With so many North Americans being overweight these days, weight issues are becoming more and more common. Combine that with the deluge of skinny people in magazines and movies and it’s pretty difficult not to have issues with your weight, even if you are only a few pounds over your ideal.
Unfortunately, all that stressing about body image and size can take a major toll on you emotionally. Even pre-teens are becoming depressed and self-conscious about their weight and adults face the same problems. The solution for many? Weight loss surgery.
The attraction of these methods of losing weight is that they tend to be fast and are a very concrete solution. For those who are suffering from low self-esteem over their body shape and the fact that they can’t stick to a diet or even an exercise program, something that basically forces you to lose weight is quite appealing. It also provides nearly immediate results, which is important to those who are depressed for this reason.
Weight Loss Surgery Options
At the moment, there are a handful of fairly routine weight loss procedures that can be done. When dieting and exercise have failed or someone is unhealthily overweight and needs to reduce fast, surgery is often the option that comes up.
- Liposuction: While not exactly a standard weight loss surgery, this is a procedure used to reduce the amount of fat in the body and does result in pounds lost. It’s usually fairly safe, but not long lasting, since the fat comes right back if you don’t change your eating and exercise habits.
- Gastric Bypass: This is a fairly extreme surgery where the stomach is actually cut to create a small pouch, reducing the possibility of eating much more than a couple of bites of food at a time. It’s a permanent solution and one that can have some major risks involved, but it’s still a popular option for those who are morbidly obese.
- Lap Band: Far less intrusive than a gastric bypass, the lap band is a reversible surgery that is done through two small incisions. Quite simply, a band is placed around the stomach and then inflated to create pressure and form a small pouch in the stomach. The results are very similar to the surgery above, but the band can be removed at any time and there are no lasting effects.
How Surgery Helps Emotionally
The cycle of dieting and losing weight, then falling off the wagon and gaining it right back again is frustrating to say the least. However, it can also be very damaging to someone who is already dealing with not liking themselves. They may begin to feel that they can’t do anything right and that they fail at everything. This in turn tends to fuel emotional eating, which causes further weight gain.
Having a surgery to install a lap band tends to have relatively few risks in comparison to gastric bypass, which alleviates many fears that patients have. Also, since their body is physically incapable of consuming large amounts of food, it tends to be a relief for those who normally can’t stop eating or who never feel full. The vicious diet cycle is halted and a new lifestyle can begin.
Lap band surgeries are probably the most popular simply because they are reversible. If desired, once the weight has come off, the lap band can be removed and a regular eating pattern established. This alone is a big relief for those who don’t want the permanency of something more drastic.
Being overweight can cause many health issues, but the fact is that it is also dangerous emotionally and it’s time people realized this.