On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, a friend in crisis has lost all hope in the weight loss process and is interested in exploring weight loss surgery as a last resort. Registered dietitian Mariam Forgan shares what we need to know about weight loss surgery and bariatric procedures.
Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, involves several procedures that help you lose weight by limiting how much food you can eat.
“It’s a tool just like a weight loss drug,” says Forgan. “If you’ve tried lifestyle interventions, if you’ve tried medicinal ways of losing weight and both have not been successful, then bariatric surgery is the third option because it’s a surgical option to consider.”
Forgan works alongside Cape Town endocrinologist Dr Jocelyn Hellig in the therapeutic management of chronic lifestyle diseases including diabetes, cholesterol, and hypertension among others.
Who qualifies for the procedure?
Forgan says that bariatric surgery is not for everyone who is severely overweight. You need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight loss surgery.
Patients who qualify for the surgery should be between the ages of 18 – 65 and have a BMI of more than 40.
You also need to be willing to make permanent changes to lead to a healthier lifestyle.
What are the risks?
Like with any other surgery there are risks, and vitamin deficiency is just one of them.
“Your stomach is responsible for most of where your iron is absorbed, so the risk of anaemia is there. After the surgery you are put on a multivitamin for life, your bloods are annually checked so that you are monitored for any vitamin deficiencies.”
On this episode Forgan also explores:
- Extreme weight loss procedures and medicines.
- The link between mental health and weight loss journeys.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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