Important Questions to Ask Your Prospective Surgeon

Bariatric surgery is a major decision and one that should not be made without a great deal of research. You will be changing not only your weight, but your lifestyle and the physical makeup of your digestive system as well. Choosing a center to perform your operation can be difficult as more and more weight loss surgery clinics sprout up through out the country. Choosing the right surgeon for you can mean the difference between successful weight loss and a lifetime of revisions and regret. Once you have decided which surgery you would like to have, you must then select a surgeon.

The following questions will help you evaluate the surgeons and weight loss centers in your area to decide if any of them are the best option for you. We recommend printing out this page and taking it with you to any consultations you set up. Ideally, you should try to set up consultations with more than one surgeon / center so that you can compare their: willingness to discuss options, bedside manner, surgical center policy, procedures, and staff, as well as follow up programs. This information will also be valuable when presenting your case to your insurance agency during the approval process.

Questions to ask bariatric centers and surgeons:

  1. Is your weight loss center a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE)?

  • What surgical procedures do you offer?
  • Which of these procedures do you recommend for me?
  • For me, what are the advantages of the surgical procedure you recommended compared to the other procedures you perform?
  • How soon should surgery take place?
  • What might happen if I delay or avoid the surgery?
  • What results should I expect from the surgery?
  • Are there any non-surgical options?
    If yes, describe:
  • Are there any less invasive surgery options?
  • What is the next step if this surgery doesn't work?
  • What kind of preparation is needed for surgery?
  • Where will surgery be done?
  • How is the surgery done (laparoscopy or open surgery)?
  • What kind of anesthesia will be used (general, local, or regional)?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • How successful is this procedure?
  • What are the risks associated with this surgery?
  • How much experience does the surgeon have with this procedure?
  • Has the procedure been done often in this hospital or surgery center?
  • What complications might develop (both immediate and long-term)?
  • How long will I have to stay after surgery?
  • How will I feel after surgery?
  • How much pain is there after this type of surgery? How is it treated?
  • How long will it take to recover from surgery?
  • What kind of care will I need at home? Are there any activity limitations?
  • How soon can I eat a regular meal?
  • How soon can I resume regular activities?
  • What symptoms should I watch for and report?
  • What can I do to reduce the risk of complications both pre and post surgery?
  • How soon can I return to work?
  • How much will the surgery cost?
  • How much weight can I expect to lose?
  • Will I need additional surgeries?
  • What sort of long term follow up care does this center provide?