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First, Bariatric surgery is not "very dangerous". As with any type of surgery where anesthesia is used there are associated risks. Bariatric surgery has come a long way from the way it was performed when the surgeries were done years ago. Most are done laparoscopically and patients return to work in two to four weeks, some even return to work after one week at the descretion of their surgeon. Bariatric surgery reduces the size of the stomach giving patients restriction of how much they can eat. This is a tool and not a cure-all. During the pre-op process to have bariatric surgery, patients are also educated on the importance of proper diet and exercise to obtain their goals. This education is on-going as they are required to attend follow up appointments and support groups for the rest of their lives. Again, you have to realize that obesity is a multi-faceted problem and not just a food issue. There are many reasons patients become obese including medical, psycological and inherited genes. Usually by the time they make the decision to pursue surgery, they have exhausted every other option and have given up trying to lose weight on their own. I don't know of anyone that "chooses" to be obese. For some patients their are psycological factors as well. That is why they are required to have psycological evaulations to identify these issues and help them address these before and after their surgery.
Morbid obesity is a disease just like diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease and involves many factors, not just food! It is never as simple as watching what you eat. If it were, we would all be a size 6. Obviously, someone hasn't seen the statistics on successfully losing the weight and maintaining that weight loss. While a few people are able to successfully lose weight and keep it off, the majority of people are not successful. Weight loss surgery is never the first option of a morbidly obese patient. These patients have tried every diet and exercise program in the book including "watching what you eat." Exercise is a whole other story for morbidly obese patients. Most suffer from medical conditions that limit their ability to exercise. Bariatric surgery offers patients the hope of having a more normal life and being able to do the things most people take for granted such as exercise, riding a roller coaster, being able to fit in a chair with arms, being able to play with their children and grandchildren. Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix or "the easy way out" by any stretch of the imagination. It requires commitment and dedication from each patient.
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