Once a patient has undergone weight loss surgery, the process of healing begins. But healing physically is just one part of the journey. Post weight loss surgery care also involves dealing with changes that happen emotionally, too, because weight loss surgery involves a bit of both. For many obese patients that have decided to undergo weight loss surgery, they have seen life changing results that put them on the path toward health and a longer, more active lifestyle.
But, with the negative media attention that often surrounds the idea of bariatric surgery, it is important that people that have undergone the procedure and have seen results stand up and share their story. Advocating for weight loss surgery can help provide the positive stories that are generally lacking and give other potential patients hope that maybe there is an option to lose weight successfully.
To help patients process how they are healing after the surgical procedure is done, Patient Advocates often step in to help people navigate through each phase of the process – from pre-op to post-surgery care, and everything in between. Patient Advocates are an essential part of a great post-operative experience, because they look out for each person’s best interest, no matter what.
Why are patient advocates important?
Going through weight loss surgery is a huge decision. It will not only be a dramatic change physically, but it will be a total lifestyle change too. This kind of season in life requires not only friends and family that love and support you, but it so means that you need a professional to walk alongside you to help make sure you are understanding everything associated with the surgery along the way.
In addition, a Patient Advocate provides emotional support and can help lend support if you are feeling anxious about anything. At WeightWise, we are proud to provide each patient with access to a Patient Advocate so they can rely on that person throughout the process and get the support they need to heal well after surgery.
While Patient Advocates play a valuable role in the recovery process, advocating for yourself is another important thing that you will need to learn to do.
How can you advocate for yourself?
First, share your story. If you have had a positive experience with your weight loss surgery, share it with your friends and family, your employer, the media, or by writing letters to your state government. Being proactive about this is important and can help provide the hope that others need to make the decision to change their lives for the better through bariatric surgery.
If you see amazing results on how you look and feel after surgery, contact your insurance company and let them know about your experience. If it was covered by insurance, this is a great encouragement to let them know that their coverage made a huge difference in your life. If it was not covered by insurance, make sure they know about your results and tell them about your second chance at life. If you see an article online about bariatric surgery, respond to it by writing a positive response to the article’s author or the editor.
Post-treatment advocacy is incredibly important and will help bolster awareness of how weight loss treatments can be wonderfully life-changing. Using your voice to be an advocate for something that has changed your life for the better will help others understand the impact of how important weight loss treatment can be for people that have struggled with some of the same issues that you have dealt with. Your exciting new journey of weight loss is something to celebrate!