Having worked in the weight loss surgery industry since the year 2000, I am now getting clients in the clinic who may have had two different lap bands placed, both of which have not been successful. These individuals are now moving towards the sleeve gastrectomy. I have even seen a large number of clients who have moved on to bypass and biliopancreattic duodenal switch, but are still seeking weight loss advice from me as a dietitian.

One client stands out in my mind. I simply had to comment, “When are you going to begin working with your weight loss surgery?” To my surprise, she actually agreed. From the beginning she had never changed her diet or exercise levels. She continues to drink soft drinks regularly – up to 1.5 litres per day – and had stopped eating fatty food only because her most recent surgery the BDS forced her to do so (otherwise she’d suffer significant diarrhoea).

I hope this example really shows you that the solution is not to jump from one surgery to another. You should not have the mindset that “If this surgery does not work, I have alternative options.” This is completely wrong. The mindset an individual must have when preparing for surgery is “What do I need to know to work with lap band surgery?” or “What do I need to know to work with sleeve gastrectomy surgery?” or “What do I need to know to work with bypass surgery?” We must take ownership of what we can do for ourselves. No surgeon or surgery will help you if you don’t help yourself.