Every year, thousands of people get weight loss surgery. While the surgery is performed in a matter of hours, it often involves a complex pre-surgery and post-surgery process. It’s not uncommon for people to wait more than six months to get approved for surgery. After the surgery is complete, you are looking at an extensive recovery time. One of the most important things you can do is to carefully choose your bariatric surgeon and be sure that you ask them the right questions prior to your procedure.
What are all the procedures that your bariatric surgeon can perform?
There are many different kinds of bariatric surgeries. Figuring out which one is right for you is critical. Every surgeon will recommend a procedure that they believe provides their patients with the best and safest results. Since surgeons don’t necessarily perform all procedures that are available, you will need to consult with them individually to discuss your options. In addition to individual consultations, you may consider a weight loss surgery seminar.
How much experience does your surgeon have performing this surgery?
Surgical skills come from experience. However, performing a lot of surgeries does not always mean that the doctor will be more skilled than surgeons with less procedures under their belt. While experience is important, consider all of the factors that prove a bariatric surgeon will be the right choice for you.
You can dive deeper with your research on a particular surgeon. Who did they train with? Bariatric surgeons take part in a fellowship, which is usually a two-year program where they train under another experienced, well-regarded surgeon who has specialized in a specific procedure.
When you speak with them, listen to how they relate their experience to you and what their strengths and weaknesses are in the process. A good bariatric surgeon will be clear and upfront about all of this.
What is the clinic’s complication rate?
This is an important factor to consider. While bariatric surgery is extremely safe, like all major surgeries, it comes with the small chance for complications. Speak with your prospective surgeon about their documented complication rate and compare to the national average.
What kind of resources are offered post-op?
It’s best to think of weight loss surgery as a tool on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Your doctor will explain how his/her team will help you along the way. The support from your surgeon and dietitian will be critical to ensuring you have the best chance of achieving your long-term weight loss goals.
Have questions? Contact Dr. Samuel Bledsoe, today! Dr. Bledsoe is happy to address all of your concerns and provide the answers you seek, so you can make the best choices about your health.