MAYO CLINIC: I have decided that I want to have bariatric
surgery, but was told that I need to first go through
counseling. What will those sessions involve, and does it
really improve my chances of the surgery being successful?
Before you have weight-loss surgery, itís important to
understand what to expect and to prepare yourself, physically
and mentally, for whatís ahead. Working with a counselor for
several months prior to the procedure can help set you up for
long-term success following your surgery.
surgery" is the broad term used to describe all types of
weight-loss surgery, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve,
placement of an adjustable gastric band and a procedure known
as a duodenal switch, among others. Although the techniques
used in each vary, all are considered major procedures that
can pose serious risks and side effects. Going through
counseling beforehand can help identify if having such a
significant surgery is the best choice for you.
surgery changes the bodyís anatomy and biology in a way that
helps people lose weight. But in many ways, the long-term
outcome of any bariatric surgery depends less on those changes
than it does on a personís behaviors and lifestyle.
preparation for surgery, you will work with a counselor who
specializes in helping people prepare for weight-loss surgery.
He or she can identify and assess risk factors that could make
it hard for you to make the lifestyle changes you need to in
order to lose weight and keep it off long-term.
cases, the sessions before surgery include a weight-loss
component. In fact, many insurance companies now require a
medical weight-loss program before they will approve payment
for bariatric surgery.
people, difficulty managing weight is the result of
problematic eating or activity habits, like skipping meals or
evening snacking. Working with a counselor can help you change
habits, decrease emotional eating, self-monitor your eating
and activity patterns, and find ways to stay motivated for
healthy lifestyle changes. Counseling sessions before surgery
also can help improve mood, manage substance use and teach
stress-management techniques so you are better equipped to
handle the surgery and maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward.
sessions before bariatric surgery may be conducted one-on-one,
or you may be part of a group preparing for surgery together.
Many people find group sessions to be quite useful, as it
gives them an opportunity to connect with others facing
similar circumstances and share ideas.
health care organizations, including Mayo Clinic, offer
follow-up counseling sessions to help keep people on track
after bariatric surgery, as well as to catch any problems or
complications that may arise. These sessions also provide an
opportunity for you to learn more about support services and
healthy living resources in your community.
shows that about 70 to 80 percent of those who have bariatric
surgery are successful at losing weight and keeping it off
five years after gastric bypass surgery. But the stress and
busyness of life can sometimes make long-term weight loss
difficult. Over time, you may notice that youíre slipping
back into eating and lifestyle habits that are not as healthy.
Staying in touch with your providers after surgery, or seeking
help if you start to notice that youíre reverting to old
habits, can help refocus your efforts and keep you healthy.
people, working with a counselor before and after bariatric
surgery is extremely helpful. Talk to your health-care
provider about counseling options he or she would recommend.
Going through this process can be an excellent way to set the
stage for weight-loss success.