Choosing a Surgeon: Aftercare
When choosing a bariatric surgeon, evaluating their support facilities, program, and staff is critical to your postoperative success. Why? because the journey does not end right after surgery…in fact, that is where it begins. Proper support is the key and integral part of your long-term success.
The bariatric surgery support program should be logical, structured and should offer plenty of opportunity for you to be involved in their aftercare plan. This includes diet and exercise programs, advice, and support groups.
It should also offer a forum, with opportunities to meet other patients in similar circumstances, as well as, to consult with the surgeon and support staff. The program should actively support patients in their journey to a healthier life, through weight loss.
The key components of a successful aftercare program are:
- A staff of dedicated professionals, that understand the unique needs of bariatric patients and the importance of aftercare for long-term success. Staff members, including dietitians, nutritionists, exercise specialists, behaviorists, bariatric coordinators, and registered nurses should be committed to regular contact with you, ensuring that any questions are answered. A fully trained staff also ensures any problems that arise, will be promptly addressed. These staff members will be your point of contact for years to come and should offer a great deal of help during the inevitable bumps in the road.
- Support groups are integral to your long-term success. Practices should have regular support group schedules with varied topics and activities. The support group should be well-attended, either online or in person. You should make a point of visiting a group session before your decision is made.
- A blog or forum which allows for connectivity with the practice and other patients.
- A Facebook page or other social media which provides information and connectivity.
- A dietician who can monitor and advise on your progress.
Aftercare is one of the many components of a successful bariatric program and its importance should not be underestimated. Spend time, before surgery, evaluating a practice’s dedication to their patients both before and after surgery.