Weight Loss Surgery Support Groups: The Secret to Post-Op Success


Dr. David Provost 01

Weight loss surgery support groups are becoming common among patients who have either had bariatric surgery, or are considering it. Obesity surgery is only one step in a long process a fact that support groups recognize.

Support groups take many forms, but they uniformly pivot around the position that weight loss surgery by itself is not a permanent cure for weight loss. The surgery is only one step in a process that never ends and shouldn t be treated casually. These groups are often led by former bariatric surgery patients, though healthcare specialists and psychologists are also called on for input. Friends, family and spouses of weight loss patients are encouraged to attend. In addition to meetings at physical locations, many patients also participate in support groups that meet online in virtual forums that are moderated.

To be most effective, weight loss surgery requires a complete change in lifestyle, including an awareness of changing nutritional needs before and after surgery, as well as the emotional issues surrounding addictions. And so, because weight loss surgery is surrounded with so many physical and emotional factors, and because the number of patients is a rising trend, more and more doctors and bariatric surgery centers are launching support groups to help patients achieve and maintain their weight loss goals.


Diet, especially, becomes a delicate process after weight loss surgery. If you have gastric bypass surgery or even a gastric banding procedure, your body will process food differently, explains Dallas weight loss surgery specialist Dr. David Provost, who offers a twice-monthly support group for his practice. Many groups are led by a registered dietician, or they will have a dietician come speak regularly, so patients can ask questions and get important information about nutrition and vitamins.

By the very nature of the surgery, weight loss surgery patients will experience food restrictions after their operation. This means they generally cannot overeat the way they once did. Depending on the procedure, they also are often unable to digest certain problem foods in a comfortable way. But many post-op patients still find themselves dealing with addiction transference and begin to replace food with other habits, such as alcohol, sex, or shopping. Though the patient is now losing weight and no longer has to confront the issue of eating in excess, he or she may wind up practicing other harmful behaviors.

This situation, when it occurs, reinforces the idea that the patient s driving problem in life could be the addictive tendency, not just food. Many weight loss support groups recognize this tendency, and are able to delve into issues that stray from surgical topics. The process can even result in a support group transplant in which certain people, having used the weight loss surgery forum to identify their addictions, seek help through support groups of another kind.

Of course, some weight loss support groups include attendees who haven t had the surgery yet, or haven t decided whether they want to have a bariatric procedure.

We encourage patients to participate in a support group before they even have their surgery, says Dr. Provost, who practices at the Presbyterian Hospital Denton and offers Lap-Band , Stomaphyx and gastric bypass surgery for patients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. In this way, pre-op patients gain a better understanding of the changes that lie ahead, and they also serve as a reminder to the post-op participants of how far they have come in their journey.

Weight loss surgery support groups can help both pre- and post-op patients achieve and maintain their weight loss goals.

Dallas weight loss surgery

specialist Dr. David Provost offers twice-monthly support groups at his north

Dallas bariatric surgery


Article Source: