1. Consultation with the doctor
During a first contact with the doctor, it is checked whether the person is eligible for an intervention and whether there is a possibility of reimbursement. When the patient agrees upon surgery, an appointment is made for an intake consultation. A potential date for a surgery can already be agreed.
2. Intake consultation
A complete file with the patient’s history is prepared during this consultation.
The different procedures are explained with their advantages and disadvantages. The most interesting surgery is then discussed with the person. Of course, questions can be asked. Therefore, it is preferable that you are accompanied by your partner or another confidential advisor.
Next appointments are made for the required examinations. If necessary, blood can already be drawn.
3. Preoperative exams
Certain examinations are medically required to ensure that the procedure takes place safely. In addition, questionnaires are imposed by the government as part of multidisciplinary consultations.
- Endocrinology: the laboratory results are analyzed. Existing problems (diabetes or other disorders) are checked and unknown problems could be identified.
- Psychologist: this consultation is necessary in the context of reimbursement. Many people appreciate this consultation and continue consulting the psychologist after the procedure.
- Gastrointestinal diseases: a gastroscopy (gastric examination) is essential to find out the state of the stomach. It is important to check for signs of reflux and possible inflammation of the esophagus. Sometimes stomach ulcers and even tumors are discovered. During this examination, a biopsy is performed to exclude the presence of a gastric bacterium (Helicobacter Pylori or HP). If it is present, it’s preferable to eliminate it before the operation.
- Radiology: radiography of the lungs and ultrasound of the liver (control of fatty liver)
- Heart or lung diseases: these examinations are only requested when necessary.
4. Scheduling the surgery
When planning the procedure, a preoperative appointment with the surgeon is scheduled to discuss the results of these preoperative exams.
When the different doctors agree to an intervention, the date of the intervention is defined. In addition, some necessary forms are signed (informed consent, possible costs, etc.).
Hospitalization is normally scheduled on the morning of the operation.
After the required registration formalities, you will be accompanied to your room. The nurse will ask you questions regarding medical history, previous operations, chronic and current medications. Don’t forget to mention your allergies to latex, drugs or other substances.
Then, you will be prepared for the operation and you will receive an operating gown. You can keep your panties on during the operation. Keep in mind that it can be stained with the disinfectant and blood.
6. The procedure
You will be taken to the operating room in your bed. An intravenous catheter will be placed in a room specially dedicated for this purpose. You will be asked to lie on the operating table and taken to the operating room. By check, your name and date of birth will be requested. If you have comments, you can report them to the surgeon, anesthesiologist or nurse. The anesthesiologist will put you to sleep by injecting the anesthetic.
After the procedure, the anesthesiologist will wake you up and you will be taken to the recovery room. In most cases, you will be in your room 2 hours after the procedure.
7. Discharge from hospital
The day after the surgery, the dietician will visit you to explain the diet during the first weeks and the first months after the procedure.
A swallow test on radiology is performed to test the correct passage of the new gastric pouch and detect a possible leak (which is extremely rare). If this test is normal and you feel good, you can start drinking and you will be given liquid foods such as yogurt or soup. However, if you are feeling well, you have the choice of leaving the hospital on the first day or staying an extra night.
You can leave the hospital if you feel safe.
8. Follow up
You make a first appointment with the surgeon 2 or 3 weeks after the surgery.
It is very important to notify the surgeon of anything might concern you: persistent pain, inability to drink enough, excessive vomiting, etc.
The next appointment is 3 months after the procedure, then 6 months, 12, 18 and 24 months. We always ask for a blood test for these consultations so that the necessary medication can be prescribed in case of shortage.