Gastric sleeve surgery is the most popular among all types of bariatric surgery procedures today. The surgery is relatively less invasive, has a low rate of complications, and delivers highly successful weight loss outcomes for most patients. However, the success in this procedure will depend in large part to the skill and experience of your bariatric surgeon.
Choosing the best surgeon for your needs is critical. During your pre-operative consultation, you should feel free to ask questions about the surgeon’s qualifications, background, and experience in gastric sleeve surgery. Read gastric sleeve reviews about the surgeon and the hospital where they plan to perform your procedure. Once you have identified the right gastric sleeve surgeon, half your battle is won even before it begins.
Check the Surgeon’s Professional Credentials
Whether you approach a weight loss surgeon directly or through a reliable medical tourism service provider, you should insist on knowing about their qualifications, certifications, and training. A good surgeon for your gastric sleeve procedure would be someone who has undergone specific training in bariatric surgery, and not just general surgery.
At your initial consultation, you should ask whether the surgeon has been board certified by a nationally or internationally accredited certifying authority. A board certification is awarded only to a small number of bariatric surgeons every year after a rigorous selection process. These surgeons typically have undergone extensive training and have years of experience and a robust track record of performance in weight loss surgery.
Look at What Other Patients are Saying about the Surgeon
One of the most authentic ways to evaluate a surgeon’s capabilities is to see what their previous patients have to say about their skills. A committed surgeon would be able to share with you gastric sleeve reviews and testimonials from past patients, which can provide you valuable insights. When you read the comments and experiences of actual patients, it will help you form a better understanding of what the surgeon can or cannot do for you.
At your initial consultation, you may also request your surgeon to share with you gastric sleeve before and after photos of past patients. These photos will provide you visual evidence of the surgeon’s performance and also help you develop realistic expectations about the procedure. When you meet your surgeon in-person, you should also ask them to give you a brief office tour so that you can familiarize yourself with their staff members and see how comfortable you feel in that office environment.
Ask Questions and Clear All Doubts and Concerns
During your first virtual or in-person consultation with the gastric sleeve surgeon, you should preferably carry a list of questions that you want to ask from them. This will ensure you do not miss anything important. You can get some idea from the surgeon’s responses about whether they are transparent or evasive on some of your critical questions and concerns, and how willing they are to spend time and help you make an informed choice.
Your list of questions may include:
- How many years of training and experience do you have in bariatric surgery?
- Do you have a board certification in surgery, and if yes, from which medical authority?
- How many gastric sleeve and other bariatric surgery procedures have you performed over the years?
- Would you share a few gastric sleeve reviews, testimonials, and before and after images with me from your past patients?
- Do you have staff privileges at a bariatric center or hospital, and will you perform my gastric sleeve surgery at that facility?
- Are there any risks and complications associated with gastric sleeve surgery that I should know?
- How much will my gastric sleeve procedure cost, including all the pre- and post-operative costs?
The Bottom Line
A gastric sleeve surgeon who is willing to listen to you, empathize with your concerns, and with whom you are able to have a good rapport and communication will often prove to be the right choice for you. At the end of the day, any surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery, is as much of an art as it is science. Surgeons who are passionate about their job will almost always deliver outstanding results.
They will maintain the highest standards of care, invest in the latest surgical techniques and technology, pursue continuing education, and follow the current safety protocols to achieve total patient satisfaction. Learn about your surgeon’s reputation on the Internet and social media, if possible, go through their online gastric sleeve reviews, and most of all, be proactive during your consultation in order to make the best decision.