When I was considering weight loss surgery I was so thankful to have friends to turn to for advice. It really helped to be able to talk to people who had already undergone one of the many procedures available. I was able to approach them with questions and knew that I would get “real” answers. It was also great to hear about each of their experiences. Everyone’s experience is different and I wanted to be informed of the good and the bad.
Now that I am 14-months post-surgery I have become a go-to person for anyone that is considering a procedure. I don’t mind talking about my experience. I’m open and honest about what I’ve gone through the past 14 months, and I have no issues talking about it with anyone who asks.
The question that I’m asked the most is, “What do you recommend I do to get started with the process?” If you are considering weight loss surgery, here is what I suggest you do to get started:
- Get doctor recommendations. Talk to your primary doctor. Your primary doctor is the doctor who sees you most and likely knows you better than any other doctor. Find out his feelings about surgery and if he thinks it’s a good option for you. Ask your doctor if he recommends an area bariatric surgeon. I had no idea where to start when trying to choose a doctor so the recommendation was a good start. I didn’t want to pick a doctor blindly, weight loss surgery is a major procedure and you want to be sure you’re in good hands. Another good recommendation option is asking friends/family that work for the hospital. They can usually recommend a good doctor in the area.
- Do your research. Research the available procedures. I looked in to my options on-line prior to my first doctor’s consultation. I wanted to know as much about all the different procedures ahead of time. This helped prepare me for what I would hear from my doctor. Also research the side effects that come a long with surgery. Knowing what might occur after surgery helped prepare me for the “just in case.”
- Join message boards/weight loss surgery communities. There are so many weight loss surgery communities available to join and most of them are free. One of the largest online communities is Obesity Help. OH is a great resource and starting point. You can join the message boards and read other weight loss surgery stories. You can search for doctors and read reviews of patients that have had surgery with them. OH houses many articles and lots of information about all of your surgery options. The good, the bad and the ugly regarding weight loss surgery can be found on message boards. Not all surgeries have super great endings and you’ll see those stories on message boards as well.
- Talk to people who have had surgery. Talk to people who have had weight loss surgery and get their thoughts, hear about their experiences. In my opinion, this was the best way for me to gauge what I should expect before, during and after surgery. Have a list of questions that you want answered and ask away. My number 1 question was “Knowing what you know now, would you do the surgery again?” If you don’t personally know anyone that has had surgery find someone on-line. There are so many men and women who blog about their post-surgery life and they are all usually very happy to answer any questions you may have.
Weight loss surgery is not for everyone. It is a major life decision.As with any other surgery it should not be taken lightly. Do your research and make sure that it is right for you.
Greis (pronounced Grace) is a single, 30 something, Texas girl with an iPhone addiction. She loves her hometown Houston sports teams, Astros Baseball & Texans Football! When she’s not working as an inside sales analyst for a local manufacturing company, you can usually find her on the internet, watching trashy reality television or snuggling her niece, Audrey. In her spare time she enjoys a good chick flick, reading teenage vampire books (the sparkly kind) and dreaming about what life will be like when she finally wins the lottery. You can read more from Greis on her blog, Amazing Greis.