Choosing A Bariatric Surgeon - My Bariatric Life

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • There are many reasons people opt for weight loss surgery although the primary cause is health concerns. As for me, I felt like I was going to die. While that is the inevitable end for us all, I want to prolong that as much as possible.

    Morbid obesity contributes directly to a number of illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, respiratory problems, and others. More than 300,000 people die each year from obesity related illnesses. I was on a collision course with death, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and respiratory problems as a result of morbid obesity.

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    Exacerbating the issue is the psychological baggage of social embarrassment, low self-esteem, depression, and discrimination. I suffered with major depression for many years until I regained my health after gastric bypass surgery. I also was silently discriminated in the workplace, only able to secure temporary assignments. It was not until I lost significant weight after having gastric bypass that I was immediately hired into a wonderful fulltime role.

     


    Given these factors, increasing numbers of people are choosing weight loss surgery as a viable remedy to improve health and mind. Once the decision is made to pursue gastric bypass surgery, as in my case, a qualified and experienced bariatric surgeon will be needed to perform that surgery.

    Preparing to Choose a Bariatric Surgeon

    Before you begin the process of finding the weight loss surgeon who is best suited to fill your needs, you must first assess exactly what those needs are, as well as begin preliminary explorations.

    You can begin by researching weight loss facilities. You should find out about what the facility has to offer to address your personal and medical needs.

    You should research the medical credentials and experience of any surgeons under consideration.

    You should discover the risks of the surgery option you are investigating and what the options for financing are, including your insurance coverage.

    Check into support groups and the degree of follow up offered by the perspective bariatric surgeons.

    Questions for the Bariatric Surgeon

    Compile 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 surgeon became interested in weight loss surgery, to what degree her practice is involved in bariatric surgery, if she received any special training for bariatric surgery, 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 other community doctors. Ask you personal physician her thoughts about bariatric surgeons in the area. Do some online search and join a weight loss surgery online community to see what prior patients think of the bariatric surgeon.

    Ask the surgeon about her level of complications and mortality rates. Surgery has risks and complications. Some complications such as wound infection and post-operative bleeding are always possible.


  • Does the bariatric surgeon’s office have a support program or do they only perform the weight loss surgery? A support program would suggest a higher degree of devotion to the patient. The more involved the surgeon, the greater the satisfaction.

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    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 the 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.


    References:
    LiveStrong.com http://www.livestrong.com/article/41617-morbid-obesity-its-effects/ - accessed 6/7/12
    National Bariatric Link http://www.nationalbariatriclink.org/choosing-the-right-doctor-for-bariatric-surgery.html - accessed 6/9/12
    NTU Langone Weight management Program http://thinforlife.med.nyu.edu/surgical-weight-loss/obesity/health-risks-morbid-obesity - accessed 6/7/12
    Roper St. Francis Health Care http://communities.rsfh.com/Blogs/Weighty-Matters/November-2011/Choosing-a-Bariatric-Surgeon.aspx - accessed 6/9/12


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    My Story...
    You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.

     

     
Published On: June 13, 2012