You’re considering bariatric surgery in Mexico because you want to lose weight. So you must be ready for it, right? Well, maybe. Wanting to lose weight doesn’t mean you’re prepared to make the changes necessary to achieve substantial weight loss after your vertical sleeve gastrectomy and then maintain that healthy weight for a lifetime. So how do you know if you’re really ready for it? Let’s take a look at some factors.
- You don’t feel euphoria at the thought of VSG. Don’t get me wrong: We don’t want you to dread the thought of gastric sleeve surgery. But if you’re feeling nothing but elated about your upcoming surgery, you aren’t taking it seriously enough. I can say that VSG isn’t a magic pill until I’m blue in the face, but it’s essential that patients understand, deep down in their gut, that hard work is what will ultimately lead to your goals. And the thought of working hard makes most people feel things other than just pure joy. Being excited is fine—good, even—but if that’s your only emotion going into surgery, you haven’t dug deeply enough.
- You stick to the pre-op diet. The majority of patients have to go on a liquid pre-op diet before they’re cleared for surgery. Although some people think it’s to get you used to what life after surgery will be like, it’s actually a purely physiological reason. You’ll have a much safer, better surgical result if your liver is in the best shape possible, and that’s why we prescribe the pre-op diet. Honestly, though, it is a good preparatory tool for the discipline you’ll need post-surgery. You can moan and complain about the liquid diet all you want, but whether you stick to it is very telling about your motivation to be successful with a sleeve.
- You’re willing to sacrifice, if needed, to pay for surgery. One of the reasons potential patients zero in on Endobariatric for a sleeve is that it’s relatively affordable. Gastric sleeve surgery cost in the U.S., for example, is many times higher than it is at our state-of-the-art facility. That being said, it’s still an investment. Depending on a number of factors, your cost may be $8,000 to $9,500 at Endobariatric—not an amount most people have lying around in their couch cushions. But it’s an attainable cost, especially with financing options, for those who are determined and ready to change their lives for the better. So what are you willing to give up in order to make it happen? Not much? Then you’re not ready.
- You’ve considered your addictions. Food addiction and/or disordered eating is ridiculously common in obese people. The sleeve won’t cure either of those things, though it may not allow you to indulge in the same volume as you did before. The mental aspect of the addiction will still be there and may even transfer to other substances. People who are ready carefully consider whether they have a food addiction and/or disordered eating and address it with a qualified therapist before (and after) surgery.
- You’ve lined up a support system. If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends in real life who support the changes necessary to achieve a healthy weight, that’s great. How do you know if they’re truly supportive? You’ve educated them on what behavioral changes you’re going to make, and not only do they really get those changes, but they encourage you in those efforts. But being ready for surgery means that, even if you don’t have anyone in your household supporting you, you’re not using that as an excuse (“If my husband won’t give up potato chips, how am I supposed to resist them?”). Between our staff, the private Endobariatric group on Facebook, and even bariatric support groups in your community, there are plenty of “villages” to help you. Readiness includes lining them up.
These are just a few areas that can help you clarify whether you’re ready to lose weight with VSG—or whether you just like the idea of losing weight. And, of course, the Endobariatric team is always available to help through the sleeve decision process.
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