Find Peers at an NYBG Support Group
While choosing to have a bariatric surgery is something very personal, the process leading up to that decision and the recovery after any procedure involves a team of doctors, family and friends. Because bariatric surgery is such a life-changing event, nearly all surgeons will recommend joining some kind of support group to aid you in the process.
Before you have committed to a particular bariatric procedure or doctor, do some research to find bariatric support groups located in your area. Instead of spending hours reading doctor reviews online, jump into a bariatric chat room or attend a meeting to ask actual patients what their experiences have been like. While no two people will ever have the exact same results or complications, they can definitely tell you which doctors go the extra mile and which give patients the cold shoulder.
Support groups are also excellent resources for learning how to prepare for a bariatric surgery. Once you have chosen a surgery or procedure, dietary and lifestyle changes begin taking place right away. Keeping track of appointments, paperwork, exercise requirements and nutritional guidelines can be overwhelming to take on by yourself. But with the previous experiences of your support group members as a handy resource, navigating the path leading up to surgery becomes much more manageable.
Though websites are available to explain the science behind bariatric surgeries, they often fall flat when it comes to the emotional changes that are about to take place. Knowing what issues to expect ahead of time can much better prepare you to deal with them as you recover. Discussing the emotional, social and mental effects of a surgery will allow you to acknowledge the changes coming in your life and actively embrace them.
After your surgery, as you begin to recover, having a support system in place becomes more important than ever. A worthwhile support group will offer the insight and advice of a nutritionist, dietician and even psychologist to help you adjust to your new life. Having all of these expert opinions at your disposal means you will never be lacking information or advice when it comes to making food choices and establishing exercise routines.
The real work in a dramatic weight loss often comes months or even years down the road, when initial weight loss has subsided and you’ve reached a plateau. While this is not uncommon for many patients, it is also frequently not something that you can tackle on your own. Keeping ties with your bariatric support group means you will always have a resource to turn back to for tips and tricks that have already been vetted by other group members.
To learn more about support groups or to join the New York Bariatric Support Group, visit our support group page.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons, call our office at (516) 616-5500 or click on “Live Chat” in the upper left corner of your screen to have a conversation now.