Is Bariatric Surgery Right for You? Find Out From an Expert

Navigating the Path to Wellness: Insights from Isabel on Bariatric Surgery

When considering a drastic lifestyle change such as a Bariatric Surgery, many questions may arise such as where do I start? Where can I find resources? Are there dietary restrictions or requirements before I begin? All of these questions are answered during an interview we conduct with Isabel Maples, MEd, RDN, Bariatric Coordinator at UVA Health Surgical Care. Keep reading to learn more about the bariatric process.

Isabel's wealth of knowledge and compassionate approach provid invaluable insights into the processes pre, during, and post-surgery as well as how much the process encompasses past simply the surgery itself. Let's delve into the essence of our conversation and discover the nuances of bariatric surgery as one of the paths to improved health and well-being.

Charting the Course: Understanding Bariatric Surgery

Isabel explains that bariatric surgery is multifaceted, from the moment clients begin looking for options, until the time they make an informed decision and their comprehensive evaluation. While the phrase itself sounds like a unique surgery, there are different types of bariatric surgeries available out there, each tailored to what is required for each patient. At UVA Health Surgical Care they only perform 2 at the moment: gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.

"When someone explores bariatric surgery," Isabel explains, "it's crucial to embark on a journey of education and exploration. Surgeons meticulously discuss the nuances of each procedure, outlining the benefits, risks, and potential outcomes. We believe in providing a comprehensive overview, addressing both the positives and challenges, to empower individuals in making well-informed choices."

Dieting, specially when it comes to larger lifestyle changes, needs to take several factors into consideration. It’s so personal to each individual and some of the factors that need to be considered are age, weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), and existing health conditions. This holistic approach ensures that each patient receives tailored recommendations aligned with their unique needs and circumstances. In some cases, genetic predisposition and/or family history needs to be taken into consideration as well when creating a dieting plan.

The Threshold of Eligibility: Navigating Medical Criteria

The criteria for bariatric surgery eligibility is a pivotal aspect of the journey towards improved health. Isabel shares how this criteria needs to be analyzed before determining eligibility so that individuals can pick the correct diet and process for them. Once the medical standards are met, the clients are given full support from the moment they’re deciding which procedure to follow till past their operation and until their diet enters the weight management part.

"Bariatric surgery," Isabel explains, "is a transformative option for individuals grappling with obesity and related health concerns. While BMI serves as a guiding metric, medical criteria extend beyond mere numbers. Individuals with a BMI over 40 typically qualify for surgery, while those with a BMI between 35 and 40, coupled with weight-related health issues, may also be eligible. Moreover, emerging guidelines recognize the potential benefits of surgery for individuals with a BMI as low as 30, particularly in specific populations."

Isabel emphasizes the dynamic nature of medical criteria, highlighting the importance of consulting with healthcare professionals to navigate eligibility considerations effectively and to avoid making uninformed decisions. She stresses the significance of proactive engagement. This way individuals can feel more comfortable initiating discussions with both surgeons and insurance providers to understand and more accurately define eligibility and coverage options.

Comprehensive Care: The Lifelong Commitment

Beyond the surgical intervention itself, Isabel reminds us about the importance of comprehensive care and ongoing support throughout the wellness journey. From pre-operative consultations to post-operative follow-up, she emphasizes the integral role of multidisciplinary support in optimizing outcomes and fostering long-term success.

"At our clinic, we prioritize establishing lifelong relationships with our patients."

Isabel mentions "Bariatric surgery represents a transformative step, but it's just the beginning of a comprehensive wellness journey. Our approach encompasses nutrition, psychology, and physical well-being, ensuring that patients receive holistic support every step of the way."

Isabel highlights the multifaceted nature of post-operative care, encompassing dietary guidance, psychological support, and regular follow-up appointments. By integrating these elements into a cohesive framework, individuals are not only informed, but empowered to navigate the challenges of post-operative adjustment and follow through on their path towards a sustained, long-lasting healthy lifestyle.

Empowering Choices: Embracing Personalized Strategies

"We recognize that each individual's journey is unique," Isabel affirms. "From meal patterns to portion control, we empower patients to adopt strategies that align with their preferences and lifestyle. Whether it's structured meal plans or mindful eating practices, our goal is to equip individuals with the tools they need to thrive post-operatively."

It’s so incredibly important to find the best balance between structure and flexibility for anyone finding or staying on their health journeys. These should be enjoyable, fulfilling, wholesome and holistic. It’s about self-love and self-appreciation. By fostering a supportive environment grounded in education and empowerment, individuals can feel comfortable and the same when making informed choices and embrace sustainable habits for long-term success.


If you would like to learn more or talk with a healthcare professional from UVA Health Surgical Care, feel free to reach out to them.


🌐 UVA Health Surgical Care

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