31 Questions to Ask a Bariatric Surgeon

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    31 Questions to Ask a Bariatric Surgeon

    If you’re thinking about having weight loss surgery, there are probably a thousand questions on your mind. But, when you’re in the surgeon’s office, your mind can suddenly go blank. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a list on hand. Gathering as much information as possible will help you be better prepared for the surgery and increase your chances of successful weight loss. Here are some examples of questions to ask your bariatric surgeon.

    Questions About Candidacy and Type of Bariatric Surgery

    The first step in having weight loss surgery is finding out more about the procedure itself. Here are some questions you can ask your surgeon. They will help you get a sense of whether you want to have bariatric surgery.

    • Am I a good candidate for weight loss surgery?
    • Should I try other weight loss options before I have surgery?
    • What are the different bariatric procedures available?
    • Which types of bariatric procedures do you perform?
    • How do different surgeries compare to each other in terms of expected weight loss? Which is the least risky? Which is the riskiest?
    • What bariatric procedure do you recommend for me?
    • How much weight can I expect to lose?
    • Will the surgery affect my other health conditions?
    • If I have one type of bariatric surgery, can it be revised at a later date to another type?
    • What are the most common complications after weight loss surgery?
    • Are my risks higher or lower than your average patient?
    • Will I be able to get pregnant after weight loss surgery?
    • Do I need to have any tests or imaging studies done before the surgery?
    • Will my insurance cover the cost of the procedure? What will be my out-of-pocket expense?

    Questions About the Surgeon’s Experience

    An important factor in the success of your weight loss surgery is the surgeon’s expertise. Studies show the more experienced the surgeon, the lower is the rate of complications after bariatric procedures. You can ask your surgeon the following questions to learn more about their experience.

    • How many bariatric procedures do you perform each year?
    • Which type of bariatric surgery do you perform most often?
    • How often do your patients have complications?
    • Can I speak to one of your patients who has had the same procedure?
    • Do you offer postoperative support and resources?
    • Why should I choose you as my bariatric surgeon?
    • Is the hospital accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program?

    Questions About the Surgery and Recovery

    Oftentimes, the thing that causes the most anxiety in people having weight loss surgery is the procedure itself. It is a good idea to be mentally prepared and know what to expect. Here are some questions to ask your bariatric surgeon about the surgery.

    • How is the surgery done? Is it an open procedure or laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery?
    • What are the risks of the surgery?
    • How often do complications occur?
    • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
    • How active can I be when I return home after weight loss surgery?
    • How many days do I need to take off work to recover?
    • What should I expect in terms of wounds and scarring?
    • How soon after the procedure can I start exercising?
    • How many follow-up visits will I need to make?
    • Will I need further surgery to remove sagging skin after weight loss?

    Questions About Lifestyle Modifications After Bariatric Surgery

    The surgery itself lasts only a few hours. But, the commitment to lifestyle changes is lifelong. The better prepared you are about your diet, exercise, and lifestyle after weight loss surgery, the more successful you will be in losing weight. Here are some questions to ask your bariatric surgeon about eating habits and lifestyle after surgery.

    • What type of food can I eat after surgery?
    • How much food can I eat after bariatric surgery? How many meals a day?
    • Are there any foods I won’t be allowed to eat after weight loss surgery?
    • Will I need to take any supplements?
    • What will my bowel movements be like after the procedure?
    • How much exercise will I need to do to lose weight?
    • How can I prevent regaining weight after surgery?
    • Choosing to have bariatric surgery is a big decision. If you’re going to be successful in this endeavor, it pays to be well informed. We hope this exhaustive list of questions to ask a bariatric surgeon will help you be better prepared for this life-changing event.
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