Top 5 Things to Evaluate When Choosing a Bariatric Surgeon
So, you’ve decided that you’re ready for bariatric surgery. You’ve done your homework and you’re ready to take the next step in living a healthier lifestyle. The next, very important step is finding the right doctor for your bariatric surgery. Some would argue that it might be THE most important factor in achieving your goals for a successful lifestyle change.
As few as 10 years ago there were only a small number of bariatric surgeons in the entire country. That is certainly no longer the case today. A quick Google search will tell you that there are many bariatric surgeons and more procedures to choose from. How do you know which surgeon is right for you?
1) Ask about his/her experience. Studies (like this one) suggest a direct connection between a practice’s experience and post-operative complications. To minimize your chance for difficulties, look for a practice that has experience in its corner.
2) Choose a practice that has been designated a Center of Excellence (COE). In order to obtain a Center of Excellence designation, bariatric surgeons must meet the highest quality patient care standards in the field of bariatric surgery. This involves a rigorous two-stage application process and a careful on-site inspection. Only one out of every 300 bariatric surgery centers receives this important designation.
3) Look for a surgeon that performs the single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS). Single incision surgery is a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery that literally requires one incision through the belly button to perform. The procedure typically results in little to no scarring for the patient. As an added bonus, this minimally invasive procedure also can decrease the amount of time in the hospital, reduce post-surgical pain and result in a faster recovery time.
4) Make sure your surgeon is fellowship trained in bariatric surgery. A fellowship trained bariatric surgeon has more training experience in their focus area than a non-fellowship trained surgeon.
5) Find a bariatric program that is comprehensive. Weight loss surgery involves a lifestyle change, breaking bad habits and cultivating a new outlook on life. It is your responsibility to ensure that you receive the care you need, so make sure that your program has the support you will need both before and after surgery. A few things to look for would include: before care, a psychologist, a nutritionist, pre-surgery support groups, cooking classes, aftercare, and post- surgical support groups.
Choosing the right bariatric surgeon might seem like a daunting task, but as you can see from the above guidelines, it doesn’t have to be. As you know what important criteria is and are able ask the right questions, it gets a little easier.
Contact us today or call 800-633-8446 to learn more about New York Bariatric Group’s weight loss surgery options.