Talking to Your Doctor About Weight Loss Surgery - My Bariatric Life

Patient Expert

Talking to your primary physician about your weight may be uncomfortable. Perhaps you are embarrassed about your weight or perhaps you believe your doctor might be judgmental despite his position. Unfortunately, your fears may have some substance.

Some physicians do, in fact, maintain stereotypes about those who are obese. In addition, many doctors do not feel they are adequately trained to talk about weight loss.

The primary reason for not having such conversations is that doctors feel they simply do not have the time to counsel patients about weight loss and lifestyle changes.

Despite these factors, you must overcome personal fears and allow your physician the deserved benefit of the doubt. Your medical needs should take precedent over concerns about a situation that may not even exist. Most doctors are professional and compassionate.

Hopefully your physician will be pleased to see you initiating conversation about what can be done to improve your health.

Beginning the Conversation With Your Doctor About Weight Loss Surgery

If it is your intention to talk to your primary care physician about weight loss surgery then you presumably have made attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise but have not had success.

It is possible you have already had conversations with your doctor about your weight. You may have exhausted all talk about diet and exercise, and you may now have health conditions directly related to obesity. You feel that the time has come to discuss bariatric surgery.

In order to initiate talk with your doctor about  weight-loss surgery, you must first make an appointment.

Talking Directly With Your Doctor About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Your present health and the medications you are taking will be discussed. The doctor will also want some in depth information about your prior attempts to lose weight. Preparing a history for presentation might be a good idea.

Existing issues that might rule out surgery will be explored. If you are a good candidate for  weight-loss surgery, the conversation could turn to bariatric surgeons who are in your area. Finally, if your doctor is satisfied that you qualify for weight loss surgery, he or she can issue a letter of referral.

Prior to meeting with your doctor, prepare a list of questions that you wish to ask.

Some Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Weight Loss Surgery

I am sure you have questions that you will wish to ask, but here are some suggestions that might of use:

What are acceptable reasons for having gastric bypass surgery and isnit a good choice for me?

Are there ways to lose weight that I have not tried before? Should I explore them before having surgery?

What are the different types of weight loss surgeries and which might be best for me?

How long is the recovery period after gastric bypass surgery?

Will my insurance company pay for my bariatric surgery?

How much weight can I expect to lose?

How long will I need to be hospitalized?

Is there anything I need to do prior to gastric bypass surgery?

What will my diet be like after bariatric surgery?

What do I need to do to keep off the weight I will lose?
These are a few questions I have to lend although there are many more. I hope they are helpful.


Daily Spark  accessed 4/20/12
L.A. Bariatrics  accessed 4/20/12
Medline Plus  accessed 4/20/12

Wink  Please "heart" this article  to support future weight-loss surgery topics on HealthCentral. Thank you!** 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.