Second Opinion: Should weight loss surgery be considered a last resort?

Absolutely not! You may think this is a strong statement; however weight loss surgery shouldn’t be your first option, either. For someone who is overweight and has tried other weight loss programs without success, weight loss surgery can be a great option.

The optimal time for surgery is before your weight is too high and your health problems more severe. An ideal candidate is someone between 75-150 pounds overweight. While the incidences of health problems—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea—increase as your weight goes up, you should consider surgery before they become too severe and increase your surgical risk. 

I’ve seen a significant decrease in the fear and negative connotations surrounding weight loss surgery since starting my weight loss surgery career in 1994. The procedures are safer and more effective with return to work often within two weeks. 

Something I hear commonly from patients after surgery is “I should have had weight loss surgery years ago!” If you are overweight, it is an option worth considering, especially when it is combined with a comprehensive post-surgical program.

Thomas W. Clark, MS, M.D., FACS

Medical Director
Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Sentara CarePlex Hospital