Health Care Lifestyle

Bariatric Surgery Is a Helpful Tool, Not the Whole Toolbox

A couple goes for a jog together to improve their health.

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When you buy a hammer for a home improvement project, you’ve got a tool for doing the job. But the project takes time and effort to complete. The same is true when you undergo bariatric (weight-loss) surgery for health improvement.

“Surgery is a tool, but it still takes work and commitment to get the best results. Contrary to what some people think, surgery isn’t a quick fix,” says AdventHealth bariatric surgeon, Dr. Shiva Seetahal.

Whether you’ve already decided to start your weight-loss journey towards lifelong wellness, or are considering if bariatric surgery is the right choice for you, at AdventHealth we want you to be able to make informed decisions. Here are a few important things you should have in your toolbox as you work towards feeling whole.

Giving Your Health a Makeover

Bariatric surgery can lead to substantial weight loss over time. Results vary, depending on the individual and procedure. Dr. Seetahal says, “overall, 9 out of 10 people who undergo bariatric surgery can maintain a loss of 50% or more of their excess weight.”

That, in turn, helps reduce or eliminate many weight-related health issues, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure

“Bariatric surgery can jumpstart these changes, but it’s not a replacement for healthy habits,” explains Dr. Seetahal. Think of it this way: most home remodeling projects can’t be done with that hammer alone. Similarly, lasting weight loss after surgery calls for other tools and skills, too.

Building Healthy Habits for Life

For the best results, bariatric surgery should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Other components of a successful plan include:

  • Healthy eating habits, which help you lose more weight after surgery and keep it off. Eating protein at every meal or snack helps you feel full for longer. Limiting foods with added sugars and refined grains (such as white breads and pastas) may enhance your weight-loss results.
  • Regular physical activity, which helps maintain your weight loss over the long term. “Grueling workouts aren’t necessary; consistent, moderate activity is often more useful in the long run,” encourages Dr. Seetahal.
  • Dietary supplements, prescribed by your doctor, which you’ll need to take for the rest of your life. You may also need to get periodic lab tests.
  • Follow-up health care, which helps you stay on track. “As time goes by, there will undoubtedly be changes in your life. Your bariatric care team can offer tips on managing new challenges that come up,” says Dr. Seetahal.

Compassionate Bariatric and Metabolic Expertise at AdventHealth

Renovating your lifestyle takes work, but the good habits you learn are built to last a lifetime. With highly personalized, world-class bariatric care at AdventHealth, we’ll walk with you every step of the way. We are here to ensure you have every tool in your toolbox to help you succeed.

Learn more about our expert bariatric care and multidisciplinary team here.

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