Control Emotional Eating After Weight Loss Surgery

--Marc A. Neff, MD, FACS, FASMBS

Weight loss surgery is a very effective tool to help people loose weight -- but it is only a tool.

The weight loss journey begins when a person decides that their weight is out of control and seeks professional help. Once surgical weight loss is decided on, the journey starts to gain speed during the pre-operative testing phase and kicks into gear when the surgery is performed.

But surgery is only the beginning of the journey -- mile '5' so to speak.

After the surgery is performed, it's all about learning how to use the new tool properly. Patients need to learn how to deal with life stressors after surgery in a healthy way - not turning to food for comfort. There is also a risk of using food as a stress release for another addiction - like drugs, alcohol, gambling or smoking. 

Patients who don't deal with the issues that drove them to eat and become overweight in the first place (boredom, stress, abuse or depression) will find that weight loss surgery only gets them half way to their goal.