Consider bariatric surgery the beginning of a new chapter in your personal weight loss story. Far from being a “quick fix” for health problems, bariatric surgery starts with about six months of waiting for the procedure to be approved. It continues with a full year of reaching your target weight and a lifetime working to maintain your health. Because it is such a serious undertaking, be sure you’re ready to do your part both before and after the surgery. Make sure you are asking y our doctor these 7 questions before your weight loss surgery.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Before Weight Loss Surgery
Finding the best surgeon for your bariatric surgery is a key part of the process. Here are 7 questions you can ask to get to know your surgeon better and make sure the surgical team is one you can confidently trust.
What is your experience?
“Experience” doesn’t necessarily mean “countless surgeries performed.” You want to find a surgeon who has lots of experience performing bariatric surgery, but is also highly skilled at the procedure. A great follow up question is “How many surgeries do you perform each day?” You want to make sure your physician is well-versed in the procedure, but doesn’t overload their schedule, which reduces their focus and readiness.
What resources do you offer before and after surgery?
Since bariatric surgery is a single step toward your overall health, a good surgeon will provide education and assistance to support you before and after the procedure. For example, the bariatric team should include a dietician you can consult with about your pre- and post-op diet. They should also recommend great resources to help you become educated and prepared.
Here are some helpful resources for those considering weight loss surgery:
- Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery
- How To Know If You’re Covered By Weight Loss Surgery
- What To Be Prepared For After Surgery
- Changes To Expect After Weight Loss Surgery
- Keys For Developing A Healthier Relationship With Food
- Pros And Cons Of Weight Loss Surgery
- How Obesity Affects Your Body
- 6 Ways Gastric Bypass Surgery Can Change (& Even Save) Your Life
- More Than Just Health: The Financial Benefits Of Weight Loss
- How To Talk To A Loved One About Obesity
- How To Start Your First Exercise Program
Which procedures do you perform?
There are several procedures considered bariatric surgery and not every surgeon performs all of them. This could either be a good sign or an indication you should seek another doctor. For example, if your surgeon performs gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries but not duodenal switch surgeries, ask him why. It could be they have not seen satisfactory results with some procedures and are solely interested in performing surgeries that yield the best results for their patients.
This selective attitude toward bariatric surgery is only a problem if the surgeon cannot adequately explain why they don’t perform certain procedures, so make sure your doctor can articulate the pros and cons for each type of surgery they don’t perform.
What procedure would you recommend for me?
This question sheds light on how well your doctor understands you and how willing they are to make you an active part of the decision-making process. Your surgeon should know about your lifestyle, current diet and exercise program, and medical history. Based on this information, your doctor should present you with all suitable options when you ask this question. They should also give you all the details you need to make an educated decision about which bariatric procedure is right for you.
What are the reasons someone should have weight-loss surgery?
Bariatric surgery is not the best method of weight loss for everyone. Ask your doctor how you specifically can benefit from the procedure. If there is a better path to good health for you, your surgeon should be willing to recommend seeking other treatment options.
How can I prepare myself emotionally for the surgery?
Being mentally prepared for surgery can help it go more smoothly, so ask any questions you have about the process ahead of time. Ask logistical questions like how long the surgery will last, what type of anesthesia will be used, and how quickly you will be able to move around after waking up. List any questions you have about pain relief, possible complications, and long terms issues like whether you’ll eventually need plastic surgery for sagging skin.
Why should I choose you?
This question might surprise your surgeon since few patients bother to ask, but it is a great way to see if your surgeon’s focus is in the right place. You want to hear that they are dedicated to their patients and to using their skills and knowledge to help you toward your weight loss goals.
Ask Questions, Get Answers, Make The Right Choice For You
Asking all the questions you have is the best way to see if your surgeon is skilled, caring, and the right match for you. Being confident in the medical care your receive is a great first step in your life-long weight loss journey.
If you are interested in bariatric surgery, and you would like to ask questions, please contact the bariatric team at Angeles Health today to start the conversation.