Dieting surgery: Is it right for you?

Will Frederick says he has been overweight all his life.  “A day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t dealt with weight issues,” he said.  The 27 year old engineer says he’s tried dieting and exercising but can’t find a routine he can stick to.

At 306 pounds, Frederick is now considering surgery to shed the pounds he can’t seem to lose.  “I have thought about it for awhile now and I’ve decided I have to take control of my life.”

The “lap band” surgery became popular several years ago.  Doctors surgically implant a band around the upper part of the stomach which limits the amount of food intake.  The surgery requires general anesthesia and takes about an hour.

The procedure is the only FDA approved weight loss surgery available.  Last year the FDA changed the requirements for the surgery, lowering the weight requirements so now more people are eligible for the surgery.

But the question is how do you know if it’s right for you?  Here is a list of the top 4 questions you should ask yourself before deciding on this procedure:

1.) Do I fit the medical requirement?
You must be 18 years old, have a BMI of at least 35, and have struggled with weight related health problems for 5 years.

2.) Am I  emotionally ready?
This surgery isn’t magic.  Patients have to commit to eating better and exercise.

3.) Can I afford it?
According to the Consumers Guide to Bariatric Surgery, the cost can be anywhere from $17,000 to $30,000.  Some insure companies will help with the cost.  You’ll want to consult your insurance provider to know how this will effect you.

4.) Have I done my homework?
Before you decide on this surgery, talk with your doctor.  Make sure it is something that will improve your health.  Plus, talk with others who have had the surgery to learn more about life after the lap band.

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