The decision to have weight-loss surgery is a big one. If you are considering it, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are four things we want you to know before reaching out to our team at the Bariatric Weight-Loss Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC).
1. Be proud of yourself for taking this step.
Sometimes patients are fearful or embarrassed about their decision to have weight-loss surgery. When in fact, this is one of the bravest decisions you can make. Perhaps you’ve spent years trying to manage your weight on your own – or maybe other medical conditions have caused you to gain weight. Whatever your circumstance may be, we want you to know that we understand losing weight can be extremely challenging – and we want to help. Our program staff is available to connect with you and tell you more about your options. You can also watch a virtual educational class to learn more about your options at NGMC.
2. Lead time to surgery varies from person to person.
If weight-loss surgery is a covered benefit under your insurance plan, your provider may have a required period during which you must stick to a supervised diet before having surgery. This lead time can vary from three to six months depending on your plan. If you are paying for your surgery out-of-pocket, you will not have these stipulations and can have surgery as soon as your surgeon deems it appropriate. This means that the sooner you start the process, the better.
If you are covered under the Georgia State Health Benefit plan, you now have coverage for bariatric surgery.
3. Weight-loss surgery is safe.
It’s safe, and the benefits are well worth it. There are common misconceptions that weight-loss surgery is more dangerous that other surgeries. Bariatric surgery has been around for many decades, and because of new technological advancements, it’s safer than ever before. In fact, these surgeries are often performed robotically and require much smaller incisions and less down time. Patients are typically discharged from the hospital the day after their surgery. Read more about your safety during weight-loss surgery.
4. Your life will change!
This is the best part! In a short period of time, you will begin seeing the positive results of your recent surgery. In order to be successful, your lifestyle will need to change. Among other things, you will learn to eat differently. Don’t let this scare you. Our patients are still able to eat many of their favorite foods with some modifications. It’s important to follow your provider’s guidelines for diet and exercise following surgery. Vitamins play a big role in your overall health – and you will be instructed on which supplements to take to support your body during its weight-loss process. NGMC offers many resources to our patients, including a comprehensive aftercare program with nutritional and behavioral health counseling, weightlifting and yoga classes, support groups and a free clothing closet. A successful outcome requires a commitment for the rest of your life. With hard work and dedication, your life will improve. Many of our patients say they’ve never felt better.
Choosing to undergo weight-loss surgery is a decision that should not be taken lightly, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting one. We have a team of support staff ready to help you take your first step towards a healthier life. Visit nghs.com/bariatrics or call 770-219-8585 for more information.