Support After Bariatric Surgery
The support and exercise program that you need to have in place after surgery begins well before the operation. We have mentioned elsewhere that the primary reason for having bariatric surgery must be your own desires and wants and not because anybody else told you to do it. However, the participation and support of the people around you are critical to ensuring the success of your procedure over the long-term. To be sure, there will be some around you that are not supportive. They may feel intimidated by the possibility that you will move on from your relationship or they simply may not understand what surgery entails.
The best way to develop your support system is to communicate with those close to you and those whom you want to have around after surgery. Discuss why you are having surgery and what you expect as well as what they should expect. You can speak to Dr. Tsuda or Dr. Ryan about how to broach the topic.
Then, recruit them into your pre- and post-operative lifestyle by either giving them very specific roles or even including them in the new and improved diet and exercise that you will be pursuing. Remember, people are attracted to excitement and motivation and may want to join you on your weight loss and health improvement journey.
Once you have decided that surgery is a good option, attending support groups even before surgery can be helpful. While we do not have structured support groups, there are many online and in person support groups that you can and should attend. These allow you to learn more about what to expect and prepare you for life after surgery. Other patients’ insights can be invaluable to answer the questions or worries you may have.
You will continue going to support groups after surgery and the more you can do, the better. Also, feel free to interact with other patients online, telling your story and sharing your successes and struggles. Some people find that broadcasting their story either on their surgeon’s website or on social media is a good way to keep themselves motivated, see how far they’ve come, and inspire others. With that being said, it really is a personal choice for the patient, and you are not obligated to share your surgical decision with everyone in your social and family circle.
Lastly, it is important to know that you have us here to help you with any questions, concerns or issues that you may have after surgery. There are no stupid questions and you need to remember that your success is ours as well. Therefore, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. You will have met Brian Grace, our physician assistant, through the course of your journey to bariatric surgery. He will also be your lead point of contact after the procedure is complete. Brian has over a decade and a half of experience in bariatrics and has helped countless patients achieve their goals.
There are very few major life achievements or milestones that we can achieve without the help of those around us and bariatric surgery is no different.
The bottom line is that support begins before surgery and will continue throughout your postoperative life. The more you are willing to share with your colleagues, friends and family, the more support you will have. Therefore, we ask that you begin the support process now, even if you are only considering bariatric surgery, to prepare yourself for what will be an exciting, challenging and hopefully wildly successful life with your new health and lower weight.