With more than two-thirds of the population of the United States diagnosed as being overweight or obese, the incidents of weight loss surgery are becoming more common than ever before. But, not just anyone can qualify to have the lap band or gastric bypass procedures done. Before any surgery can be performed, each patient must undergo a battery of bariatric testing first. Those tests, as well as other conditions, will determine whether an individual is a prime target for any bariatric surgery as a solution to lose weight.
Bariatric surgery can induce you to lose weight by altering your digestive system. To even be considered a candidate for bariatric testing, you must be at least 100 pounds overweight, and have been so for a number of years. You also have had to have tried to lose weight on your own, or through diet plans, without success. As it stands today, there are four popular procedures being done to help patients lose weight, and the results these tests, as well as the amount of weight to be loss, and other medical conditions will determine which procedure is the right one for you.
Types of Bariatric Testing
There are a number of physical and psychological tests that a bariatric surgery candidate must go through before they can be approved for the surgical procedure. No two patients are alike, and the testing is necessary to determine whether the patient can handle everything in their life that the surgery will change.
The first test performed is an electrocardiogram, and is basically done to ensure that the patient does not have any heart conditions or suffers from pulmonary hypertension, both of which can complicate any surgical procedure. Depending upon the patient’s medical history, tests on the liver, kidneys and overall pulmonary functions may also be done, if it is thought to have a direct impact on the procedure, and after-care.
A sleep study is also often done as a pre-surgery screening test. Whether or not a patient suffers from sleep apnea, insomnia, or other sleep disorders will not necessarily rule them out as a good candidate, but if a sleep disorder exists, its severity could affect the choice of surgical procedures open for a patient.
Lastly, a battery of psychological and nutritional tests will be done to be certain that the patient is emotionally prepared for the lifestyle changes that have to done in conjunction with the surgery, and to determine whether the surgery is actually an appropriate option for them. If the patient has any obsessions or compulsions concerning food, it may rule them out of being a candidate for weight loss surgery.
After The Bariatric Testing
Before and after the rounds of tests, your doctor and surgeon will discuss with you the options for surgery. Today, the current options are gastric bypass, lap band, duodenal switch, or a sleeve gastrectomy. The results of the testing, as well as your body mass index, and the total amount of weight needed to be lost will narrow down your options for surgery.
In most cases, patients are put on a pre-op diet, for up to three months before the actual surgery. This diet will be low in fats, calories and carbohydrates, but high in proteins. This diet is similar to what you will be on after surgery, so this pre-surgery diet is actually preparing your body for the changes to come. The diet itself, as well as the length of time you will be on it before surgery, and the surgery that will follow it are all determined by the results of the bariatric testing sessions. This takes a commitment of time and patience, and is definitely not an overnight solution.