Do you often skip functions or social gatherings because of that excess weight? Is weight gain affecting your self-esteem? Then, you must try to take the help of a support group to get back on track. Support group meetings play a significant role for patients who are planning to undergo or have undergone bariatric surgery. Patients who regularly attend support group meetings can maintain their health and weight much better in the long term. With the sudden lockdown, everyone was confined to their homes and all avenues for exercise and activity came to a halt. For patients who suffer from obesity or have undergone bariatric surgery, lack of action could translate into weight gain and subsequent increase in associated diseases and medications. Online support group meetings help doctors and their teams to remain in touch with patients, in an even better way than before.
Why joining an online support group could be helpful in Bariatric Surgery? Explains Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgeon
- The participants in support group meetings include anxious patients who are waiting for surgery, patients who have recently undergone surgery, patients who have had surgery a long time ago and sometimes friends and family members of the patients as well.
- Support group meetings are not only a place to celebrate the success of surgery; they also provide validation in terms of social and emotional support that is much needed after a life-changing surgery like bariatric surgery. They are also a platform for continued education and motivation for patients. Patients suffering from obesity fight a lonely battle and are usually misunderstood in society. They find likeminded people in these meetings and can share their concerns with others who have gone through similar trials and have faced the same stigma.
- Support group meetings are the backbone of a successful bariatric surgery program. The online system has opened up newer possibilities and though we could not have our patients with us in person, it has presented many advantages. Post-surgery advise and suggestions on food, exercises, positive motivation, recipes, the importance of supplements and many other valuable insights are given via these support group meetings.
- The online support group meetings save travel time and are also more cost-effective. In metropolitan cities, distances are long, and many patients are not able to attend regularly as they find the venue far away. Online meetings also help the out of station patients to join in.
Bariatric surgery: The journey towards good health
People who suffer from obesity have to endure a lot of stigma and bias in society. There is a lack of understanding about obesity that leads to many misconceptions about the disease. Although bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment option for patients suffering from morbid obesity, it is still considered a taboo in Indian society. As obesity is a chronic progressive disease, its treatment is also not limited to just bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is the beginning of a lifelong journey towards good health. After bariatric surgery, patients need regular follow-up and nutritional guidance for long-term weight maintenance. If you wish to know about this disease and the course after bariatric surgery, then online support groups can be helpful during the pandemic. During these online support group meetings, you can directly get in touch with patients who have undergone bariatric surgery.
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