Perhaps you've tried dieting and failed. Atkins, South Beach, or even a nutritionist. And perhaps you've tried an exercise regimen and either had trouble sticking to it, or difficulties performing the exercises. If you're wondering if weight loss surgery, such as lap band surgery, is the best option for you at this point, the answer is... well... complicated.
It's important to realize that weight loss surgery is NOT cosmetic surgery. It is major surgery, it is potentially life threatening, and those that choose this route will have to make changes that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Before reading on, please keep these facts in mind-- because weight loss surgery is not a decision to be made lightly. There are consequences to this choice, and not all of them are feel-good, positive consequences.
However, a lot of positive changes come from losing a large amount of weight, especially for a person who has faced lifelong struggles with their weight. An increase in mobility and enjoyment of time spent in active pursuits. Higher self-esteem and better self-image. These are all valuable changes, and are of course things you want in your life. But they should not be the only deciding factor in getting weight loss surgery. The most important reason --in fact, the only real reason-- for a person to get weight loss surgery is to live a better life, a healthier life, for longer. If those things are your true motivation for weight loss surgery, you may be a good candidate.
When looking online into your weight loss options, you've probably come across a lot of information about weight loss surgery. A lot of the information you'll find (especially on the web) comes from sources that you cannot necessarily trust. Don't take what you read at face value. The best thing to do when considering weight loss surgery is to talk to your doctor. He may refer you to a qualified surgeon who performs lap band or other weight loss surgeries, or you may need to find one on your own.
A qualified surgeon will be able to sit down with you, and outline the risks and benefits of the surgery. He should give you an indication of whether or not you're a good candidate for the surgery, and give you an overview of the process, including the life changes you'll need to make after the surgery itself. A lot of weight loss clinics offer seminars or information sessions about weight loss surgery. If you really think that weight loss surgery might be the right choice for you, you may want to think about attending. You'll meet people who are going through (or have been through) the same experiences and it's a good way to get support as well as information.