After the Surgery
Do I Really Need Long-term Follow-Up?
Morbid obesity is a lifelong disease. There is no cure for it. The Gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric banding are effective tools to help people control it, but it is just that - a tool . It is important to understand this before having surgery of any kind. It is absolutely possible to regain weight, or not achieve your goal weight after surgery, if you don't use the tool properly. That's where long-term follow-up with your surgeon becomes critically important. It is your surgeon's job to (1) educate themselves enough to know how to best use the tool and (2) take the time to provide this information to you when you need it.
The day to day use of the tool changes as time passes. The eating habits that work right after surgery aren't the same ones that work months and years later. Additionally, you cannot rely on your primary doctor to monitor you as a surgical patient. There are very specific vitamin levels that require monitoring and dosages of your vitamins may need to be changed over the years. Your primary doctor does not have this surgical expertise, and you MUST ensure that you are followed by a bariatric surgeon for the rest of your life. Remember, YOU are responsible for your healthcare, and following up appropriately with a bariatric surgeon and making the commitment to long term care and monitoring will help you achieve the highest levels of safety and success.