Is your loved one considering metabolic and bariatric surgery or have they already had it? Understanding the journey a patient goes through, the changes they may experience, and the resources available to them can help you support your loved one.

What is the journey my loved one will go through?

Learn about the journey your loved one with go through at Kaiser Permanente, including the resources available to them at every stage and long term.

Surgery will affect your loved one’s life in many ways. It’s important to be aware of these up front and explore ways that you can be supportive.

How will surgery change the way my loved one can eat and drink?

People often worry that life after surgery will mean that they’re restricted in everything they can eat. This isn’t true! The way your loved one eats and drinks after surgery will change, but there is no need to feel deprived. You can support your loved one by understanding the post-surgery meal plan, recognizing foods they need to be cautious of, and creating a healthy food environment at home or out.

How does surgery work?

Learn about how metabolic and bariatric surgery works, including the different types of surgeries offered at Kaiser Permanente.

What are the risks, side effects, and possible complications of surgery?

Understanding the types of complications your loved one may experience can help you support them in their decision-making and long term. Complications fall into two categories: surgical complications and side effects.

How might relationships change with my loved one after surgery?

When adjusting to lifestyle changes after surgery, it can be just as tough for a family member or friend as it is for the person getting surgery. It can be helpful to discuss changes your loved one will be making together. This can often be a chance for the whole family to commit to being healthier. Here are some questions your loved one may ask that can help start a discussion:

  • How will meals change at home?
  • What foods will and will not be available in the home?
  • How will everyone benefit from you being healthier?
  • What can family members do to help you be successful?
  • How should family members handle it if they decide to eat something they know will be tempting for you?
  • How would the family like you to handle your new way of eating?
  • How will you deal with holidays and parties?
  • Would your family like to use this as a chance to be healthier and more active? If so, how can you all motivate and support each other?

 Adapted with permission from Cynthia L. Alexander, Emotional First Aid Kit: A Practical Guide to Life After Bariatric Surgery, Matrix Medical Communications, LLC, 2009.