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If You Think Bariatric Surgery Is A Quick Fix – Don’t Do It!

Over the next three days, I will be attending the XVI World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) in Hamburg, Germany.

One of the presentations that I will give at this conference has the title: “Why Bariatric Surgery Is Not A Quick Fix”.

Much of what I will be presenting in this talk was summarized in a recent series of posts on the pros and cons of bariatric surgery, that regular readers will recall.

For readers, who have joined recently or do not read every post, here are links to this series, which I believe most people, who do not regularly deal with this issue will likely find of considerable interest.

  • Why I Support Bariatric Surgery (Part 1)
  • Why I Support Bariatric Surgery (Part 2)
  • Why I Support Bariatric Surgery (Part 3)
  • Why I Support Bariatric Surgery (Part 4)
  • Why I Support Bariatric Surgery (Part 5)
  • Why Bariatric Surgery Can Fail (Part 1)
  • Why Bariatric Surgery Can Fail (Part 2)
  • Why Bariatric Surgery Can Fail (Part 3)
  • Why Bariatric Surgery Can Fail (Part 4)
  • Why Bariatric Surgery Can Fail (Part 5)
  • As always, all comments are appreciated.

    Hamburg, Germany


    1. I love this series of articles. I think it’s so important to emphasize that the emotional problems do not go away when the stomach is made smaller. I went through a very rigorous screening program for my surgery, including psychological testing and an interview my readiness for the rigors of post-surgery life. I passed with flying colors and STILL had huge problems coping with not being able to indulge in my previous eating behavior. I guess it was a blessing that after five years, I still continue to “dump” violently if I eat more than a taste of chocolate, or fried, greasy food, and that my stomach seems not to have expanded at all. I have finally learned how to cope with my feelings in other ways, after years of punishing my body by trying to stuff into it food I should not eat. I have friends who were not so lucky. They didn’t experience the dumping syndrome, and over time, they stretched their stomachs, and they gained back almost all of the weight they had lost. So stress the importance of screening and (as we had at my surgical hospita) pre-surgery support groups so that people can hear from people who have had the surgery, the real consequences over time, the ups and downs.

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    2. Dr Sharma

      I am a dietitian in Vancouver and I work with many people who struggle with obesity. I have only recently discovered your work and I am delighted to find such a voice of reason in this challenging area.

      thank you for communicating about your work and your thoughts on it

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    3. While it is clear it is not a quick fix, the surgery results in sustained weight loss far more than other “remedies”. It also seems that those afforded the benefit of the surgery are given more attention from start to maintenance, including very knowledgeable medical staff, than those who are not provided the benefit of the surgery. Emotional and metabolic needs may be equally as compelling for both groups.

      Dr. Sharma what is session 13 on Friday the 3rd all about?— Experimental Studies, low BMI and new Metabolic Surgery Procedures — ? Am I reading the title correctly? I read that it suggests to all those with lower BMI, who are currently excluded from your care, that they may be included somewhere and afforded the assistance currently triaged to only those within the highest category of BMIs. — does it suggest that those at stage 1 or 2 of your staging system can receive treatment in the near future via surgery that purports to ensure they will never get to stage 3 or 4? What is the catch of this session – unless it is just a catchy title – that it would suggest help to those with lower BMIs? Why do the presenters at this international conference consider there is a need for such help? Or are they talking about those who have had surgery who now have problems with a low BMI – in which case sounds like we are back to saying it may well be pretty good fix…

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