Cosmetic Weight Loss Procedures: the Pros and Cons
By Ashley HenshawΙ January 13, 2012
There are several cosmetic weight loss procedures that have been developed to help people with weight problems lose the extra pounds. The results can be phenomenal, with people losing a significant amount of weight, improving their health and living a more fulfilling lifestyle. However, there are still several risks to consider when undergoing these procedures, meaning that it isn't always the best choice for everyone. Additionally, certain procedures can have greater risks or payoffs than others depending on what they entail. Read through this article to get some information on the pros and cons of cosmetic weight loss procedures to help you find out if this option is right for you.
Improvements in Health: By losing weight through surgery, many people are able to transform their lives and become much healthier individuals. The weight loss may prevent them from developing serious medical conditions while also providing them with the ability to be more active and get more exercise. The back pains, joint problems, high blood pressure and other similar conditions which often afflict people who are overweight are usually alleviated after cosmetic weight loss procedures. For people with very serious obesity problems, cosmetic weight loss procedures can be a life-saving operation.
Permanent Weight Loss: Part of the reason that the health benefits of cosmetic weight loss are so important is because the weight loss with these cosmetic procedures is generally permanent. Although individuals may still have weight fluctuations throughout their lifetime, they are much less likely to become obese again or develop serious weight problems. The physical changes that take place during the procedure often allow the results of this weight loss method to be permanent, which is not always the case with just diet and exercise.
Self-Esteem Boost: Many people seek out cosmetic weight loss procedures as a way to increase their self-confidence. This doesn't always relate to physical looks, although most cosmetic weight loss procedures do result in a significant change in appearance. Confidence may also increase as a result of a patient's new ability to participate in activities which they wouldn't have been able to before their surgery, such as fitting into an airline seat or having the stamina to take a walk through the park. For some individuals, the changes in mental health that can result from cosmetic weight loss procedures are just as important as the changes in physical health.
Health Risks: As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection, blood loss and other complications when undergoing cosmetic weight loss surgery. Some procedures are more dangerous than others, so it's important to only have this type of surgery when it's absolutely necessary. Be sure to discuss the possible risks of any cosmetic weight loss procedures that you are considering.
Financial Costs: Unlike medical procedures that are needed for health reasons, many types of cosmetic weight loss surgeries are considered to be elective. In these situations, many health insurance companies will not cover the costs of the surgery, leaving patients to pay for the procedure out of pocket. These surgeries are generally quite expensive, so it's important to ensure that you'll be able to afford these procedures, either by withdrawing some savings or utilizing a payment plan.
Unmet Expectations: Cosmetic weight loss procedures are usually selected by people who wish to see a change in their health and/or in the way they look. There is always a risk, however, that the surgery or procedure will not meet these expectations, either by not altering the appearance of the patient in the anticipated way or by not causing a permanent and beneficial improvement in health. Always discuss the realistic expectations of your cosmetic weight loss procedure with your doctor.
Risks With Specific Procedures
The Lap-Band: This procedure involves the application of an adjustable gastric band. The inflatable silicone band is placed around the stomach to restrict the movement of food, helping the individual to feel full. Specific risks with this procedure include the band possibly slipping out of place, injury to the stomach and problems with eating, such as vomiting when too much food is consumed. While many people appreciate that the band can be adjusted, this procedure may not have weight loss results which are as dramatic as gastric bypass.
Gastric Bypass: The gastric bypass surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach as well as connecting the small intestine to the reduced area of the stomach, allowing food to bypass the remaining space of the stomach. This results in the body absorbing fewer calories from food. Patients who have gastric bypass surgery must commit to a strict diet and regular exercise after the surgery to avoid complications. Advantages of gastric bypass include quick recovery when the surgery is done laparoscopically and lasting weight loss results. Some possible complications include leaking through the staples placed in the stomach or injury to internal organs.
Liposuction: During a liposuction procedure, fat tissue is removed from specific areas of the body, which may include the abdomen, buttocks, thigh or arms. This isn't a procedure suggested for significant weight loss; instead, it is recommended for removing fat pockets that cannot be eradicated through standard diet and exercise. Complications of liposuction may include a temporary lumpiness in the skin, damage to internal organs and nerve damage.
Before undergoing any type of cosmetic weight loss procedure, always consult with your regular physician to weigh the pros and cons.
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