Updated 8/29/2019 to provide you with a consistently awesome experience here at Stop Weighting, Start Doing!
At your first visit with the bariatric surgeon, be prepared to talk about the demons that caused your obesity. Your surgeon wants to know this information so he or she can get you the proper pre-op clearances you’ll need. You’ll also discuss surgical options, as well as have the opportunity to ask questions. Your doctor will also send out your consult requests and give you suggestions to start changing your habits. At the first visit with the bariatric surgeon, you’ll review medical and diet histories, discuss surgical options and receive your consultation requests.
Getting Past the Nerves
My first visit with the bariatric surgeon filled me with so many different emotions. I was anxious, excited, nervous, thrilled and giddy all wrapped up into one. I didn’t know what to expect, so that didn’t help my anxiety at all. I filled out my pre-visit paperwork prior to this appointment, so I already knew it was going to hit some sore spots. I hope this post will give you an idea of what to expect at this appointment so that your anxiety is a little eased about your first visit with the bariatric surgeon.
I also knew they were going to weigh me at this appointment and that always fills me with anxiety. I know the scale is super scary when you’re obese, and no one likes to step on it in front of the always-skinny nurse. I understand how hard it is. I was 428.4 pounds at this appointment. However, there are two things I told myself as I faced the scale:
First, the number that pops up on the screen doesn’t define who you are. You are more than a number of a scale. It doesn’t measure your self-worth, your awesome personality or how beautiful you are.
Second, your weight at this appointment is the heaviest weight you’ll ever be if you follow the bariatric surgery program and commit to a healthier lifestyle. Each time you step on a scale after this moment, you will weigh less. Don’t give up.
Medical and Diet History Review
After you get to your first visit with the bariatric surgeon and get past the dreaded scale, they will continue to take your vitals, like your heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. They’ll also likely listen to your heart. Once the formalities are out of the way, be prepared to have an in-depth discussion with your doctor. He or she will probably ask you about previous weight loss attempts, your medical history, what your weight loss goals are and why you want surgery.[mailerlite_form form_id=2]
Your doctor may also ask you some uncomfortable questions about your ability to be mobile, your sleeping and eating habits, your exercise routine and the biggest sources of stress in your life. He may ask why your previous weight loss attempts failed and how this time is going to be different. I know that you may be tempted to fudge your answer slightly, but be honest. Your surgeon wants to help you and won’t judge you for your answers. It also helps determine whether you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.
After the doctor gets past the uncomfortable questions, he’ll discuss surgery options for you. Pay attention to all of the risks and complications associated with each of the procedures. You’ll most likely discuss the most common procedures, like roux-en-y gastric bypass, vertical sleeve gastrectomy
Your doctor may give a suggestion on which type of surgery he believes is right for you based on your health and medical history. However, this suggestion may change as your surgeon receives the results of the pre-operative consults. Be open to the surgeon’s suggestions, as they are the ones with the experience and medical degree to back up their opinions. Trust your doctor, as they are going to the one cutting into your body.
Questions to Ask
Now is also your chance to ask any questions you may have about bariatric surgery and life afterward. Bring a list of questions you want to ask at your first visit with the bariatric surgeon. Think about things like recovery time, time off of work, post-op restrictions, what kinds of foods you’ll eat, if you’ll ever enjoy food again and more. Perhaps you want to know how much weight you can expect to lose.
Medline Plus has a great article with some questions you may want to ask your surgeon. Do some research before heading to this appointment because you want to feel prepared. You’re taking a major step in your life, one that will affect you for the rest of your life. You need to have the process researched so that you feel comfortable with your decision.
If you’re following along on my journey to bariatric surgery, you’ll know that my first visit with the bariatric surgeon was my third step in the journey. It’s at this visit that my surgeon gave me some direction as to where to go next. For me, my consults were sent to the appropriate doctor’s offices. He ordered a cardiology consult, a pulmonology consult and a psychological evaluation. He also ordered an upper endoscopy due to my acid reflux. I also had a physical therapy order and instructions to attend nutrition classes.
The doctor’s office will also discuss insurance requirements. Some require you to lose weight before surgery. Some surgeons also want you to lose weight before surgery. Your surgeon’s office should be able to provide all of the details for you. Sometimes insurance companies require a waiting period before surgery. For me, it was at least six months. This wait was OK because there were so many consults to complete.
Next, your doctor may suggest you start modifying your behavior at your first visit with the bariatric surgeon. You have a lifetime of habits to change, and it won’t happen overnight. For example, you may want to start eating your food more slowly, drink more water, exercise more, reduce your stress and get better sleep. These were the key measures of the program I followed. By taking control of these areas, I had a lot of success as a bariatric patient. You can do it too. Come here for help with your lifestyle changes. I provide the same techniques that helped me gain control of my weight.
If you start slowly, changing one bad habit at a time or learning one new habit at a time, you’re more likely to be successful. You will succeed as a bariatric patient if you can commit to the lifestyle changes. Is it hard? Absolutely. But it’s even harder to be obese and to regret not losing weight when you had the chance. Is it worth it? For sure. Your future self will thank you for improving yourself, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this surgery sooner.
After Thoughts on My First Visit with the Bariatric Surgeon
After the appointment, I felt excited. I had taken the next step in my journey, and I had a road map laid out for me. I was also extremely nervous. Would I be able to stick to the changes? Would I be able to survive the holidays without over-indulging like I normally do? My first visit with the bariatric surgeon was November 30, 2017. I had to get through Christmas and New Year’s without gaining weight. I now know the answers to these questions: Yes!
Each week I made a small change and lost 17 pounds over the holidays. I survived four holiday and birthday parties between December and January. Now, over a year post-op, I look back and know the reason I’ve been so successful as a bariatric patient is because of the small changes I made during those first few months. Those changes are now my daily habits and some major factors to my weight loss. This first visit with the bariatric surgeon filled me with hope, a strange sensation I hadn’t felt in a long time. It was exciting, and I couldn’t wait to get started.
Another Step Completed
While the first visit with the bariatric surgeon can cause anxiety and be nerve-wracking, it’s one of the first steps on your journey to better health. Facing the issues that caused your obesity allows you and your doctor to plan a way to defeat them. You’re able to discuss which surgery may be best for you and get your questions answers. Afterward, you’ll start making changes to prepare for surgery. At the first visit with the bariatric surgeon, you’ll review medical and diet histories, discuss surgery options and have your consults sent to the appropriate places. Congratulations! You’re officially on your way!
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free weight loss coloring chart, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
At your first visit with the bariatric surgeon, you’ll get weighed and have your vitals recorded. They’ll discuss your past medical and diet histories. Likely, you’ll also have to tell the surgeon about your eating, sleeping and exercising habits. You’ll discuss the different types of bariatric surgery, as well as which one may be right for you. Your doctor will send consults out to the appropriate places and give you some advice for changing your behavior. Now is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the surgery.