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Most insurance companies and surgeons recommend a team approach to bariatric
surgery. An ideal program has at least four components:
A multidisciplinary team evaluates the patient before surgery. The team
delivers medical, nutritional, and psychological care before the surgery
and then looks at lifestyle changes following the surgery.
Most bariatric programs require that patients take part in a support
group before the surgery. This group allows patients to discuss their
concerns and hear how other patients have handled the procedure.
After a patient has completed the presurgical evaluations and has sufficient
metabolic control, the surgeon and patient will discuss the benefits and
complications associated with different bariatric procedures and together
they will choose the surgery they believe will be most beneficial. Once
a specific procedure has been chosen, the next step will be setting a
date for the surgery.
Bariatric surgery is like any other major operation. One can best prepare
by knowing the basics and following the surgeon’s instructions.
Mental preparation involves the following:
- Understanding the surgical process and what to expect afterward.
- Keeping in mind that one will no longer be able to eat as he/she
did before and that his/her diet will have to be monitored from then
- Talking to others who have already had bariatric surgery.
- Starting a journal to record feelings and progress.
- Obtaining a letter of support from family members to show one’s
surgeon that the patient has a support system.
To prepare physically, patients should follow the guidelines given to
them by their physician or surgeon. These guidelines are insurance for
a successful bariatric procedure.