The Questions You Should Be Asking Your Bariatric Surgeon

finding a bariatric surgeonWhen it comes to weight loss, sometimes surgery is the best option. Indeed, procedures like gastric bypass have been performed for over 50 years with great success, and can be a viable alternative for people who have tried everything else and are unable to lose weight by other methods.

Once you have made your decision to explore weight loss surgery options, it is time to get started on your search for a bariatric surgeon. You’ll need a qualified and experienced surgeon to perform the procedure, and it’s up to you to screen them. Check out some of the questions you should be asking your bariatric surgeon before the procedure:

What’s Your Experience?
Experience is definitely important, but just because a surgeon has more surgeries under their belt doesn’t mean they are the most qualified. Look at other indicators, such as the schools and training programs from which they graduated, where they did a fellowship, and what kind of continuing education they have undertaken. Often, young surgeons who don’t have as much experience are training in the latest techniques and have excellent understandings of the surgery, but older and more seasoned surgeons will have more resources available and confidence in their own techniques.

What Resources Do You Provide Pre- and Post- Op?
Weight loss surgery isn’t just an event — it is a whole process. Before the procedure, you’ll need to take certain steps to ensure that you, your family and your home are ready. After the procedure, patients must change their eating and drinking habits entirely, which makes the staff dietician one of the most important players during the journey before and after surgery. Ask if your surgeon know of support groups for some of the lifestyles changes that will come with all different types of weight loss surgery, including bariatric.

What Are Your Complication Rates?
These rates vary by procedure, but make sure that the bariatric surgeon you choose has rates that are lower than the national average. Bariatric surgery side effects can be serious, and you’ll want to make sure that there is as low a chance as possible of complications occurring. Although it may be unpleasant to consider, make sure you also understand all of the potential complications and side effects, including what to do should you experience them. Some side effects are simply nuisances, but others may necessitate immediate medical attention. You and your family should be aware of the difference.

Finding a bariatric surgeon can be a challenge, but is worth all the headaches of the screening processes. Once you make sure that you meet bariatric or gastric sleeve qualifications, you can embark on the greatest weight loss journey of your life.

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