Asking questions is the best way to make a good decision.
Part of finding the right bariatric surgeon is asking questions. You should feel free to ask questions, and you should receive clear and complete answers. If you don't understand an answer, ask for clarification. And there are no stupid questions. The more you know and understand, the better you will be able to make an informed and confident decision.
Questions to ask your Bariatric Surgeon
- Are you board certified?
- Are you a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery?
- Which bariatric procedures have you performed this year? How many of each specific type?
- How many bariatric revision surgeries have you performed? How many this year? How many of each specific type?
- How many minimally invasive bariatric procedures have you performed? What is your "conversion to open" rate?
- Are the benefits of bariatric surgery worth the potential risks for me?
- What are your complication and mortality rates?
- What are your most common complications?
- Does the hospital have experienced, dedicated bariatric surgical teams in the operating and recovery rooms, the intensive care unit and the medical/surgical unit?
- What is the average weight loss that your patients achieve?
- What is the average co-morbid resolution/improvement rate for your patients?
- Do you have patients who are willing to share their experiences, both positive and negative?
- What is your average "wait time?"
Questions to ask your Bariatric Program Coordinator
- Is the program a designated Center of Excellence?
- Does the program offer evaluation and treatment for co-morbid conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea?
- Does the program have staff members to assist me through the insurance approval process?
- Does the program offer support before and after surgery?
- Does the program offer services for accommodations and travel plans for out-of-town patients and families?
Questions to ask both your Bariatric Surgeon and your Bariatric Program Coordinator
- How do I know if I'm emotionally and mentally ready for surgery?
- How do I get the support of family and friends?
- How will I deal with the rapid weight loss that follows surgery?
- After surgery, how will I work through the specific issues associated with dietary and exercise changes? What support can I expect?
- What effect will my new, healthier lifestyle have on my family and me?