There are many reasons why people need the help of a good bariatric surgeon. Morbid obesity contributes to a number of illnesses including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and respiratory problems. More than 300,000 people die each year from obesity related illnesses. I once had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and respiratory problems as a result of my morbid obesity.
Exacerbating the issue was the psychological baggage of social embarrassment, low self-esteem, depression, and discrimination. I suffered from major depression for many years until I regained my health after gastric bypass surgery.
Increasing numbers of people are choosing weight loss surgery to improve health and mind. Once the decision is made to have weight loss surgery, a qualified and experienced bariatric surgeon is needed to perform the operation.
Preparing to Choose a Bariatric Surgeon
Before you begin the search for the bariatric surgeon who is best suited for your needs, you must first assess exactly what those needs are.
You can begin by researching weight loss facilities. You should find out what a facility has to offer to address your personal and medical needs.
You should research the medical credentials and experience of any surgeons you are considering.
You should know the risks of the surgery you are investigating, what your insurance will cover, and what the options for financing are.
Check out support groups and what any perspective bariatric surgeons do to monitor your well-being after your discharge.
Questions to ask the Bariatric Surgeon
Make a list of questions to ask the bariatric surgeon at your first meeting. Some suggestions are:
What are the surgeon’s credentials regarding bariatric surgery? Ask how the bariatric surgeon became interested in weight loss surgery, to what degree her practice is involved in bariatric surgery, what special training for bariatric surgery did she receive, and if she is board certified.
What is the surgeon’s reputation in the medical community and are other patients satisfied with her services? Bariatric surgeons should have an alliance with community doctors. Ask you personal physician her thoughts about bariatric surgeons in the area. Do some online research and join an online weight loss surgery community such as BariatricPal or ThinnerTimes to see what patients think about the bariatric surgeon you are interested in.
Surgery can have risks such as wound infection and post-operative bleeding. Ask the surgeon about any complications or mortalities that may have occurred after any of the bariatric surgeries she has performed.
Does the bariatric surgeon’s office have a support program or do they only perform the weight loss surgery? A support program suggests greater interest in patient care.
What does the surgeon expect of you before and after surgery? Adequate pre-surgery education and post-surgery follow-up are important for success. The surgeon and her team should keep the patient informed at all times to best ensure maximum results.
Is the hospital where the bariatric surgery is to be performed equipped for bariatric patients? Find out if the hospital where you will be having your weight loss surgery has equipment and staff capable of addressing a patient who might weigh as much as 500 pounds.
Lastly, remember to trust your gut instincts.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photo by David Castillo Dominici,