Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. To be obese means to weigh at least 20% more than what is considered normal for a person of a certain height, or to have a body mass index (BMI) that ranges between 25 to 30. While many obese individuals attempt to lose weight through diet and exercise, sometimes the only option is to resort to weight loss surgery options like lap band surgery, gastric bypass surgery, or bariatric surgery, which restricts the amount of food that can be taken into the stomach. While weight loss surgery is important, what’s equally is important is undergoing occupational therapy after the surgical procedure is over. Occupational therapy can help to restore lost mobility and help individuals live meaningful lives again. Here are several benefits that come from receiving occupational therapy after weight loss surgery.
- Regaining Mobility: In cases of extreme obesity, it is not uncommon for individuals to suffer from a loss of mobility due to their weight. They might be wheelchair bound for years before undergoing weight loss surgery, which would make it hard to walk or move around even after the surgery once the weight begins to decrease. By visiting an occupational therapist, it’s possible through therapeutic exercises to slowly regain lost mobility.
- Monitoring Skin Conditions: When the body is in an obese state, it is very easy to develop degenerative skin conditions, like sores or open wounds, due to the extreme weight damaging the skin. One benefit of visiting an occupational therapist is they can monitor these conditions and either treat them or prevent them from getting worse.
- Strategies For the Future: Aside from providing physical exercises that can help regain mobility, visiting an occupational therapist can also provide strategies for maintaining a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle in the future. It is unfortunately far too easy to relapse into old habits after weight loss surgery but by visiting an occupational therapist, one can receive diet and exercise strategies that can make it easier to maintain a new lifestyle with a healthy weight.
In conclusion, there are benefits to receiving occupational therapy after receiving weight loss surgery. The primary benefit is that receiving occupational therapy allows one to regain lost mobility and subsequently increase their quality of life. Occupational therapists can also monitor and treat skin conditions that can occur before, during, and after weight loss surgery. And occupational therapists can also provide strategies for the future to make it easier to retain a new quality of life after surgery. All of this is possible by receiving occupational therapy after weight loss surgery.