Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross shares what women should know about bariatric surgery.
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EmpowHer asks: What should women know about bariatric surgery? Dr. Carolyn Ross: What women should know about bariatric surgery is that it's not a cure. It really is designed for women who have tried everything else and nothing has worked and for women who are morbidly obese; in other words, they have medical complications related to their obesity. What I am most concerned about with an increasing trend in the use of bariatric surgery is that women are not dealing with some of the psychological or even behavioral issues that are associated with their weight gain. Then what happens is that after the surgery, they regain the weight or they can have develop cross-addictions. So women who have had bariatric surgery then become alcoholic because they are again self medicating emotions that they've never really faced or dealt with or they can have other types of addiction. So I think it's very, very important before you undertake such a serious procedure, that number one, you ask yourself; have you addressed the behaviors that you'll need to change once you have bariatric surgery, essentially if you've been unable to sustain being on a meal plan before your surgery, bariatric surgery requires that you eat a certain amount of food at certain times of the day and a limited amount of food. It can stop you from overeating. It does give you significant consequences if you do overeat but that's one of the behaviors. As well another aspect again is the emotional aspect. Are there things in your life that promote overeating, stress eating, emotional eating, that you need to really face and address before the surgery. If you do that, then you are more likely to be successful with the surgery.