The Importance of Aftercare
Weight loss does not begin and end with bariatric surgery. Rather, what you do after surgery is crucial to your long-term success. It is the period after weight loss surgery that requires dedication and support for optimal weight loss and disease resolution.
You see, weight loss surgery is only a tool – it is not a magic bullet or a simple solution. It is the catalyst in a larger lifestyle change that will require a high level of commitment and dedication to the journey ahead. To truly succeed, you must develop and maintain an excellent support system long after surgery.
As daunting as these changes may seem, and there certainly are hurdles, there are many resources available to you to help push you forward into a healthier life. Characteristics of an excellent support system include:
- Follow-up: It is very important that you attend all your follow-up appointments as per the schedule you will receive after surgery. You will have the opportunity to discuss progress, talk through any hurdles and learn about what’s next and what to expect.
- Support groups: Most bariatric surgery practices such as ours offer monthly and even weekly support group meetings for patients. These groups allow you to ask important questions in an uncomplicated and controlled environment. Oftentimes, the advice you receive will come straight from a dietician, lifestyle coach or even your surgeon.
- Family and friends: We also suggest that you devise a support plan with your friends, family and those you know who have undergone bariatric surgery. Working a plan together makes for a greater chance of success. This may include dieting or exercising together or simply getting everyone’s buy-in to support you.
- Our practice: You are our patient for life – and that means that you can and should lean on us when you hit a roadblock. Your health and success is important to us.
- Advocating: Some patients find that advocating for weight loss, health or bariatric surgery will keep them in track. There is always an opportunity for patients to tell their story and educate others. If you feel up to the task, you’ll help yourself and others.
No matter what form your support program takes, it should be holistic and multi-faceted. Having others around you to aid and assist in achieving your goals, makes the weight loss process easier and more successful. So make sure you take your aftercare program as seriously as your surgery.