David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH
George Blackburn, MD
Sue Cummings, MS, RD, LDN
David R. Flum, MD, MPH
Ronette L. Kolotikin, PhD
Robert Kushner, MD
Edward H. Livingston, MD
Melinda Maggard, MD, MSHS
Kathleen McTigue, MD, MPH
Daniel Schauer, MD
As obesity becomes increasingly common, more people are faced with decisions about weight loss surgery, but misunderstandings about these surgeries are also common. To help people make informed, shared decisions with health care providers, the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Weight Loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?
This program is for people 18 years of age or older who have either:
- severe obesity, meaning a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more
- a BMI of 35 or more along with other weight-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis or sleep apnea
The booklet and online versions of this program include information to help people determine their BMI.
The program discusses obesity and helps people living with it understand they are not alone. It profiles lifestyle changes that are necessary regardless if a person has weight loss surgery. The program describes the different types of surgeries and focuses on the two that are most common in the United States, gastric bypass and gastric banding. It details benefits and risks, compares the two procedures, and explains how each might impact a person’s life and other health conditions. It also discusses other available strategies to manage weight such as weight loss medications. The program provides questions that people might consider when deciding which treatment option is right.
Interviews feature real patients who made different decisions about weight loss surgery. Each explains how they made their decisions and shares their journey since that time, both physically and emotionally. The program also includes interviews with a general surgeon and a psychologist.
This program was developed with our production partner, Health Dialog. It is available as a DVD, a booklet and a web-based program (Health Crossroads®) for Health Dialog members.