Is weight loss surgery really the answer?
It's 2 days before Christmas and the news is filled with how weight loss surgery could save lives as well as money for the NHS.
Sky News and BBC News are just two examples.
After processing the overall message my initial response was disbelief and then anger. How is it that as a society we reach the conclusion that bariatric or gastric band surgery is the solution to weight loss issues? What would be our response if we found out that a pet owner dealt with an overweight dog or cat, not by feeding it less or exercising it more, but by taking it to the vet to have it's stomach altered with surgery? We would be up in arms at the irresponsibility of the pet owner!
Weight loss surgery has become seen as a quick fix to the obesity epidemic and it's really not the magic wand many think it is. This blog reveals the 10 main differences on how Gastric Band Hypnosis compares with Weight Loss Surgery.
1. After Weight Loss Surgery the Issues that Caused the Weight Gain are Still There!
What if the reason that someone put on several stone in excess weight had more to do with depression, anxiety, a response to a break-up or other psychological or emotional issues than it did to food or overeating? Even if we ignore all the dangers and risks associated with weight loss surgery the surgery will only affect the stomach of the patient. It will not deal with the issues that led to the weight gain in the first place. This is why I'm so passionately against weight loss surgery. It is like dealing with a crying child by removing their vocal chords or sewing their mouth up. It may stop a child from crying but it doesn't address the reason as to why the child is crying in the first place. The reason why I founded HypnoSlimming really comes down to our core philosophy: Change Your Mind, Change Your Body!
2. Gastric band hypnosis is safer than weight loss surgery
I'll elaborate on some of the specific reasons in the rest of the blog but Gastric Band Hypnosis is a set of specific suggestions to the unconscious mind that affects the appetite and desire to consume large quantities of food. Weight loss surgery on the other hand is surgery that physically alters your stomach and other than occasional complications with general anesthesia you have three more common issues:
3. Gastric band hypnosis is less expensive than weight loss surgery
There are different variations of weight loss surgery and depending on the specific procedure it will influence the costs. There are two main methods of weight loss surgery.
Typical procedures can vary between £4,000 and £9,000. Gastric Band Hypnosis is much cheaper and will normally take about 2 or 3 sessions with a qualified competent practitioner. However depending on the suggestibility of the patient the procedure can occur in one session or even by listening to audio. Please see our Rates or Offers pages to see our costs on Gastric Band Hypnosis treatment.
4. Gastric band hypnosis doesn't leave scars
The trauma of going through surgery can leave emotional scars as well as physical scarring. Physical scars of course will fade over time but any weight loss achieved as a result of surgery which restricts food intake may seem like a hollow victory. It's like a woman in the middle ages being proud of being celibate while wearing a chastity belt. Yes there is the medical technology to help with weight loss but the last 30 years has seen massive advances in how psychological treatment can help with weight loss. Hypnosis, NLP and Gastric Band Hypnosis being just three examples.
5. Weight loss surgery can lead to gallstones
Around 1 in 12 people develop gallstones after weight loss surgery, typically 10 months after surgery. Gallstones are small stones, usually made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder. In most cases, gallstones don't cause any symptoms. However, if they become trapped in a duct (an opening or channel), they can irritate and inflame the gallbladder and cause symptoms, such as: a sudden intense pain in your abdomen (tummy), nausea and vomiting or jaundice. Alongside Gastric Band Hypnosis I also help patients to live healthier lives reducing the likelihood of issues like gallstones.
6. Gastric Band Hypnosis doesn't have the risk of Stomal Stenosis
A common complication in people with a gastric bypass is that the hole (stoma) connecting their stomach pouch to their small intestine becomes narrowed and may get blocked by a piece of food. This is known as stomal stenosis and is thought to occur in one-fifth yes 20% of people with a gastric bypass. (The image above is a different type of stomal issue).
The most common symptom of stomal stenosis is persistent vomiting.
Stomal stenosis can be treated by directing a small flexible tube, known as an endoscope, to the site of the stoma. A balloon attached to the endoscope is inflated to unblock the stoma.
The best way to prevent stomal stenosis is to always cut food into small chunks, chew the chunks thoroughly and avoid drinking during meals. Read more about life after weight loss surgery.
7. Gastric band surgery can lead to food intolerance
Around 1 in 35 people with a gastric band develop a food intolerance, often many years after their surgery.
A food intolerance is when your body is unable to tolerate certain foods, such as red meat or green salad, resulting in a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as:
8. Gastric Band slippage is possible with surgery but not with gastric band hypnosis
Gastric band slippage or lap band slippage is a complication affecting around 1 in 50 people with a gastric band.
As the name suggests, the band slips out of position after overeating while the band is already installed. This means the stomach pouch becomes bigger than it should be. This can cause symptoms such as:
9. There is a genuine risk of death with weight loss surgery
This is what the NHS says about the risks of death for weight loss surgery:
No surgery is entirely safe and all surgical procedures carry a risk of death. However, the outlook for weight loss surgery has greatly improved with modern techniques. The risk of death in hospital after having any kind of weight loss surgery is around 1 in 1,000. (The odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 14 million meaning you are 14,000 times more likely to die of weight loss surgery than win the lottery).
Complications of weight loss surgery that could lead to death include:
I agree that being obese carries health risks but is the answer really surgery with all the risks associated above?
10. Personal pride and self confidence
I really like Paul McKenna. Some of his techniques are innovative, empowering and most importantly deliver results. The challenge I have with Paul McKenna is that it is him that will change you. Books and TV shows like 'I Can Make You Thin' imply that it is he as the Hypnotherapist that is doing the change rather than enabling you to make the change yourself. The reason why I ensure that my clients know that I am helping them to make changes is that by my clients taking ownership of the changes that occur they get an incredible sense of self confidence and personal pride. It can become the first step of a chain of events based on an empowering interpretation of what they have achieved. It is best represented in a question:
If I have accomplished this, then what else is possible?
If you have lost 3, 4 or even 6 stone as a result of changes that you have made then this question holds real power.
If however you ask this question after going through weight loss surgery the answer might be to look for the next quick fix. The mission of HypnoSlimming is to help you achieve the body you want and to love the body you have. We are here to help you on your journey, a journey of positive change, acceptance and inspiration. Together we'll help you get the body you want without resorting to weight loss surgery. Click here to get in touch or to arrange an initial consultation where we can discuss your goals and help you start your own journey.