More and more people turn to weight loss surgery in order to address their obesity. Bariatric surgery is major surgery, however. Not only is it a major procedure, and one not without risk, it is also a life changing procedure. You must change your entire lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise regime. And you must get used to becoming a whole new person, half the person you were before in size, but twice the person you were before in health. Unsurprisingly, people may have quite a bit of apprehension about having such a procedure done. Luckily, various support groups exist to help them before, during, and after the procedure. These groups are there to discuss important medical issues such as diet and exercise regimes, but also to talk about emotional issues, fears, coping problems, adjustment, and more.
What Are Bariatric Support Groups
In most cases, the hospital in which your procedure is completed will also host a support group. However, the also exist in your own community, as well as online. They are designed to be a forum for those who have had surgery, but also for those who are considering the procedure. They have an educational role, talking about eating a healthy, nutritious diet and about exercise regimes. They also discuss what to expect before, during, and after the procedure and have quite a strong focus on the recovery period. In person meetings are usually organized weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Various experts, including bariatric surgeons, participate in these meetings. They will hold presentations about what to expect and they may also discuss possible complications. This helps people to have a realistic view of what to expect and also helps to reduce any fear and misgivings they may have. Sometimes, hospital organized groups will also run seminars where issues such as treatment options, the effects of obesity, and the pros and cons of surgery are discussed.
Before having bariatric surgery, patients have to prepare themselves both psychologically and physically. This is why surgeons also ensure their patients go to counseling sessions before they have surgery. This is done for two reasons. Firstly, it helps the patient prepare properly for what they can expect, and what will happen after the surgery. During these sessions, they will hear about how their family members can help, and the stresses that the family can place on recovery as well, about their exercise options, and about dietary requirements. Secondly, it is an opportunity for the surgeon to determine whether the patient has the proper motivation to make the procedure a success and to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
After the procedure, patients will usually continue to receive counseling to prepare them for the challenges of their new life. The physical recovery period of this type of surgery is around six weeks, but psychological recovery takes much longer. Once a person starts to lose weight, they change and those around them change as well. This can be difficult to adjust to.