Gastric band surgery: tips for picking the right surgeon

No matter what procedure you’re considering, choosing the right doctor for you will have a significant impact on your entire experience. However, picking a doctor that you feel comfortable with for a gastric band operation is even more important because this doctor will likely be one of your consultants not only for surgery but also for the remainder of your weight loss journey.

Your gastric band surgeon may wish to have several consultations before your surgery so that he or she can monitor your progress leading up to surgery and mitigate any conditions that may lead to complications either before or after surgery. Once you’ve had your gastric band applied, you will also need to make follow-up appointments so that your doctor can adjust it to help you reach your weight loss goals. You will be seeing your surgeon often, so it is important to have a good relationship with him or her.

How do I find the right surgeon?

There are several ways to find a gastric band surgeon, but the best way is to ask for recommendations. If you have a general physician or if your family uses the same doctor for general checkups, you could ask if he or she knows of any good surgeons who specialise in weight loss treatments. The medical community is often tight-knit, and taking a referral from a doctor who has known you for some time is a good way to make sure that you are receiving information from a reliable source.

However, if you do not go to get regular check-ups with any one doctor, you could also ask your family and friends for advice on which gastric band surgeon to use. This will be particularly helpful if you know someone who has had the procedure done before. If not, try joining a weight loss support group, which could give you some great leads on gastric band surgeons and provide moral support for you at the same time.

If none of these options work for you, try searching for a centre that specialises in weight loss procedures, such as The Hospital Group so that you can have a fully trained staff of experts to use as a resource. Also, you can always use the General Medical Council as an additional resource. The council maintains a list of registered medical practitioners that may be able to help you narrow down your decision.

Questions to ask

Once you believe you have found the right doctor, the next step that you should take is asking the right questions. This may include inquiries into how long the surgeon has been practising, as well as how long he or she has been specialising in bariatric procedures. The best way to get an honest gauge of the surgeon’s performance is to talk to patients that he or she has operated on in the past, so you may also ask for a patient referral or several written testimonials.

The most important factor in choosing the right gastric band surgeon for you is listening to your instincts and forging a pleasant rapport so that you can be confident as you take the next steps toward a healthier, happier you.