Scared to go to your first weight loss surgery appointment? You’re not alone! 

Bariatric surgery is an intimidating process for most people. And the first appointment is essential in understanding the end result of the surgery. Moreover, it enables you to build confidence as you gather more information about such a life-changing operation.

This article will explain the procedure of your first appointment for bariatric surgery. You will learn what to expect, how to prepare, and most importantly, what questions to ask!

What to Expect During the First Appointment

The procedures of bariatric surgery are challenging for the body as well as mentally unnerving. At your first appointment, you will be able to discuss these topics and learn more about the possibilities and the risk of the surgery. 

Introduction to the Bariatric Team

team of Surgeons

Your bariatric surgeon will and should inform you about the available surgery options after multiple assessments of your current health. They will describe the benefits of each type of surgery regarding weight loss and their drawbacks. Moreover, you will be able to learn your responsibilities before and after the surgery to help you achieve the best results. 

You might be asked to sign a consent form before further procedures. The form states that you understand and acknowledge the risk of bariatric surgery. Read it all the way through and ask your surgeon questions about the parts you find hard to understand.

Personal Health Assessment

The bariatric team assigned to you will gather information about your health, past weight loss history, personal needs, and health concerns. This assessment will help the team, including the surgeon, to conclude whether or not the surgery will be helpful for you.

Group Session 

In some cases, your first appointment will be conducted within a group session. This session is designed to educate all the members of the group together instead of one by one. After the group education session, you will meet your bariatric team for a personal assessment session.

While this entire procedure is time-consuming and can take up to four hours of your day, it is essential for learning every little crucial factor about the surgery. The more you know about the process, the easier it becomes!

Emotional Support

The first appointment is emotionally challenging. Moreover, it can be incredibly stressful as you are about to consider having a surgical procedure. The bariatric team is sympathetic to your experiences and mindful of the possibility of intense feelings at this time. They will offer the person emotional support and care for any issues you may have.

How Long from Consultation to Bariatric Surgery

doctor and patient Consultation session

The length of time from consultation to bariatric surgery can vary depending on several factors, such as – 

  • Your current health condition
  • Type of surgery
  • Insurance approval process
  • Availability of the operating room and the surgeon
  • Preparation for the surgery with a strict diet and lifestyle

First meetings with bariatric surgeons are frequently scheduled a few months before the procedure. This gives the patient enough time to fulfill any preoperative requirements established by the surgeon as well as any necessary testing, get insurance company approval, and complete any relevant tests.

From the initial consultation to the operation, it typically takes 6 to 12 weeks. It’s crucial to keep in mind that this schedule is merely an estimate and may change for every individual. Based on your unique situation, your bariatric surgeon will give you a more precise timetable.

How to Prepare for a Bariatric Consult

You will have an easier and faster consultation if you prepare for it. This way, you will be able to get the most out of your appointment. Below are some tips to help you get ready: 

Gather Your Medical Records

It’s important to let your surgeon know about your current health condition, your medications, weight loss attempts, etc. The best way to do that is to bring your medical records – from tests to prescriptions. 

Note Down Some Questions

It’s common for people to forget important questions during a medical appointment. Therefore, you should write down the queries that come to mind. Some examples of questions are:

  • How long will the surgery take, and how much weight will I lose?
  • How is the procedure going to affect my work or responsibilities?
  • What are the benefits and risks of the specific surgery?
  • How will I manage the side effects, and when should I seek medical help?
  • What kind of lifestyle changes do I have to make?

Be Honest

It’s important to be truthful and open up to your surgeon about your concerns and expectations about the surgery. Moreover, you must answer questions from your surgeon with honesty. Your bariatric surgeon can make a personalized plan for you based on your honest answers.

Hopefully, you are now more confident about your first appointment! It’s common to have doubts and fear come into your mind about the surgery. However, with proper preparations, you will be able to go through the process without stress weighing you down.