When you meet with your doctor to consult about your weight loss surgery, your doctor is going to make absolutely sure that you understand everything that is involved with weight loss surgery. That includes the physical as well as mental and emotional hurdles you are going to face. Bariatric surgery is a dramatic life change that can be too much to handle for some people so your doctor will ask a series of questions to determine if you are capable of handling everything that comes along with your bariatric surgery.
Some of the questions you can expect are:
- Are you aware of the risks? You need to understand that all forms of bariatric surgery have risks and there is no risk free method you can choose. Those risks range from the short term and minor to the long term and potentially fatal. This will be one of the first questions you should expect as it is critical that you understand the risks of surgery ahead of time.
- Do you have realistic expectations for the surgery? Your doctor is going to want to know that you understand what the realistic expectations are for your surgery. If you have expectations that are beyond the standard results you may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you don’t meet those unrealistic expectations. You should have a clear understanding of what success means and how to achieve it before undergoing surgery.
- Are you ready to commit to losing weight? Surgery is just the first step towards losing weight. After bariatric surgery you will still have a lot of work to do to lose weight but most importantly keep the weight off. Your doctor is going to want to be sure that you are committed to a lifestyle overhaul that includes a new diet and a commitment to regular exercise. It’s all of these things in conjunction that leads to long term success. The surgery alone will not be enough, you and you alone are the ultimate deciding factor in how much weight you lose.
- Do you know what foods to avoid and which to eat? Your diet will have to change after your surgery for a couple of reasons. First, with many bariatric surgeries, the amount of food you can physically take in will be greatly diminished. This will take some time getting comfortable with. If you try and eat to much you can actually do physical damage to yourself which could lead to additional surgery.
Secondly, you will have to learn which foods to focus on and stay away from to ensure you are getting as many vitamins and nutrients as possible in the limited amount of food you are able to take in. Many patients need to supplement their diet with multivitamins to ensure they are not depriving themselves of basic nutritional requirements.
Are you prepared to seek help/support?Surgery is a very difficult event and seeking out help and support is vital to maintaining a healthy state of mind and perspective. Many patients seek out a mental health counselor to discuss their issues, thoughts and feelings while many others join support groups made up of other people who have also gone through similar procedures.
Types of support can include:
- Mental health professionals
- Local weight loss support groups
- Online weight loss communities
- Friends & Family
It’s this type of support that is extremely beneficial, especially during those periods where times are tougher and you need someone to lean on for words of encouragement or simply a pat on the back. Your doctor will want to know that you are prepared to take these steps or have even already looked in to groups you can join once you’ve had your surgery.
Take some time and really think about the questions above and how you will answer when your doctor asks you each of these questions. Research as much as you can and learn everything you need to know ahead of time so that you are completely sure that bariatric surgery makes sense for you. You need to be honest with yourself and your doctor before you can begin the journey of weight loss surgery and a total life transformation.