Dr. Mathias Fobi recalls the most common fears patients have before undergoing bariatric surgery.
Well the biggest fear patients have is the possibility of death from surgery. Surgery is a major operation. Weight loss surgery is a major operation, but fortunately I will say, in the time I have been I have not known about any patient dieing on the operating room table. They do die from complications from the surgery, the complication, the death rate in bariatric surgery as reported currently is about 0.5% for the gastric bypass, 0.1% for the LAP-BAND®, which are pretty good. That’s about the incidents of mortality from gall bladder surgery, which is common operation done.
But we allay the anxiety of these patients by telling them my experience. We have them ask questions. How many operations have you done? Who has died? What did they die from? That information is open and public. The patients have a right to ask questions and have them answered. We have a multidisciplinary team. We keep our data; we publish our data.
So all you have to do is to allay the anxiety, to make the patients feel comfortable and let them know that they are coming to a medical center where the service is safe and they can get good service.
The other thing patients are worried about is whether they are going to gain the weight at some time. That is why I give them a good informed consent. From the time the patient comes in till the time they have surgery, they will be seeing a total of five different consultants. Each of this consultant acts as an information source. The material is repeated by the pulmonary specialist, by the nutritionists, by the psychotherapist, by the cardiologists, by the patient counselor and by the surgeon.
So by the time you go through all these consultants, the patient has a fairly good idea as to what to expect and then their anxiety is calmed. On the other hand, we have a nice website where the surgery is discussed. We have patient testimonials on those websites. We give them pamphlets, we have video clips of the operation, which we make available to the patients on request, and we have what is called support group meetings.
At these meetings patients have a chance to come and meet patients who had surgery. So if you are worrying how this surgery is going to turn out ten years from today, come to a support group meeting, you will see somebody who had surgery 20 years ago. Then you know, “Oh, I can survive for 20 years with this surgery.” Somebody who had surgery last week and is walking around; “Oh, it’s not as painful. He had surgery last Monday and here he is walking around so it’s not as bad,” and that is the way we allay the anxiety.
The support group, seeing live patients who had surgery and talking to them, we don’t tell them, we let them ask other patients who have had surgery and that allows the patients to get a good appreciation as to the surgery, its outcome and that helps allay the anxiety.
Dr. Mathias A.L. Fobi, M.D., F.A.C.S.:
Dr. Mathias A.L. Fobi, is an internationally recognized bariatric surgeon, who has changed the shape of Hollywood heavyweights such as Etta James and American Idol’s Randy Jackson. MAL, as he is known among friends, was born in Nkwen, a small village in Cameroon, West Africa. He is a member of the first batch, class of 1965, 0f Sacred Heart College in Mankon Bamenda in Cameroon. He came to the USA through the African Scholarship Program for American Universities (ASPAU) in 1966. This was a scholarship program that was inaugurated by President Kennedy along with the Peace Corps Program.
Condition: Obesity, Morbid Obesity, Weight Loss, Morbidly Obese
Related Terms: StomaphyX™, Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery, LAP-BAND®, Laparoscopic Gastric Banding, Gastric Sleeve, Revisional Bariatric Surgery, Nutrition, Overweight, BMI, Body Mass Index, Decreased Mobility, Comorbidities, Diabetes, Hypertension, REALIZE®, GERD, Bariatric Seminars, REALIZE® Band, Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery, StomaphyX™
Expert: Dr. Mathias A.L. Fobi, Mathias A. L. Fobi, M.D., Dr. Fobi, Doctor Fobi, Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Fobi
Expertise: Incisionless Bariatric Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, LAP-BAND®, Laparoscopic Gastric Banding, Gastric Sleeve, Revisional Bariatric Surgery, Sleeve Gastrectomy, Fobi Pouch