Five Things to Look for When Choosing a Weight-Loss Surgery Program

Author

Dr. Neil Ghushe, Medical Director, Bariatric Program at South Shore Hospital

Neil Ghushe, M.D.

The reasons to have weight-loss surgery—also called bariatric surgery—are very personal.

Once you have made the decision that it’s time to move forward with surgery, choosing the right surgeon and program may be the most important factor to achieve your weight-loss and personal health goals.

The following are five things you should look for when choosing a weight-loss surgery program:

  1. Team-focused approach. Surgery is just one part of your weight-loss success story. Because it involves such major lifestyle changes, you need a team of experts behind you to achieve long-term weight-loss. That’s why it’s important to choose a program that offers care and monitoring well after surgery is done. Make sure the surgeon and program works closely with psychologists, registered dietitians, and physical therapists to keep you on the right path.
     
  2. Experience. Do your research on the surgeon. Review the surgeon’s education and credentials, including their fellowship
    training—all of which is available online. Find out if they are board certified by the American College of Surgeons. When interviewing a surgeon, ask how many procedures they have done, and also find out if they offer and have the experience performing all of the surgical options available for weight-loss surgery.
     
  3. Accessibility. The location of the hospital and physician practice should be an important consideration since you will be required to go to many appointments before and after surgery. But it’s also important to know that you can access your surgeon or specialists when you need them. Some programs offload certain areas of expertise to other practices. Ask if you will be meeting and talking with the same clinicians throughout the entire process (both before and after surgery).
     
  4. Surgical options. There are several different types of weight-loss surgery procedures. Find out what kinds of procedures the program offers. Some options include laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic gastric bypass. It is important that you find a surgeon and program that can tailor an operation to your specific weight-loss and medical needs.
     
  5. Technology. It is important to find a surgeon and program that has the facilities and tools to give you the best surgical results. A bariatric program should have dedicated operating rooms and laparoscopic equipment specific to weight-loss surgery. They should also have specific nursing units and rooms to care for you after surgery.

Attend Free Seminar
Dr. Ghushe is the Medical Director the South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery which is offered in collaboration with Brigham and Women's Surgical Associates. The program offers state-of-the-art surgical treatment as well as long-term nutritional and behavioral health support. If you are interested in weight-loss surgery, the first step in your journey is to attend an informational seminar. At the seminar, Dr. Ghushe, a bariatric dietitian and others will explain the process and answer your questions. Visit the Weight-Loss Surgery section of our website to learn more about the program and register for an upcoming session.