In order for weight loss surgery to truly be successful, a series of lifestyle changes are necessary to accommodate your new, bariatric body. Because you will be working so closely with your surgeon, it is natural to wonder if you should keep your primary care physician, in addition to your weight loss surgery team.
The short answer is yes. Read on to learn how both your surgeon and your primary care physician are necessary to your health and well-being during this time of change.
A New Lifestyle
Bariatric surgery changes your body in multiple ways. After surgery, you will need to begin a strict vitamin regimen that will last for the rest of your life, as your body will no longer absorb nutrients in the way it once did. In addition, your surgeon will require you to adopt and follow a new diet, as well as a fitness practice, to enable and maintain weight loss.
In order for your primary care physician to understand your health in the context of these new physical and lifestyle changes, it is essential for you to keep this health professional informed of your progress.
The Role of Your Primary Care Physician
Primary care physicians support you by monitoring your overall health throughout your life. This role includes the following:
Offering preventative care
Identifying and helping to treat common physical ailments.
Providing recommendations for lifestyle changes that make the most sense for your body.
Assessing and treating urgent medical issues.
Referring patients to the appropriate medical specialists when this is necessary.
It is necessary to maintain contact with your primary care physician and to provide him or her with updates about the progress of your bariatric surgery. This provider will continue to monitor your overall health through regular check ups, blood work, and physical examinations, and will need to remain aware of the changes in your body due to bariatric surgery.
The Role of Your Surgeon
Your bariatric surgeon’s role is to support and guide your weight loss surgery process and remain a resource as you work to maintain a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. At WeightWise Bariatric Program, we make sure to schedule multiple pre-surgery visits, as well as ongoing followups post-op in order to ensure the success of the procedure and the patient’s overall wellness. We also encourage our patients to join one of our regular support groups, which can help them connect with other patients who are experiencing similar changes and challenges.
Maintaining a relationship with your primary care physician while working with a bariatric surgeon helps to provide you with multiple sources of support that offer care on various levels. While our team at WeightWise provides a comprehensive program, which includes not only your surgeon but dietitians, an exercise physiologist, patient advocates, and support groups, we encourage patients to continue to share information with their primary care physician during this time.
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