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When is the "right" time for weight loss surgery?

October 1, 2022

Bariatric procedures are now viewed as a way to both prevent and treat dangerous health problems linked to obesity.

photo of a smiling woman showing off weight loss by holding out the waist of the pants she is wearing that are now too big for her

Dr. Thomas Tsai had performed weight-loss surgery on the beaming woman in front of him only six months before, but she was already a changed person. Dozens of pounds had melted from her physique, lowering not just the number on the scale but her odds of developing potentially life-threatening health problems. A coveted career promotion capped off her fresh sense of confidence.

"She was the same hardworking person she’d been before surgery, but she didn’t face the stigma associated with her weight anymore," says Dr. Tsai, a bariatric surgeon at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. "Not only did her health improve, but the surgery may have contributed to social and professional benefits."

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