You are considering one of the most important decisions of your life when it comes to having bariatric surgery. You have determined that your weight is causing you health problems, affecting your lifestyle, and interfering with intimate relationships. You have always performed your due diligence when doing something like buying a new car, so this life-changing decision should be made with the utmost analysis and scrutiny. Bearing that in mind, here are the 6 most important questions to ask before you have bariatric surgery.
What Will My Life Be Like For The Next 18 Months?
If you have done any homework at all, you already know the process can take up to 18 months considering the testing and getting approved for the surgery. Plus the year afterward working with your surgeon and dietary consultants to reach your goal weight. It’s certainly not a “one and done” process. The surgeon and practice you choose must have every service you will need to be successful.
What Types Of Procedures Do You Offer, And Which Is Best For Me?
Not all surgeons perform all the different bariatric procedures, but the second part of this question is vital. You should get an honest appraisal of your particular situation and why certain procedures may be right for you along with the risks and benefits of each.
If they don’t perform a certain type of surgery, ask why.
What Are The Risks For Bariatric Surgery?
Although weight loss surgery is safe and effective, generally the risks for any major complication is < 3%. Ask your doctor to describe what could happen.
Why Should I Choose You And Your Practice?
Don’t be embarrassed to ask these questions. You will learn a lot by being forthright. You should learn how many procedures the surgeon has performed and how long they have been doing bariatric surgery.
You want to hear an answer that tells you the surgeon will support you the entire way through the process. Remember you will be spending a lot of time with this doctor and you need to have a significant amount of confidence in him or her and the entire team.
If you feel pressured, move on.
How Do I Emotionally Prepare Myself For Surgery Day?
This is a big one; you need as much information as possible to be prepared and know what to expect. The more you know, the calmer and more confident you will be. Listen carefully to the answers.
Ask about the following:
- Do I have a choice concerning anesthesia?
- How long will the surgery last and how long will I be in the hospital?
- How much pain can I expect to have right afterwards?
- How soon will I be able to get up and move around?
- How much help will I need when I get home?
How Much Weight Can I Expect To Lose?
A successful bariatric surgery patient will lose 50-80% of their excess body weight over a full year. If you need to lose 100 pounds, you will probably lose 50 – 80 pounds.