7 Tips for Your Follow-Up Appointments After Weight Loss SurgeryDecember 26, 2018
One of the most important factors in bariatric surgery is to have regular follow-up appointments after weight loss surgery. Your bariatric surgeon and his trained staff will be able to offer you the best follow up care to ensure the most complete long-term care and maintain your bariatric surgery success.
7 Tips for Your Follow-Up Appointments After Weight Loss Surgery
Tip 1 - Keep your appointment
Protect your own success by following the postoperative plan. By attending the scheduled appointment, you are participating in the plan of care outlined by your health care team. Just showing up for your follow-up appointments is an important step in your weight loss journey.
Tip 2 - Tell your provider about any problems
Write down any unusual events or other complaints. Having a record of when you experienced a problem such as pain or nausea can help to isolate what may be causing your discomfort. This can also help your provider identify problems early so that you can receive proper treatment before a problem worsens.
Tip 3 - Your incisions will be examined
The first visit following your surgery will include an examination of your surgical incisions. Be sure to let your provider know if there are any problems with your incisions.
Tip 4 - Bring a food diary
A food diary is a great way to show your provider or dietitian how you are progressing. You can use your smartphone to access one of the many apps that are available for food tracking. These apps can help you have your diet history at your fingertips. Some apps will even separate protein from carbohydrates and fat to demonstrate where your calories are coming from.
Tip 5 - Discuss vitamin supplementation
Vitamins are an essential part of your weight loss success. During the first few months after surgery, your caloric intake will be extremely low and vitamins are necessary to prevent deficiencies and malnutrition. Bringing your vitamins to your appointment will allow the provider or dietitian to verify that you have the proper amount and type of vitamins.
Tip 6 - Talk about an exercise plan
Having an exercise plan is essential for long-term weight loss success. Even before you have surgery, begin developing a plan about how you are going to exercise. Join a gym or partner with a friend to exercise. Having a workout partner helps hold both accountable for the exercise plan. After surgery, implement your plan. Start with walking and gradually add more time and intensity to your workouts. Talk to your provider about your plan at your follow-up appointment.
Tip 7 - Discuss support systems
It is important to realize that the more support you have in your weight loss journey, the better. There are support groups available online (such as ObesityHelp!). There are also groups available in many communities at weight loss surgery centers. These groups are a great opportunity to receive support and as you continue in your journey to offer support to others. Attendance and participation in support groups is another way to hold yourself accountable for maintaining the habits you develop that lead to weight loss success.
ABOUT THE AUTHORValerie Heinl, RN is the Bariatric Coordinator at the University of South Alabama, Alabama (USA). She oversees and helps organize the clinical activities of the University of South Alabama bariatric surgery program. Additionally, she helps in patient education, both pre- and post-surgery. She also helps with patients to monitor the patients after care. She also has expertise in Cardiology and Nursing Science.