As you prepare for weight loss surgery, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions. Hopefully one of them is excitement as we are excited for you and the commitment you have made to work toward a healthier lifestyle. Weight loss surgery never has been or will be the “easy way out”. This is why we feel the support you receive before and after surgery are vital to your long term success! Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) requires all patients to participate in a comprehensive Education Program to help you prepare, and continue to support you on your journey after weight loss surgery.
One suggestion the RMAP surgeons have for those considering weight loss surgery is to speak with someone who has had surgery. Go directly to the source. Ask questions about how they prepared for surgery, their recovery and the tips they have found helpful throughout their journey.
If you are interested in talking with someone who has had weight loss surgery, you can read our Patient Stories on our blog.
On Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians Facebook page, weight loss surgery patients were asked,
“What advice do you have for patients considering weight loss surgery?”
Jerilyn- Do your research. Make sure you understand the physical and emotional work this entails. Also, you need to understand this is not a temporary thing. You have to make a major change in your lifestyle. Don’t think that once the weight is gone that you can go back to your old habits. For this to work, you have to change your habits and attitudes about food and activity. Talk to people that have done this and find out about their journey.
Tara- Just keep going. No regrets. You’ll have rough days! But the end result is so worth it. You’ll be the “you” you’ve always known you could be. The reflection in the mirror after a year will make you smile and love what you see! Trust yourself. Trust your body. Trust that you can do hard things!
Mary- Yes, research. Plan on getting a god therapist that understands this journey! Believe in yourself. You will go through ups and downs and have highs and lows. This is a lifelong commitment. Don’t ever give up! Remember to take care of yourself first! RMAP is a huge support; you are never alone on this journey! Enjoy the decision you made…some days you may wonder why you did it. Your reflection in the mirror is your reward! Take pictures…lots of pictures! They will mark the milestones of the journey! Good luck!
Teresa- Take the time to research the doctors as well as speak to individuals who have had success as well as those who have not so you can ensure you’re walking in with your eyes open. Other doctors send patients home with a piece of paper and tell them after a few weeks they can eat what they want. Don’t listen to them. RMAP provides long term support and teaches you better habits for long term results. The support is there, but don’t expect them to do everything for you. You need to take ownership of your own life. Surgery isn’t the solution. It’s just a tool and it’s up to you if you use it. Eat healthy and incorporate exercise as soon as possible. Don’t use the excuse that you’re tired. Just do it and make it happen. It’s hard, but totally worth it.
Amanda- Don’t wait! My only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner.
Mahealani- Surgery is NOT a quick fix. It’s a long and very difficult journey. It’s rewarding, yes…But it does take time, effort and focus. Having a support team is vital to your success. As long as you are focused and prepared for a difficult road…You’ll succeed with an abundance of wonderful outcomes! You’re in control!
Kelley- Take frequent pictures and measurements. When I can’t see any changes in the mirror, I take a new picture and compare them. I’m always amazed at the changes that really have happened. Same with measurements. Sometimes the scale won’t budge but I’ll find I’ve lost inches. Don’t let the number on the scale get you down. You WILL have stalls. They are normal, they are natural. We’ve ALL had them. Don’t be afraid to get counseling or other professional help to assist you in figuring out the underlying emotional issues that caused you to overeat. If you don’t deal with those issues, you will fall back into old habits.
Marilyn- Do it, you will not be sorry, the only thing I was sorry about was that I didn’t do it sooner! Weight loss surgery saved my life!
Rob- Make sure to learn all you can learn, study everything you can before you decide if it is right for you. It is a lifelong commitment, are you willing to make the commitment? It is not a quick fix, it is not a cure all, it is not easy, and it’s not going to solve all of your problems. To be honest, it can add new problems. You will only get out of it what you put into it. Talk with your doctors, talk with the surgeons, talk with those who have had the surgery. If you put in the effort to understand as much as possible before you make the decision, then you will have a much greater chance of making it a success. There is only one person in this world who can guarantee how well it will work for you, it’s that person staring back at you when you look in the mirror. No one else can do it for you. It’s a huge effort, and it is well worth that effort, that I know from experience. Know what you are getting yourself into and be prepared for a wild ride.
