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In Charge of Your Own Success

By Carey Brown, MD


Though it takes many months to reach a patient’s day of surgery, it is not the end of the journey. In fact, it is the beginning. As a surgeon, it is exciting to see what the future holds for our patients in the postoperative period. Your surgeon and staff are available to assist patients in achieving goals; but to accomplish your goals you have to be disciplined and determined within yourself and your lives. How does one achieve success with any of the bariatric operations?

Besides setting reasonable goals, the most important factor is completely committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle. Look for opportunities within your bariatric program. Use support groups because you can seek out patients who are further into the postoperative period and ask them about their experiences, including the successes and pitfalls. Engage patients who are starting their postoperative lives and ask how they are doing. Think about being a mentor to others.

Use the fitness programs or exercise instructors if they are an available resource within the bariatric program and/or hospital. Exercise has to be a priority every day of the week. With your experts’ assistance, develop various workout routines to prevent boredom. If you have physical limitations, become creative to increase your daily activity. From lifting soup cans or parking further away from the mall, any extra effort will help.

Your invested time and emotional commitment will only strengthen the resolve needed to succeed in your life. Bariatric surgery is a tool and how well it works for you depends on the decisions and choices you make daily for yourself. These choices will become part of your lifestyle and create a healthier you.