery, patients may be requested to cease smoking at least 30 days before the procedure. 

Smoking and Substance Abuse are Contraindications to Bariatric Surgery

You have a Substance Abuse Problem

Patients with a history of addictive drug use pose potential complications with general anesthesia due to changes in hemodynamics and arrhythmias.

When used chronically, drugs can profoundly effect a patient’s cardiovascular stability during anesthesia and surgery. As well as opioid use during anesthesia.

You Have Unrealistic Expectations

In order to be approved for weight loss surgery, you will need to discuss your expectations with your bariatric surgeon. During this consultation, it will be imperative that you discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding the procedure. Your bariatric surgeon will help to keep your expectations realistic. Although significant weight loss can occur, it is important to understand the timeline for when this would occur and what you can expect for your individual situation.

Patients generally experience the most weight loss immediately following the surgery. However, weight loss will slow down in the months following and eventually plateau. Patients will also need to follow all preoperative and postoperative care guides.

Learn more about your Expected Weight Loss using our Calculator Here.

Unrealistic Expectations Can Impact Your Health and Weight Loss

You Are Not Willing to Make Lifestyle Changes

Weight loss surgery is a great option for those that are struggling to lose weight due to varying reasons. However, in order to keep the weight off that was just lost patients will need to make permanent lifestyle changes. If they do not, then they will gain the weight back. Your bariatric surgeon will help you understand what is needed of you and discuss different options for maintaining a new healthy lifestyle. Patients will need to make changes to their diet and exercise routines. Many patients benefit from making these changes for a significant time prior to their surgery to help solidify this new lifestyle. 

You Have a Psychiatric Disorder

Those who are struggling with a psychiatric disorder, including eating disorders, may not qualify for a weight loss procedure.

Individuals that are experiencing these disorders will need to seek proper mental health treatment.

However, if the condition resolves or is well-managed, patients may qualify. Often, they will need to receive clearance from their therapist or psychologist to be considered. 

You are Planning on Becoming Pregnant in The Near Future

Bariatric surgery may not be an option for those that are planning on becoming pregnant in the near future. This is because weight loss surgery increases the risk for certain deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. This includes folate, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. All of these are essential for the healthy development of a fetus.

Speaking with a bariatric surgeon can help give you an idea of a timeline, but many may recommend an adjustment period of up to 18 months following surgery before moving forward with plans to become pregnant

You Have Serious Health Concerns

When a patient undergoes a surgery of any kind, their body is put under strain. Both the surgical nature of the procedure, as well as the associated anesthesia, is a risk for the patient. Patients that are considered to be in poor health may not qualify as their health concerns could be exasperated dramatically during and following the procedure. A bariatric surgeon will assess your previous medical history, as well as determine your current medical state to ensure that the procedure can be done with minimum risk. 

Health conditions that may exempt you from bariatric surgery could include, but are not limited to,

  • cirrhosis of the liver
  • chronic pancreatitis
  • heart disease
  • serious cardiac issues
  • lung issues
  • blood disorders
  • anesthesia-related problems

Being denied the opportunity for bariatric surgery may be difficult for many patients to hear. However, it is done with good intentions. Professional bariatric surgeons put the health and safety of their patients at the forefront, which means that some patients may not be a candidate for surgery. However, these patients may qualify for other options. In order to determine your suitability for surgical weight loss, schedule an initial consultation with a qualified bariatric surgeon. 

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