A Lack of Bariatric Support Services – Sink or Swim?

People need support. People need someone to talk to. People need to feel heard, listened to, acknowledged. Having bariatric surgery is a surgery like no other. Sure, some surgeries require rehab or long recoveries, but no medical surgery which is elective, requires such a life change in all ways as bariatric surgery does. Physical, mental and emotional changes. Therefore people having bariatric surgery – NEED SUPPORT!! They need support to understand ALL of the changes that are happening to them and what they can do to make the transition smoother. Without support it is kind of like being thrown into a swimming pool at the deep end and being expected to know how to swim! Or driving a Maserati when you have never driven a car before let alone a high performance model.

The medical model in New Zealand and Australia steers towards paying for the surgery with little inclusive support services included in that cost. Very few Bariatric Clinics provide a full, ongoing wrap round support. Most people are ‘advised’ to seek support, but where do you find qualified, experienced support specific to weight loss surgery? On Facebook support groups? Where the only thing that makes you an expert is that you had the surgery yourself? That only makes you an expert about you. Of course people can give their opinions to you, but we all know that saying about opinions and arseholes…..

The key is that people are able to access the support they need. From a professional with experience working with bariatric patients. The increased rate of revision bariatric procedures due to weight regain rather than complications is concerning. Of course where there are complications, it goes without saying. That is not the point I’m making. Why are so many people having revision procedures? Why are people regaining weight? The surgery is only a tool and you cannot build a house with just a hammer! You need lots of tools and a bit of knowledge to make sure the house you are attempting to build doesn’t collapse into a crumpled heap. Research on the ‘success’ rate long term for those who have had a good bariatric support team around them, compared with those with no support other than the surgeon would be interesting. I would be surprised if those with very little follow up support had better outcomes in regards to weight loss and healthier nutrition/life choices than those with professional support.

Check out our TWC Bariatric Support Programmes or TWC Empower Hours if you need to chat. Remember that support is always available from The Wellness Clinic. WE ARE YOUR LIFE-JACKET. Doesn’t matter if you know how to swim or not… we will keep you afloat.

Vanessa X