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long-term follow-up: psychological -

We encourage ongoing attendance of support group meetings not only directly after surgery, but also in the longer term, since it assists in the long-term maintenance of a positive outcome in terms of weight loss and social and emotional functioning. Apart from the practical advice and support provided by the group, one becomes more aware of possible emotional triggers for eating as well as alternative coping strategies.

Most bariatric patients experience significant changes in their lives during and after weight loss. In addition to the obvious physical changes, there are often changes in assertiveness, relationships, social activity and lifestyle. Some of these changes can be unexpected, and many support group members find it helpful to be able to share these experiences with other bariatric patients in an understanding, supportive and non-judgemental atmosphere.

For those bariatric patients who have previously suffered from depression, anxiety or binge-eating disorder, attendance of the support group meetings is particularly important. We often encourage these individuals to include some individual therapy sessions with the Clinic’s psychologist as part of their follow up programme.