Any referral for weight loss surgery needs to consider the potential benefits against the risks for patients.
1) potential benefits
the main reason for referring is that a patient is suffering from a medical condition where weight is a signficant factor. The most common indications include
- particularly in the first 7 years after diagnosis where there is signficant chance of inducing remission
- approximately 60% of patients will gain enough symtpom control that they can avoid or delay joint replacement surgery
- metabolic syndrome
- fatty liver disease not responding to lifestyle management
- in addition a lot of patients report increased energy levels and an improvement in their overall quality of life
2) potential drawbacks and issues to consider
- surgical risks - weight loss surgery is major surgery and comes with operative risks. Significant complications occur for example in 1-2% of patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy, which is a similar complication rate to other surgery such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
- Is this the right time?
Is the patient in a good place to in their life to succeed with lifestyle changes? After weight loss surgery patients will lose weight over a 1 year period. After this although it significantly easier to maintain the achieved weight loss, if the patient falls back into bad habits and fails to
- Lifestyle/social changes
living longer term with a smaller stomach size can impact socially in situations like going out for dinner, or if family meals are an important part of family celebrations. It can be very helpful if the patient has discussed these changes with someone who has already had the surgery. If they don't know anyone our rooms can help them connect with someone if they need to.