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IFSO Statement on Responsibilities of the Bariatric Surgery Patient

Bariatric surgical success is more likely when the obesity surgery patient is a fully involved partner in the entire obesity surgery process, starting before the surgery. The obesity surgeon, the surgeon's staff and hospitals have the right to expect reasonable and responsible behavior on the part of the patients and their families to help achieve this success. The following items identify, but not completely, many of these responsibilities.

The bariatric surgery patient, family and significant others are responsible, at the very least, to:

1. Cooperate
Cooperate fully with the hospital and bariatric surgeon's staff and not miss any appointments, lab tests or studies.

2. Show respect and consideration
Be considerate of the surgeon, surgeon's staff as well as the hospital's personnel and property. (be committed to not be uncivil, rude or overly demanding; be considerate of other patients, help control noise and disturbances, follow smoking policies, and respect others' property).

3. Provide information
Be responsible for providing, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about all present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his or her health.
4. Ask Questions Until Clear
Read all materials provided and be responsible for asking questions when something is not understood.
5. Report Problems
Report perceived risks, complaints or problems in your health care and unexpected changes in your physical condition as early as possible.
6. Be Completely Honest
Be honest and fully open with the surgeon and staff; if there are any problems, even embarrassing ones, you should not hide them or avoid describing them; this includes eating more due to a sweets craving and other problems, and inability to return for follow-up visits as scheduled.
7. Meet Financial Commitments
Accept responsibility for promptly meeting any financial obligation for services rendered on their behalf by the surgeon, the hospital and others involved in their care.
8. Care for self
Assume responsibility for taking care of both physical and emotional well being and remaining as active as possible.
9. Keep the Surgeon Informed
Inform the surgeon or staff directly, not just by message, of any major changes or health-related events, including hospital admissions or surgery, even if they do not seem to be directly related to the bariatric surgery.
10. Not delay calling in about problems
Do not delay to report a problem or complication to your treating bariatric surgeon or staff.
11. Observe all Instructions Given
Follow the care, service, safety, and treatment plans developed for your care. You should express any concerns about any special limits or reservation(s) in following them.
12. Take Medications and Supplements
Take all recommended supplements, nutritional materials including vitamins and minerals, and medications and to not stop taking any of them without consulting the bariatric surgeon or staff.
13. Not Take Non-Allowed Medicines or Substances
Avoid those medications and other materials that you has been told not to take.
14. Follow Proper Eating Behavior
Eat the right foods and in the right way as instructed by the surgeon and staff; avoid "junk foods" and frozen, soft or melted ice cream; to eat only to the point of feeling full or satisfied.
15. Exercise Regularly
Relative to your abilities exercise regularly, preferable for at least 40 minutes per day.
16. Accept Known Complications
Accept a complication known and accepted with the informed consent process before surgery as an acceptable possibility; work and cooperate to overcome this problem, not trying to fix blame on anyone or anything else.
17. Accept responsibility for consequences
Accept responsibility for the outcomes if you do not follow the care, service, or treatment plan.
18. Not Signing Permission for Surgery Until Fully Understanding It
Not sign the informed consent form before surgery without being fully satisfied that all the risks, benefits, complications, implications, benefits and options that you want to know have been given to you and understood by you, once this form is signed, you must thereafter accept that it means you take complete responsibility for knowing what is happening and may or may not happen thereafter as agreed upon.
19. Use All the Information Available to Make Surgery Decisions
Accept that there are life experiences, such as knowing other bariatric surgery patients' or one's own previous experiences, such as previous surgery or complications, which add to your knowledge in being adequately informed before bariatric surgery.
20. Keep Good Communication With Surgeon and Staff
Attend follow-up visits faithfully as known or agreed upon or assigned with the surgeon or staff; if there is a problem with follow-up such as money or insurance problems, inform the surgeon or staff and work with them; communicate with the surgeon and staff at all follow-up times, including sending weight, lab, and other studies, if something prevents a follow-up visit.
21. Not To Miss Lab Studies
Have periodic lab studies as recommended by surgeon and staff; if done elsewhere, to make sure they are sent to the surgeon as soon as possible.
22. Share Personal Approach to Surgery With Significant Others (relatives and family)
Explain fully to the your family your strong commitment to this surgery, including complete informed consent, and willingness to accept the risks involved should problems arise.
23. Accept Any Recommended Psychiatric Treatment
Seek and work faithfully with psychiatric treatment if recommended by the surgeon.
24. Not Rely on Questionable Information
Be responsible for not relying on questionable, unreliable information to make decisions. Just as one would be suspicious of something heard from "a friend of a friend" without double-checking it, the patient and family are responsible to keep skeptical about anything that is not written by a well-known, acceptable person. This also applies to the Internet which is full of very questionable, unreliable and mixed information. When in doubt, discuss the information with the surgeon or office staff.
25. Not Pass on Gossip and Personal Information
Assume responsibility for not discussing, or passing on, detailed information about the surgery or problems with it. Speak in general terms since specifics by lay persons may upset others and, therefore, are not acceptable to discuss; leave medical advice and details to the surgeon and staff.
26. Avoid Pregnancy during ongoing weight loss
Where applicable, avoid becoming pregnant for at least one-two years or until weight loss has completely leveled off for at least three months.
27. Medicine Changes Approved
Call the surgeon's office for information or approval if unclear about taking any new medications or stopping any prescribed ones.
28. Patient Care-Giver's Responsibility
The patient's family or surrogate decision-maker assumes the above responsibility for the patient if the patient has been found by his or her physician to be incapable of understanding these responsibilities, has been judged incompetent in accordance with law, or exhibits a communication barrier.
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