Macon — Turning to a bariatric procedure to help with your weight is a lifetime commitment to your healthy journey. For those considering the procedures, both doctors and patients advise you to do your research and find the surgery that best fits your needs.

Dr. Danny Vaughn has been transforming lives with bariatric procedures for the last six years. He helps patients with their weight with three procedure options: Laparoscopic gastric bypass, Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band. Vaughn says nearly 60% of the procedures done at his office are Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgeries.

Dr. Vaughn says despite the transformation at the end, people considering the option of surgery should know that it’s not the easy way out. He says the process can take as long as three to six months to get approved for the procedure. Before approval candidates must be evaluated and then complete the necessary work-ups before surgery. Dr. Vaughn says just because you have the operation doesn't mean you’ll never have to worry about your weight again. In his office, the surgeon says he’s witnessed patients do well after the procedures, as well as those who have not lost as much weight as they preferred. He says those who have the most success are the ones who take the diet and exercise component serious.

“There’s really three parts to success with weight loss after surgery,” explained Dr. Vaughn. “The surgery is one, diet is one, and exercise is one. If you don't do diet and exercise properly you're not going to have as good results.”

He says for those considering surgery there are some things to keep in mind. As with any surgery there are risks, but he says the risks are low. He says eating will never be the same after surgery. Once surgery is complete you’ll have to eat smaller portions along with other restrictions.

Contrary to what many people believe, bariatric procedures are not cosmetic surgeries. “There’s not a cosmetic component to this,” said Vaughn. Along with weight loss, Dr. Vaughn says there are also other positive things to keep in mind. “This is really to change your life and help you to be healthier and add years to your life.” Dr. Vaughn says one of the advantages of weight loss surgery is that it can help extend someone’s life for 10-15 years significantly improving health related to diabetes, hypertension and other diseases.