As you’re getting ready for your first appointment with your bariatric surgeon, your goal is probably to make the visit as productive as possible. This article will guide you through what to expect during your initial consultation, including suggestions on how to prepare for the appointment, what to bring with you and questions that you should ask your doctor about the procedure that you’re considering.
Your First Weight Loss Surgery Appointment
During your first visit, your surgeon’s goal is to develop an understanding of your individual needs. You’ll discuss efforts you’ve made to lose weight up until that point, as well as any issues or specific health concerns you may have. This might include issues fitting into clothes, self-esteem issues, pain in your joints, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
If you have a weight loss journal or notes on your weight loss efforts, bring them along to help you easily recall and share relevant information with your surgeon. This visit will likely be very personal, but it’s also an opportunity to get to know your surgeon and determine whether you’re compatible and can work together.
The surgeon will also talk to you about your health goals and determine whether or not you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery. He might recommend a psychological evaluation, diagnostic testing or suggest you see a nutritionist and try diet and lifestyle changes prior to surgery.
Questions To Ask Your Bariatric Surgeon
If you have questions or concerns, write them down so you don’t forget to discuss them with your surgeon. Examples of questions that you can ask include:
- How much weight can I expect to lose and how quickly will I lose it?
- Will there be any scarring? What can I do to minimize scarring?
- What can I do before surgery to lower the risk of complications?
- Are there any medications that I should avoid prior to the surgery?
- Will anesthesia be used? Are there other options to consider?
- How soon after surgery will my first follow-up appointment be?
- How often will I see you after my surgery?
- How do I contact you if I have questions or in case of an emergency?
- Do you take walk-ins? How soon will I be able to see you if I need to schedule an urgent appointment?
- How does your practice work with insurance companies to ensure the lowest possible out-of-pocket expenses?
- What post-surgery care and support programs do you offer?
Maximize Your Visit
Get the most out of your first visit by sending your medical records and insurance information in advance to give the surgeon and his staff more time to review your options. In addition to those documents, make sure to bring the following items to your appointment:
- State-issued ID or driver’s license
- List of prescription medications
- List of other medical practitioners you’re working with
During your visit, make sure to interview staff members and ask them about the surgeon, his work and their interactions with him. Get a feel for the team you will be working with during this transformative experience. Spend your time at the practice getting to know as much as you can about them.
Ask the staff to give you a tour the facility to get a complete picture of what the practice is really like.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
Scheduling an initial consultation with your surgeon or practitioner can help ease concerns and give you a better idea of the commitment that you’re making by seeking treatment. Your surgeon will be able to answer any questions you might have and help prepare you for the procedure you choose.
If you have questions about bariatric surgery or want to schedule a consultation, contact Soma Weight Loss.