With thousands of bariatric surgeries under our belts, we have seen it all. We have seen patients who come in amazingly motivated and ultimately achieve incredible results with their surgery. We’ve seen other seemingly motivated patients that quickly lose their resolve and do not achieve the goals they or we expect. To a certain degree, we can sometimes predict how successful our bariatric patients will be and, as such, have a very candid conversation with them about what to expect. This is especially true when the patient does not seem motivated for the right reasons. As a result, we may even suggest that they wait, if they can, before having their procedure.
One of the best predictors of how a patient will do after surgery is their attitude toward the pre-op process. Ensuring that our patients are safe and suitable for a surgical procedure is a big part of the pre-op process. Many patients find the wait and testing tedious and frustrating. This is justified as they want to move quickly to change their lives with bariatric surgery. However, some patients take this too far. We commonly see patients that do not take the pre-op process seriously, and they often stall or give up before surgery. The insurance paperwork for pre-approval takes time and patience. Furthermore, the 1 to 2-week pre-op liver shrink diet is not easy to stick to. Some patients even give themselves a final week of indulgence, eating their favorite junk foods before committing to their new lifestyle.
However, often, the inability or unwillingness to stick to the process in the lead-up to surgery translates to the same sentiment a year or two after surgery when self-motivation is needed the most. Indeed, most patients do very well in their first year or two as they see their weight drop dramatically and are motivated to look and feel better. But once the weight loss starts to plateau, and it is more challenging to maintain the weight loss, a patient’s former lack of discipline can come back out and derail their postop lifestyle as well.
How to Know if You Are Genuinely Motivated
Of course, motivation comes from within, and we can never honestly know if a patient is motivated beyond what they tell us. However, their actions can suggest one way or another. How might you know you’re ready:
- You are having bariatric surgery for yourself and not because of external influences.
- Your primary goal is to improve your health and wellness versus is looking better.
- You commit to the preop process, including the liver shrink diet.
- You understand your responsibilities after surgery, especially in diet and exercise.
- You know the need for a support team around you. This means some serious and often awkward conversations with friends and loved ones.
- You are aware and comfortable with how life will change after surgery. There will be significant physical and psychological changes that may improve or strain your relationships.
- You are willing to accept constructive criticism from your medical team and your support system, and you are ready to seek professional help if necessary.
We encourage you to watch our online seminar to better understand the challenges you face after your bariatric procedure. The seminar will also give you an idea about the procedures we offer, and what expectations you can have for excess weight loss and obesity-related disease resolution. From there, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our bariatric surgeons to learn more and start the pre-op process.