073 How to Choose a Bariatric Surgery Program with John Bukenas

by reeger on July 12, 2016

How to Choose

In this episode I welcome back John Bukenas. We explore how to choose a bariatric surgery program. If you are new to the podcast, John and I have talked about his obesity and the possibility of bariatric surgery in episodes 26 and 45.

Topics discussed in the episode

  • John’s struggles and declining health
  • First Step: Contact your insurance
  • Medicare qualification
  • National Institutes of Health bariatric surgery candidate recommendations
  • Accreditation. MBSAQIP. ASMBS.
  • Medicare does not require you to have surgery at an accredited center
  • Pros and Cons of large practices that offer bariatric surgery as part of their service
  • Online versus In-person seminars
  • Considering how stable is the bariatric surgery practice
  • What are the programs pre-op process and education
  • The importance of involving your primary care provider
  • Facing fears. John confronts the truth that he is now more afraid of dying of his obesity than having bariatric surgery
  • I suggest John connect with Jeff Newell
  • What educational methods does the program use to teach their patients
  • What kind and how many support groups does the program offer
  • Does the program have robust short and long term follow-up care
  • Obesity is not curable. It is treatable. It can go into remission, but it is not curable.
  • We explore the nature of shame around obesity
  • Number one regret around bariatric surgery is that the person waited too long before having it
  • John considers going back to his “Let’s Reverse Obesity” Podcast.
  • John’s goals for why he would go back to Let’s Reverse Obesity
  • Evaluating the location of the physical space of a practice
  • WLSP Facebook friends offer thoughts on choosing a bariatric surgery program
  • Emotional and psychological support before and after bariatric surgery
  • What about medical tourism
  • Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Matters National Convention is in Washington, DC this year
  • Psychological, nutrition, fitness evaluations
  • If you are required to do medical weight management

Mentions in this Episode
Becoming a patron of this podcast via Patreon THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast
Obesity Action Coalition

Your Weight Matters National Convention

Connecting with John Bukenas
Twitter @johnbukenas
Facebook Let’s Reverse Obesity
Want more of John and his quirky/funny humor? Check out his other podcast Off in the Weeds with the hilarious Jessica Kupferman

Connecting with Me
Twitter @preegerc
Facebook Weight Loss Surgery Podcast

Never forget, I believe in you,


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Arnold August 24, 2016 at 3:40 am

Hello Reeger
In British Columbia Canada, I had to wait 4.5 years to get my gastric sleeve surgery , I had to see a shrink , visit my surgeon every year and discuss why I want this surgery . Lots and lots of tests ,He also had me talk to lots of people that have had this procedure done . I live in northern part of my province so my surgery was done 3000 kilometres from home! So let’s just say the follow up has not been great. I have lost 165lbs since my surgery in Feb. 23 2015 , my starting weight was 498lbs it has been a rough road ,but I am very glade I did it.

Thanks Ken Arnold


reeger September 11, 2016 at 3:53 am

Hi Ken, Thanks for sharing your story. I am curious, is your experience of what it took to qualify for bariatric in Canada typical? Reeger


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