Amanda interviews Dr. Ricardo Lopez
Topic: Segment 3
What are the short and long term benefits of online Bariatric Coaching?
Amanda: This is our third segment of the interview on Bariatric Coaching with Bariatric surgeon Dr. Ricardo Lopez from Obesity Center in Guatemala. Welcome everyone and thank you so much Dr. Lopez for being here with us. We have been talking about Bariatric Coaching and as you know I am a Bariatric patient and I always tell my clients that Bariatric is a forever journey, that we are not only a Bariatric patient when we are just going through our two weeks pre op, neither only the day of our surgery, nor a couple of days after we have our surgery…we are actually a Bariatric patient forever in life.
Dr. Lopez: Yes, that’s exactly the way it is.
Amanda: Bariatric surgery has been a positive life changing experience for me. With that being said, as a Bariatric surgeon, I would like to hear from you what are the short and also what are the long-term benefits of having online Bariatric Coaching in your life during your Bariatric journey?
Dr. Lopez: As a small reminder, we talked about what Bariatric Coaching is and the process where we need to have somebody who guides us. We also talked about that despite the type of Bariatric surgery a specific individual underwent, we need short and long term Bariatric Coaching. And the answer yes is given by what we have talked about, that Metabolic or Bariatric surgery is for life. We do Metabolic anatomical changes in the stomach and in the foregut in order to help you to have something that is a tool and that tool you’re going to have it in order to change your habit and after changing a habit, there you are going to change a lifestyle. So, if you are able to change your habits, then you’re going to make your habits a lifestyle. So, a surgery like this will change your lifestyle and lifestyle is for long-lasting life. So, definitely when we need Coaching for a short term, what does it mean? As we have talked about, you are a Bariatric patient, so you know that you had a lot of doubts, that you had a lot of questions even minutes before coming to surgery, so the preparation for your surgery and waking up from surgery, then starts a lot of questions about scars and taking care of your wounds, pain and I definitely know that 95% of the patients when they wake up from surgery they ask themselves “what have I done?”, because you know, it’s a different process for everybody, but it’s difficult waking up from a surgery, waking up with a little bit of pain, waking up with drainages and so short-term help is very useful in order to recover immediately after your surgery. And there is something that it’s called ERAS (Enhance Recovery After Surgery) and this means what can we do in order for a patient to recover the best way? And one of the things is having somebody that can help you, having somebody who can guide you, having somebody that can tell you I’ve been there and I know what you need to do, I know what you need to take care, I know what you need to eat, I know what you don’t need to eat, and if you do that from the first moment of your recovery, definitely your outcomes are going to be successful. And successful in Bariatric surgery means more percentage of excess weight loss, so if you’re doing your surgery because you want the best results in your excess of weight loss, definitely, short-term follow up, short term Coaching is something that is very good. And what happens with long-term follow up? When we say that a surgery was a failure or when we say that we are having weight regain, that is not immediate. That is a long-term old bad habit changes you are starting taking again, it is when you have already recovered and are having the same old bad habits again and that is really important.
Amanda: That is a really great point and I want to say that I always tell my clients that Bariatric surgery is a tool, not a miracle. A lot of people think that they will do the surgery and then they can eat whatever they want and that they can just go back to the same habits, and that is not the way it works. That is why in our Bariatric Coaching at Bari Better, Inc., we really emphasize a lot in lifestyle changes and also Bariatric Wellness, because as you said, like if you go back to the old habits, there is no surgery that’s going to make you not go back to that habit. So, it’s very much here (in our own heads, mindset), it is a whole combination of things that your body, your mind have to put together in order for you to follow through that plan forever in life. I wanted to say that since you are talking about long-term and this is very important.
Dr. Lopez: Definitely. There are some things that can be immediate, so that’s why Coaching in the immediate process is very important and I believe also, I know your story and about some things that happened during your process, for example, one of the things that can be a question, is pain. Pain after Bariatric surgery is a topic that is discussed all over the world in Congresses and in Symposiums, because it can happen since the first day, since the first week or it can happen 5 years after the surgery or 10 years after the surgery. So a lot of questions can pop up at any moment of your life after surgery. So, if we have a Coach who can give us his/her knowledge about the process, definitely long-term and short-term Coaching is needed in a Bariatric recovery process.
Amanda: A lot of clients tell me that they thought they had everything figured out, and they thought they knew better. Even people who had great access to their pre op process, who had to go to classes, support groups, many different visits, some people had to go for months and months in the process before everything get started and you are given all the brochures to read about the surgery, and once we are at home we think we have read enough. And when they are really going in to talk about the surgery and answering the questions pre op, they don’t know a lot of things. There is a lot of information and I am sure that the viewers and people who are listening to us right now who have already gone through this process (like myself), understand what I am talking about. Because a lot of times we feel like “I got this”, “I understood the whole process”, and then when it comes a couple days before the surgery or right after it, we are like “What was it again?” it is too much information. Some people, they probably had already gone through surgeries in the past, so they know a little bit of the medical processing and what you have to do and appointments pre op and all of that. But, for some people, it is perhaps their first surgery. So, it’s very intense when we start going through the whole process of having to get this done and that done. Definitely having that guidance, having somebody next to you who had gone through the same process, makes a big difference and an impact. Thank you for your insights on short and long-term benefits of online Bariatric Coaching, it’s very important to hear it from a Bariatric surgeon.