Bariatric surgeons specialize in performing weight loss surgery and can help you make positive, life-changing decisions about your long-term health. Choosing one who takes time to understand your unique needs is vital for long-term success, but there are other important things to consider as well.
How to choose the best bariatric surgeon
Here are some important things to consider when choosing the best bariatric surgeon:
- Get referrals
A great starting point is to ask your primary care doctor, specialist, family and friends for their recommendations. Before making your final decision, you can contact the surgeon’s office and ask for a consult appointment.
- Check your insurance coverage
One of the first things you should do with your referral list is to find the bariatric surgeons who participate in your plan. This will help ensure you’ll receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your care.
- Research credentials and reviews
An easy way to narrow your referral list is to choose from only board-certified bariatric surgeons. This certification tells you the doctor has the skill, training and knowledge necessary to provide optimal surgical care. You will also want to review other certifications and whether they have any malpractice and/or disciplinary history. As you narrow your list, it’s important to read what other people have to say about them. This information can be particularly helpful for understanding scheduling, wait times, environment and office friendliness.
- Look for experience
Weight loss procedures are complex, so finding a surgeon with experience is important. Look for surgeons with a FASMBS (Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) designation, which means the surgeon completes at least 25 ASMBS-approved bariatric surgeries a year. You will also want to review complication rates, which will tell you how many complications the surgeon has encountered.
- Consider gender
This will be more important for some than others, but it is important to find a surgeon with whom you’re comfortable because you will need to share personal information. You may also want to learn more about your surgeon’s experience with your specific weight loss surgery as it pertains to your gender.
- Get to know their communication style
Find a surgeon who takes time to understand you and your goals. It’s important to have a bariatric surgeon who will consider your treatment preferences and respect your decision-making process.
Dr. Wiljon Beltre is a board-certified bariatric surgeon in beautiful Altamonte Springs, Florida. He and his staff are pleased to offer all four major forms of advanced laparoscopic metabolic and bariatric surgery—gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, biliopancreatic diversion and gastric band. We specialize in leading-edge surgical techniques to help facilitate aggressive weight loss goals which, in turn help alleviate co-occurring conditions like sleep apnea, cardiac disease, fatty liver, polycystic ovarian disease and arthritic joint pains.