Before going ahead with weight loss surgery, there are certain questions you should ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the procedure; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important your surgeon explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to you. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.
Questions for your surgeon
- What type of procedure do you recommend?
- Are there alternatives to this procedure in my case?
- Are there more conservative measures I should try first?
- Do I need to have the procedure now, or can it wait?
- What are the likely consequences if I delay it?
- What are your likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your surgeon should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you’ll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’)
- Will there be additional fees for an assistant surgeon, dietitian, psychologist, physiotherapist or cardiologist? If so, what will they be?
- Will I have a choice of anaesthetist?
- Will I be able to meet with my anaesthetist before the day of surgery?
- Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?
- How should I prepare for my procedure?
- Will I need a blood transfusion? If so, can I donate my own blood in advance?
- What happens during and after my surgery?
- Is there anything I can do to improve the outcome?
- How many surgeries of this type do you perform each year?
- What percentage of patients are satisfied with the results?
- What’s your complication rate for this procedure?
- How long will I be in hospital?
- How soon can I go back to work or travel?
- Will I need to change my diet?
- What lifestyle changes will I need to make?
- Will I need to take vitamin and/or mineral supplements for the rest of my life?
Tell your surgeon if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, as they’ll need to be treated before your surgery.
You can take most medication as usual, but some may interfere with your procedure. Your surgeon will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop, and when to stop taking it. Blood thinning medications like aspirin, warfarin, Plavix® and Xaralto® can increase the risk of bleeding.
Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too. Fish oil, krill oil and glucosamine may also increase the risk of bleeding.
Print this page to take to your appointment with your surgeon.