The Role of Medical Care After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Finding the right surgeon to perform your vertical sleeve gastrectomy is top of mind for most patients considering bariatric surgery in Mexico. And while that is, indeed, the most important factor, you’ll interact most with your primary care physician in the years ahead. That’s why it’s critical to understand the role of a primary care doctor for a VSG patient—and how to zero in on the one that’s right for you.

What does a primary care doctor do?
This kind of physician, also called a family practice doctor, can care for anyone from birth through geriatrics and will be your first stop for most medical issues. For VSG patients, specifically, you’ll count on him or her to:

• Watch for post-surgical complications. The odds of complication after VSG at Endobariatric are very low. Our statistics are astoundingly good, even when compared to hospitals in the U.S., and our patients just don’t experience the negative side effects other physicians’ patients do. BUT. It’s essential that your day-to-day doctor be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary that could point to an issue that needs correcting.

• Monitor medications. As you lose weight, many patients will dramatically reduce or even eliminate the need for medications related to high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. It’s never a good idea to alter your medications without guidance from a physician, so you’ll likely be working closely to finetune dosages in the months and years to come.

• Track nutrient levels. Some VSG patients can become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, which is why your physician should run routine bloodwork and, if necessary, recommend supplements.

• Make referrals. As you navigate your new life with your sleeve, both physical and emotional issues might arise. It’s not reasonable to expect any physician to be able to treat every single thing that crops up, but it is reasonable that he or she knows what to look for and make referrals to specialists as necessary. Mental health, for example, should be an ongoing conversation with your primary care physician.

How to select a primary care physician
Because vertical sleeve gastrectomy is outside the scope of what many primary care docs see on a daily basis, it’s worth investing whether you believe he or she will be able to support you appropriately on your journey.

• What’s your view of bariatric surgery? A physician who believes that obese patients should simply try harder to do well on a diet and exercise program rather than take the “easy way out” with VSG probably isn’t going to be your best bet. You want someone who understands that bariatric surgery is a medically sound alternative for some patients.

• Do you support my diet of choice? Whether you opt for low-carb or vegan—or some other way of eating—after gastric sleeve in Mexico, you need a physician who will encourage you in your gastric sleeve diet and, ideally, who has a knowledge of it. If keto is your chosen path (and it’s working for you), it won’t be helpful if your primary care doctor constantly pressures you to go vegetarian.

• Are you familiar with the specific needs of VSG patients? All bariatric surgery is not the same. And while VSG patients are typically lower maintenance than those who choose other types of bariatric surgery, that doesn’t mean their needs are less important. It’s incredibly helpful if your primary care physician knows what to assess in your medical profile and which specialists to recommend if needed.

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If you want a more personalized experience and you have Instagram, follow me (Dr. Alvarez) to see my day both in my daily routine and in the operating room, add me! We will have a great time! My username is: gmoalvarez.

“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.