What To Look for in a Weight Loss Surgeon

October 5, 2016

Choosing to undergo weight loss surgery is a life-changing decision. From that point on, your life will hold a before and an after – in health, lifestyle, and self-esteem. The outcome of this surgery will likely affect every facet of your life and is the first step to becoming healthier and happier. The next step is also important: choosing the right doctor. Here are a few points to consider when searching for your surgeon.

1. Is the surgeon qualified to perform the surgery?

While successful completion of a residency qualifies a surgeon for initial board certification, a post-residency fellowship offers considerably more in-depth expertise for specialists. Look for a surgeon whose fellowship focused on minimally invasive laparoscopic bariatric surgery. He or she should be thoroughly versed in the challenges of the procedure itself and in how to best care for patients post-surgery and throughout the course of their weight loss. Ask where your surgeon learned to perform the procedure you’re considering and how in-depth the training was.

2. Is the surgeon experienced?

The more experience a surgeon has in successfully performing weight loss procedures, the more variations and exceptions he or she will have seen and learned how to accommodate. Each bypass, sleeve, banding or switch becomes as unique as each patient, and each successful treatment builds a surgeon’s store of knowledge and expertise. Because the best weight loss procedure for each patient varies by patient, look for a specialist who has extensive experience in all of the accepted procedures – especially in the procedure you are considering.

3. How invested will the surgeon be in your post-surgery success?

The weight loss procedure is a catalyst for future change. Reaching your goal weight will take time and, even with the surgery, weight loss still comes with daunting challenges. You will need substantial emotional, nutritional and behavioral support for you to establish and maintain your new lifestyle choices. Your surgeon should have a detailed post-surgery plan that addresses your end goals and a realistic process to get you there.

4. What resources does your surgeon have in place to support you?

Family and friends may want to help, but they often fall short in understanding what a deep lifestyle change will mean for you. They may fail to acknowledge the small bits of progress that add up to big changes. To be successful, you’ll need access to:

  • Dieticians and nutritionists who can help you establish new eating habits and make healthy, nutritionally complete food choices.
  • Counselors and exercise professionals who can guide you in designing exercise and mobility programs that gradually build stamina and expand your range of movement.
  • Mental health professionals and a constructive support group to ensure you stay mentally positive, forward-thinking and resourceful.
  • Patient advocates to help you navigate insurance regulations and financial considerations.

The best surgeons will have highly trained staff professionals ready to guide you every step of the way.

5. Do I really need a laparoscopic surgeon?

Laparoscopic surgery and minimally invasive techniques have radically changed bariatric and weight loss surgery. New procedures now require only small incisions and offer shorter recovery periods, fewer complications and increased availability to the people who need them most. For most patients, gastric banding, gastric bypasses, gastric sleeves and even duodenal switches are all performed laparoscopically.

How do we measure up?

All three of the surgeons at Acadiana Weight Loss Surgery have completed fellowship training at prestigious medical institutions and together offer three decades of specialized experience. Our staff network includes a nurse practitioner, patient advocate, program nurse, behavior modification counselor, exercise physiologist, program dieticians, mental health professionals and monthly support groups. We also offer medically supervised nonsurgical weight loss options as well. If you’re ready to make the change and would like more information on the latest minimally invasive laparoscopic weight loss procedures, call us at 337-233-9900, or visit our website. With help, the life you want is possible.