The Importance of Weight Loss Support Groups Before and After Bariatric Surgery

By Jessica Basso, RN, BSN

Every patient’s weight loss journey is different and unique. Weight loss support groups provide a place where patients can find help and assist each other throughout the journey, both pre- and post-operatively. Patient support can be from family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and other WLS patients.

Studies have found that patient support increases the chances of long-term success for losing and maintaining weight. This is because:

  • Patients can obtain validation
  • Learn new techniques to approaching weight loss
  • Stay motivated
  • Celebrate the various accomplishments achieved
  • Help each other overcome the many obstacles that may develop throughout the journey.

More so, you will receive insight, perspective and real-world experiences from those who have personally gone through the process and are now able to share their perspective.

Attend a weight loss surgery support group if you don’t have family support

As a weight-loss surgery patient, it’s possible to sometimes feel alone and misunderstood. Therefore, it’s important to create a circle of people who understand the decision to have bariatric surgery. Doing so will enable you to better understand the challenges of dealing with the many physical, emotional, and relationship changes that you will experience throughout the weight loss journey. More so, you will receive understanding, compassion and encouragement.

What type of weight loss support group is good for you?

With technology readily available, you can attend groups online or in person. But whichever group you choose, it should be designed to:

  • Educate
  • Inform
  • Provide a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that supports long-term weight loss success

Some support groups can provide a more structured agenda featuring topic presentations and discussions. Other groups can include more participatory activities designed to:

  • Reinforce key principles of success
  • Help patients learn concepts
  • Teach how to adjust to lifestyle changes

Many groups often invite guest speakers like dietitians, psychologists and/or fitness instructors. Other guests provide presentations on topics like grooming, dating, or cooking.

Share your own success at a weight loss support group

The success you achieve after weight loss surgery is something to be proud. You can, and should, share this success and celebrate it at groups. You may not even realize that you are helping someone else by simply sharing your own experiences. In actual fact, your experience could offer hope and encouragement that will allow other patients achieve their own goals. More so, when you share HOW you achieved success, other patients will receive a practical framework that they can model.

Tristate Bariatrics provides numerous support groups throughout our offices and hospitals, both for pre-& post-op patients. The groups are designed to help you give and receive support. We highly encourage you to attend, to hear and see the different aspects, obstacles, and accomplishments that are involved with weight loss surgery.

 

 

Jessica Basso
Jessica graduated from Dominican College with her bachelors of science in nursing. She is a registered professional nurse in the state of New York and a member of the American Nursing Association. Her previous work experience in the healthcare setting has allowed her to be able to assist with patient care in both the administrative and clinical aspects. Her compassion for nursing and helping others brings a positive attitude to the office. As a part of the multidisciplinary team at Tri State Bariatrics Jessica strives to provide and deliver quality patient care as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle. She educates patients on the surgical procedures, assists in the pre-operative workup phase, and truly enjoys encouraging and supporting all her patients while on their weight loss journeys.

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