6 Questions to Ask Your Bariatric Surgeon, Learn the Best Ways To Achieve Meaningful Weight Loss


All bariatric surgery centers are not the same. Though they may seem similar, offering the same procedures, there are differentiating factors that lead to more successful centers and procedures – meaning, more patients achieve meaningful weight loss. 

It’s important to understand what is involved in a successful surgery. A great surgeon and bariatric team will be there to answer these important questions.

  1. What is your experience? Where did you study? What organizations are you a member of?  
    Experience matters. But it’s not necessarily the quantity but the quality of experience. Most bariatric surgeons spend an additional two years with an experienced surgeon or in a fellowship program to be qualified as a bariatric surgeon. Ask about their work and why they chose this profession. It’s also important your surgeon is board certified and is a member of ASMBS (The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery). 
  2. What procedures do you perform?
    There are many bariatric procedures and surgeries, but not all surgeons perform all procedures. Beware of the surgeon that just performs one kind of surgery. It’s important to understand all available options. 
  3. What is the best procedure for me to meet my weight loss goals?

Again, great bariatric surgeons aren’t one-trick ponies. The options available depend on a number of things including your lifestyle, health risks, eating and exercise habits. And, your surgeon just might want you to consider other non-surgical options like medical weight management. The only way they can decide what’s best, though, is by getting to know you and working with you. 

  1. What is the difference in the results of each of the bariatric procedures?

Different procedures have different results, risk factors, and post-surgery. It’s important to understand the whole picture of each surgery before making any decisions.

  1. What outcome can I expect? What will success be for me?
    Success, again, is not a one-size-fits-all definition. What are your weight loss goals? How will this surgery help you reach them? This is important to discuss with your surgeon and surgical team.
  2. What resources are available to me before and after the surgery?
    Weight loss surgery success depends on preparation and follow-up. The surgery itself isn’t a weight-loss plan, instead, part of a weight-loss plan that, to be successful, needs to include significant lifestyle, dietary, and eating behavior changes. These changes begin way before surgery and must continue after. They must be sustainable and achievable. And for that to happen, there should be considerable pre and post-op support. How often will you meet with the dietitian nutritionist? Are there support groups and forums available? Can you contact the doctor or someone from the team in case of complications? 

Making the decision to have weight loss surgery is significant and can impact the rest of your life in a positive, meaningful way. Prepare to ask the tough questions and choose the best bariatric surgery team (or medical weight management group) to help you achieve your weight loss goals.