Dr. Ross describes what all women should know about bariatric surgery.
What women should know about bariatric surgery is that it’s not a cure-all. It really is designed for women who have tried everything else and nothing has worked and for women who are morbidly obese. In other words, they have medical complications related to their obesity.
What I am most concerned about with an increasing trend in the use of bariatric surgery is that women are not dealing with some of the psychological, or even behavioral issues that are associated with their weight gain. And then what happens is that after the surgery, they regain the weight or they can have developed cross addiction. So women who have had bariatric surgery then become alcoholic because they are, again, self-medicating emotions that they never really faced or dealt with, or they can have other types of addiction.
So I think it’s very, very important, before you undertake such a serious procedure that number one, you ask yourself, have you addressed the behaviors that you will need to change once you have bariatric surgery.
Essentially, if you have been unable to sustain being on a meal plan before your surgery, bariatric surgery requires that you eat a certain amount of food at certain times of the day and a limited amount of food. It can’t stop you from overeating. It does give you significant consequences if you do overeat but that’s one of the behaviors, as well another aspect again is the emotional aspect. Are there things in your life that promote overeating, stress eating, emotional eating, that you need to really face and address before the surgery, and if you do that then you are more likely to be successful with the surgery.
About Dr. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.:
Dr. Carolyn Ross, M.D., M.P.H., completed her undergraduate degree in Modern Foreign Languages at Purdue University and worked as a full-time mother of her two older sons before returning to school to complete her pre-med requirements. She then went to the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Ross’s practice experience after medical school helped fuel her interest in understanding what makes people heal as she saw that most of her patients’ medical problems were related to lifestyle habits and the stresses of modern living. In searching for a better way to address these issues, Dr. Ross began to explore complementary and alternative therapies and the use of herbs and supplements for her patients. She then completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University and then set up practice in San Diego, California where she eventually opened three women’s centers where she practiced primary care and office gynecology.