Wendy- My husband is currently considering surgery, and we talk all of the time about the things you need to consider. Here are some of the things we talk about: Only YOU can decide what is right for you. Gather all of the information. Talk to people about it. Make an informed decision. You will have people who support you in your journey, but ultimately, it will be YOU who has made the commitment. As you socialize the idea with friends, colleagues and family about the weight loss surgery decision, there may be mixed reactions. This is normal. People may be worried about the risks and your health. Listen to those people who matter most, and don’t worry about the voices of those who don’t matter. Once the decision is made, look for those who are supportive to assist you with the physical and emotional changes. This is a lifestyle change, and you need to be in the right frame of mind to be ready for this change. While it is not the “easy way out,” once the decision is made, the rest flows pretty easily. The decision to have the surgery is probably the hardest part. As one who was morbidly obese, I can say this was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. My biggest regret is that I did not do this 10 years ago. I feel like I have my health back and a chance at greater longevity. It was worth it.
Amber- This is only a tool. But it is the best decision I’ve made. This is a lifestyle I chose and glad I did. This is not easy, but well worth the hard work and commitment I give. I will be eternally grateful for this tool and my newfound health.
Terri- You have to be mentally prepared, because you will have to work at it the rest of your life! Just because you have surgery doesn’t mean your problem is fixed! This is a second chance, a gift you won’t want to throw away on old behaviors! Don’t be afraid to get counseling! I don’t regret it one bit! It was the best then I ever did! I love my new life!
Mark- First and foremost, you need to be mentally prepared for the changes you will be making. You are committing yourself to a new lifestyle and new way of looking at food. You need to recognize that you have an addiction to food and recognize when you are in your addiction these are all things I had to learn to do as well. You need to know that weight loss surgery is not the CURE it is a TOOL, a very IMPRTANT TOOL in the toolbox. If you use it correctly, you will have and find success. I would like to tell you I had weight loss surgery on 4/18/16. I lost 195 pounds in my first year. I’m not bragging, I’m just trying to demonstrate that I did that because I followed the program laid out to me religiously. I made the decision to do whatever it took to take my life back. That is the kind of commitment you will need to muster to overcome your weight. I know that you can do it and I ROOT for you. RMAP has the best program and support staff available. I am very happy I made the decision to have weight loss surgery, it truly changed my life in fact it saved my life. Follow everything the doctors say to do which will be in your binder and come to support meetings once a month and you will find a new life at the end.
Debbie- You definitely have to be willing to change your lifestyle and eating habits. I had diabetes for 15 years and I tried every kind of diet there was to lose weight. When you are taking insulin, you automatically gain weight and inches without even changing your eating habits. It was a never ending battle and I wasted 15 years fighting it as the pounds packed on. So, when the opportunity came to have the DS surgery, I was really read. My life has changed dramatically and I feel I have been given a second chance at life. After two months, I was no longer taking insulin or blood pressure medicine. After six months, I was off of my CPAP, and after 10 months I am down 148 pounds. I have been walking on my treadmill almost every day and my stamina and energy level is the highest it’s been in years. I love the new me, but it hasn’t been easy. You still have baggage you have to deal with which takes a lot of will power and motivation along with a great support system at home, and through the support groups provided by RMAP.
Anonymous- Weight loss surgery left me with two tiny discolored places on my tummy, but no visible scars that I can find. Since two of my younger sisters and two younger brothers, all smaller than me, were diabetic, I felt the risk of diabetes was just WAY too high for me to wait around for a diagnosis, too. I had avoided it for many years, but my A1C kept creeping higher each blood test. My mother and her sister were both diabetic. My grandpa and all of his brothers and sisters had been diabetic. Was the surgery worth it? A MUCH EASIER surgery than having my limbs amputated, little at a time, going blind or any number of other horrible side effects from that horrible disease! Losing weight is not easy, no matter how it is accomplished, but this tool made it possible for me to lose 120 pounds so far, with very little physical pain. It has been much easier than any other method I have used, and I’ve lost the weight in my worth troubled spots, which didn’t happen on Weight Watchers or Adkins. My life was saved by this surgery, as surely as if Dr. McKinlay had pulled me from a raging river to save me from drowning. I had been almost bedfast for years, and now I am participating in life again. The only negative I complain about is that I no longer have fat filling up my wrinkles, so I’m dealing with looking my age, which I hadn’t before. That is a small price to pay for all the compliments I get on my looks now, and my husband and children’s pride in me. This is really a miracle for me!
What advice do you have?