How to Choose a Bariatric Surgeon

Choosing the right bariatric surgeon may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Asking the right questions and knowing what to look for in a bariatric surgeon can make it easier.

To help you make the right decision, Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery put together a list of questions you should ask bariatric surgeons about their experience and programs.

What type of bariatric surgeries do you perform?

There are many types of weight loss surgery. Some examples include gastric banding and gastric bypass. These operations can be performed using either traditional open-incision laparotomy or laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes small incisions as opposed to one large incision. He or she then inserts a viewing tube with a small camera (laparoscope) and other tiny instruments into these small incisions to perform the surgery. Laparoscopic surgeries tend to be less painful, have shorter recovery times and, potentially, have fewer complications.

Are you board-certified by the American Board of Surgery or the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery?

Board certification by these boards indicates that the bariatric surgeon has completed a training program and met certain predefined standards. It also ensures that he or she has passed both oral and written exams. Recertification is required every 10 years.

Are you a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery?

ASMBS membership suggests that a bariatric surgeon is certified by the American Board of Surgery or the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery and has performed a minimum of 25 bariatric procedures as the primary surgeon within the past two years.

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