Bariatric surgery can be life-changing for patients who are obese but there are important considerations, including choosing the right surgeon, dealing with long journeys for remote patients, and post-surgery follow up
Dealing with the challenges to weight loss
The journey to significant weight loss is a difficult one, and when that journey to quality care becomes literal the difficulties faced are even greater. Bariatric surgery or weight-loss surgery has opened new avenues for many patients battling obesity, but when the bariatric surgeon is 50km, 100km, and even thousands of kilometres away, patients face additional challenges. It’s not just about the surgery itself. There are also the post-operative issues to deal with.
Arrangements for rural patients
According to a recent paper, long-term follow-up can be difficult when patients face time constraints, geographical issues, and financial considerations (Remote Assessments and Behavioral Interventions in Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients, Bradley LE et al, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, July 2018). That’s why at Advance Surgical, we make special arrangements for any patient in rural WA who is a suitable candidate for obesity surgery, using Skype and Telehealth solutions.
Starting the journey to weight loss surgery
If you have struggled with your weight for a long time, you might be considering weight-loss surgery. The first step is to find experienced, qualified bariatric surgeons who will also take a holistic approach to your treatment and care. At Advance Surgical we start by first establishing whether you are a suitable candidate for obesity surgery, which means determining your BMI , assessing your medical condition, and checking your medical history.
We then ensure you have a thorough understanding of the different treatment options. These include sleeve gastrectomy, where a portion of your stomach is stapled off and removed and gastric bypass surgery, where we reduce the size of your stomach and reduce the the amount of food you can absorb further down in the intestine. Both types of surgery should provide good weight loss and reduce weight related problems.
Telehealth options for dealing with weight loss
For patients living remotely or in rural WA – whether that be Mandurah or Marble Bar – Telehealth can make life significantly easier. Our bariatric surgeons Mr Siva Gounder and Dr Jon Armstrong can carry out consultations before and after your procedure via Skype. And we help you stay connected through online resources including our Facebook page and YouTube videos. In the paper mentioned above, researchers looked at how remote assessments and interventions may help overcome barriers.
Our experience has found telehealth to be hugely helpful to remotely based patients and at Advance Surgical Perth, we will be happy to work out a communication protocol adapted to your location and needs.
Whether you are 5km or 1500 km from your Perth bariatric surgeon, it’s important to choose a surgeon who not only has experience in the most advanced procedures, but who also is committed to your long-term care.
You should ensure your clinic offers comprehensive support from both your surgeon and a qualified dietician, who can help you make the most of your weight loss surgery with advice on lifestyle and diet. Dealing with obesity surgery and post-surgical recovery can leave you feeling vulnerable, and the team at Advance Surgical Perth are here to guide you throughout your journey – whether in person or remotely.