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Department of Surgery Referrals Patient Clinician Researcher

Columbia University Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery
Surgical Procedures & Innovations  How to Pick a Surgeon

Choosing the right surgeon to perform obesity surgery is very important. You should seek a surgeon with exceptional surgical skills and dedication to follow-up care. Most general surgeons avoid operating on the very obese, as the risks and difficulty of performing operations in the obese patient's abdomen are better handled by experts who specialize in obesity surgery.

You will want to find a surgeon who is board certified in general surgery and affiliated with The American Society of Bariatric Surgery, a group of surgeons that are committed to the surgical treatment of obesity. You should be comfortable with your surgeon and confident that he/she gives you good answers to all your questions.

Choosing the type of surgery which is right for you is important — your surgeon should explain the options carefully and in a way you completely understand before you decide.

The surgeon should be able to offer more than one type of surgery as the specific procedure needs to be matched carefully to the individual patient.

Laparoscopic surgery, with its many benefits, is technically more demanding than traditional open surgery. How much experience does the surgeon have with laparoscopic procedures, and specifically those for obesity?

Is the surgeon dedicated to your support and lifelong follow-ups?

  • Is there a support group?
  • Is lifelong follow up a part of the program?
  • Is there a registered dietitian on staff?

Please see Second Opinion for further advice on choosing your surgeon

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