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a weight-related health condition like type-2 diabetes, are eligible for bariatric surgery. To fi nd out if you have a healthy BMI, use the NHS’s healthy weight calculator at www.nhs.uk. Even if you opt to have weight loss surgery carried out privately, it’s likely that you will only be eligible for the procedure if the following criteria are met:  You are healthy enough to undergo an operation under general anaesthetic.  You have attempted to lose weight by eating healthily and exercising for a minimum of six months.  You can commit to the long-term follow-up treatment that is necessary after you have undergone the surgery.


After undergoing weight loss surgery, you’re going to feel full


Dr Chris says


after consuming extremely small portions of food. Eating slowly is important, and food should be chewed thoroughly. If you try to eat too much, you are likely to experience discomfort and may even vomit.


Know the Risk


Any type of surgery comes with risks, and your specialist consultant should explain these to you after your referral. For example, complications regarding general anaesthetics are more likely if you are overweight. If you opt to forge ahead with the surgery, you should be provided with psychological support throughout, including guidance from a dietician on how you can change your diet. Gastric bypasses usually necessitate a one to three night stay in hospital, although patients who undergo gastric banding usually only need to stay for one night.


A Long Term Success


To ensure the long term success of surgical weight loss, the follow-up appointments with your specialist weight loss team are extremely important. It is their job to help you transform your old eating habits, as you will never again be able to eat in the same way you did before. A dietician in your team will provide information on how to eat a healthy, balanced diet and any nutritional supplements you will need.


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Once you have recovered from surgery, regular exercise is important if you want to achieve and maintain your goal of a healthy weight.


Weight Be Gone Your follow-up appointments also off er a chance for your specialist weight loss team to monitor how much weight you are losing. If you have undergone gastric banding, you should aim to lose weight at a steady rate of 1-2lb per week for the fi rst 18 months following surgery. If you have undergone surgery for a gastric bypass, you are likely to lose excess weight more quickly at fi rst. 


DEAR DOCTOR WITH DR CHRIS STEELE 85


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