Get Ready to Succeed with Trinity Health Grand Haven Bariatrics
What determines whether or not bariatric weight loss surgery will be successful? Hint: it’s not just the surgeon, although he or she is obviously important.
Patients who come to Trinity Health Grand Haven Bariatrics for their weight loss surgery have one of the highest success rates in Michigan.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifetime process, not an event. That’s why Trinity Health Grand Haven Bariatrics takes a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach. Our team and our support network provide pre- and post-surgical resources that you can literally rely on for the rest of your life. That wraparound approach is what helps our patients succeed.
Our Support Structure
Surgery itself is one thing. However, we know that success is based on movement, nutrition, and emotional health. It’s like the classic three-legged stool…without all three legs, the stool tips over.
That’s why our team is structured to focus on all three aspects of success throughout the weight loss journey.
Many bariatric clinics do not have an exercise professional on staff. If an exercise consult is needed to fulfill an insurance requirement, the patient would have to be referred to a physical therapist or their primary care physician for that appointment. Kelly Liggett, our Exercise Physiologist, works with patients both before and after surgery to discuss exercise recommendations and create an individualized plan. The same is true for patients who participate in the non-surgical weight loss programs. “A gym membership is not the right answer for everyone,” Kelly notes. “We don’t ask patients to don workout clothes and do the impossible. Instead, we help patients figure out a safe initial baseline of activity that is realistic and works for them. Then we meet to update their exercise program as the body responds and their goals change. Consistency is the key. We hope that exercise becomes something patients enjoy as they reap the mental and physical benefits.”
Let’s face it: nutrition is complicated, and it’s made more so by time and budget constraints. That’s why Courtney Holmes and Kelli Meyer, our two Registered Dietitians, work with patients on an individual basis. “Education is key in order to create a sustainable lifestyle,” says Kelli. “We empower our patients with the knowledge and confidence to make food choices that are balanced and goal-oriented, whether they are cooking at home or dining out.”
It’s easy to skip over this aspect of healthy weight management. However, emotional health is just as important as exercise and nutrition. It’s essential for our patients to understand what drives unhealthy behaviors, because surgery won’t eliminate the inner struggles. The good news is that we provide a behavioral analysis before surgery to help patients assess their mental health and prepare for the lifestyle changes that are coming. We also offer support groups after surgery. Our support groups are safe spaces to learn, but also to normalize the struggles and share little victories and encouragement with each other.
That’s the good news. The great news is that our patients have free, lifelong membership in these groups. And those who attend have a much higher success rate than those who do not.
Here’s more great news: we want patients to come back. Surgery is not a “one and done” event. We encourage all our patients to come in for annual checkups and labs. Maybe things are going great, and we can just celebrate with you. Or maybe you’re struggling with body image issues, or old behaviors have crept back in. That’s okay. You can get back on track, and we want to help. We have one of the highest one-year follow up rates in Michigan, and this also contributes to our patients’ success.
Achieve Your Goals
We always ask our patients about their goals. And most of the time, the answer doesn’t involve a specific number on the scale. Instead, it’s about quality of life. They want to shop for regular sized clothing, or go kayaking with the family. They want to reduce their medications, or walk up a flight of stairs without shortness of breath.
“I had worked independently on lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, to lose weight for a year prior to seeking further assistance through bariatric surgery,” says our patient Karl French. “Trinity Health Grand Haven Bariatrics’ has excellent follow-up and I have never felt that I have ‘slipped through the cracks’. Through the entire process, before and after surgery, their team has personalized a program that fits me. It has not just been ‘their’ goals, but ‘my’ goals. There is a family feel with a personal connection and I can’t say enough good things about their program.”
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