Thinking about gastric bypass surgery? Better lose weight first. You heard right, getting skinny by the knife requires a pre-op weight loss program. Ahem…

An analysis of medical records of 881 patients who had weight-loss surgery found that the more weight patients lost before the surgery, the less complications they suffered later, such as infections, blood clots, and kidney problems. For patients who actually gained weight before the surgery, they had two times greater risk of suffering complications.

All patients evaluated had undergone the “keyhole” Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery whereby staples are used to create a pouch in the stomach that can hold only a small amount of food at a time; then, a portion of the small intestine is attached to the pouch so that food bypasses the rest of the stomach and part of the small intestine.

This information is important as more and more older and sicker patients are opting for the weight loss surgery. These patients are at a definite increased risk of complications, so the answer is LOSE WEIGHT.

I know, I know…I swear I don’t make this stuff up. OK, some doctors are against the notion of requiring patients to lose weight before weight loss surgery; they believe that mandated pre-surgery weight loss “may be a deterrent to surgery.” Well golly…you mean if people lose weight naturally they’ll just…gulp…lose more weight. That’s a freakin’ wallet drain.

Anyway, I get it–people want the surgery because they don’t think they can do it on their own. They’re wrong about that. I like the recommendations for pre-op gastric bypass patients, not so much because I advocate the operation, but because I think that doing the initial weight loss will show these people they can do it on their own. Losing weight, like everything else, requires inspiration. Money is best, studies show; but if not the green, then I can certainly understand the prospect of getting gastric bypass and further weight loss might drive some people. Whatever. I just say if you can lose fifty…seventy five pounds pre-op, you can do two-fifty by sticking with it, for sure.

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