A Guide to Bariatric Surgery in Los Angeles

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For many people, the day they had bariatric surgery is a day that changed their lives. Bariatric surgery patients often lose a substantial amount of weight, see improvements from obesity-related health conditions, and are able to do activities they have not done for years.

Many of these patients find that their weight loss and improved health are incredibly empowering and affirming. But with all the positivity around substantial weight loss, it’s important to be realistic that not every aspect is easy or positive.

At West Medical, we understand deciding to have bariatric surgery is a major life decision. We know you have to think about many different aspects and will want to find the best bariatric surgeon in Los Angeles.

How To Find A Bariatric Surgeon with Experience

At West Medical, we can give you the support you need. We know how important it is to your success to surround yourself with people who can reassure you, as you take the life-changing journey of realizing the person you have always wanted to be and deserve to be.

We not only give you the medical attention you require but we make sure you are completely taken care of.

Our team of expert bariatric surgeons place an emphasis on compassionate patient care and we have a support network to keep you focused and positive about your decision and your follow-up care.

We understand that health care decisions can be difficult and may sometimes feel overwhelming, but we are always ready to help patients make good choices and enjoy the best possible outcomes.

What Happens on the Day of Your Bariatric Surgery

Once you’ve made the decision to have bariatric surgery, and have gone through the pre-surgery steps, you’re ready for your procedure day. This can be a scary day in some ways, but also exciting. Today you truly begin your path to losing weight and gaining energy and health. Here’s what you can expect on your procedure day:

The morning of your weight loss surgery you’ll check into the surgery center or hospital.
There will be some paperwork to fill out, and you can have a friend or family member stay with you until just before the procedure starts.

You’ll change into a gown, and we’ll give you a chair where you can rest. An IV will be started, and we’ll use this to give you medicine to make you feel calm and sleep through the procedure. We’ll also use this to give you pain medicine. We may put sticky pads on your chest to monitor your heart beat. Before the procedure starts, we will put an oxygen mask over your mouth. Right before we start, the anesthesiologist will talk to you and give you medicine to make you fall asleep. You may not remember this when you wake up.

The next thing you’ll know, you will be waking up in the recovery room. You’ll feel groggy while the anesthesia wears off, and you may not remember your first few conversations.

Our team will help you sit up or stand and may ask you to try to take sips of water. Depending on which weight loss procedure you’ve had, you may go home the same day or you may stay in the hospital for 1 – 3 nights. We will go over the plan for your first few weeks in detail with you, both before and after your procedure.

What to Expect after Your Bariatric Surgery

Welcome to your new life! You have made the decision to change your future and are taking the steps into a bright new adventure.

Once you have had your bariatric surgery, there may be some aspects of your ‘old life’ you miss or you will have worries about how to make the exciting transition into the ‘new you.’

The team at West Medical are here to listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have about personal and physical aftercare.

Here are some of the real life experiences from our patients on what they have struggled with, and overcome successfully after having bariatric surgery:

You Might Miss Food

While losing weight is exciting, and you’ll likely find pride in your new lifestyle, there will be times where you might ‘miss’ your previous ability to indulge in food. For instance, patients may tell us their friends went to an all-you-can-eat buffet, and they resented their inability to participate like they used to. Other people will say that they are surprised to realize how much they miss their ability to have late night snacks or large hamburgers.

You May Not See Your Own Success

Sometimes our team will see a bariatric surgery patient and be amazed at their progress. However, sometimes that patient does not see the changes that everyone else is able to. People who have spent decades seeing themselves as overweight or obese may find it hard to shift their thinking. While it may seem as though you’ll be able to celebrate your progress as soon as the pounds start dropping, be prepared that recognizing your own success can be its own challenge.

You might Worry About Plateaus

The vast majority of bariatric surgery patients begin losing a notable amount of weight right after surgery. Of course this is thrilling for people who have worked for years to make weight loss progress, but it can also bring up questions. You might worry that your current strides will not last. What if you hit a plateau, or start regaining weight? What if bariatric surgery ‘fails’ the way so many diets do? It’s very reasonable to have fears like this. Remember that our team is here to support you through every step of the journey including any plateaus you hit. Also remember that bariatric surgery is truly different from diets, in terms of the rates of success and empowerment you’ll have to succeed.

You May Have Excess Skin

One disappointment for some bariatric surgery patients is finding they have excess skin after their weight loss. If you lose weight quickly, your skin may not be able to keep up with the ‘shrinking’ that your body is doing. Additionally, as we age our skin becomes less elastic, so some people end up with a fairly substantial amount of hanging skin. This skin can get in the way of wearing the new clothes you were hoping for, and in some cases can impede movement or a more advanced fitness routine. If you are in this situation, you should consider skin removal surgery. This is not the right option for everyone, and certainly not a necessity after bariatric surgery. However, it is an important step that some people find makes a lot of difference in how they feel and perceive themselves.

If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, bariatric surgery can be a life changing choice. It is important, however, to be realistic about life after bariatric surgery so that hurdles do not turn into regrets. All the positives that most patients experience are also balanced with inevitable struggles. Understanding this before surgery, and setting yourself up with a good support system and patience, are major steps in overcoming any concerns you may have.

Does West Medical Take Insurance?

At West Medical, we accept most major insurance plans. Insurance companies may cover all or a portion of the costs associated with the surgery. The exact breakdown will vary depending on the patient, their insurance plan, and the specifics of the surgery.

At West Medical, our physicians are dedicated to individualized treatment, ensuring that your specific needs are met. To learn more about your best bariatric surgeon options in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire, as well as other weight loss options, call us at (855) 690-0565 and schedule your consultation today!

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