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What Are Bariatric Surgery Support Groups?

By Valerie Goldberg
Updated May 17, 2024
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"Bariatric surgery" is a term that covers a wide range of weight loss surgeries for obese individuals, including gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. Individuals who have their stomachs made smaller through these surgeries will lose a lot of weight and have to adjust to a whole new lifestyle and eating structure. It can be important for patients to turn to bariatric surgery support groups for comfort. These groups can connect individuals with others who are going through the same thing and are able to offer support, advice and tips.

If a person has been heavy for his or her entire life, the idea of losing a lot of weight can be both exciting and stressful. Bariatric surgery support groups can be beneficial for people who are contemplating getting weight loss surgery as well as people who have already had surgery. Even though doctors can provide surgery candidates with a lot of information, some people might feel more comfortable hearing success stories from other individuals who have struggled with their weight before going under the knife. After a person has surgery, he or she might need some help adjusting to eating out, keeping his or her diet and finding motivation to work out. Support groups can provide all of these elements.

Some bariatric surgery support groups meet in person in local communities. These groups usually have a central meeting place, such as a community center. Meetings might be held once a month or once a week. Groups of this type are meant to be completely encouraging and supportive. Leaders of bariatric surgery support groups might have members sign a confidentiality notice so that other members can express their feelings about their struggles without worrying about their stories being spread around the community.

There are also virtual bariatric surgery support groups on the Internet. Web groups are very popular because they can be accessed anonymously by shy people, homebound individuals or people living in rural areas who might not have a live group that meets close by. Web forums can be accessed at anytime of day or night by people all around the world. This can be helpful if a patient is up scared or worried in the middle of the night. He or she can log on and make a post, and there will likely be someone awake in some part of the world who is ready to respond with an answer, advice or emotional support.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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