A patient entering a hospital seeking treatment is anxious, about navigating the hospital services and getting a solution for his medical problems. However, at AIG, Center for Obesity and Metabolic Science, the patient can be at peace, given the efforts of the healthcare team in keeping the patient central to all healthcare decision-making.
For anyone planning to visit AIG, Center for Obesity and Metabolic Science, their journey can be summarized below:
Patient’s first visit
Any patient seeking a solution for their obesity and related complications would land-up in the OPD. The friendly and cordial front office staff may do the registration and guide them to the surgeon’s office. Unlike other hospitals where the doctor’s visit last 5min, the surgeons may spend upto an hour with the patient to understand their problems and treatment expectations. Thereafter the patient is advised to undergo a complete examination and diagnostic tests.
Consultation by a multi-disciplinary team
Its not just one surgeon, but the whole team (including surgeons, endocrinologists, physiotherapists, anesthesiologists, nutritionists) along with the patient and their family discuss the patient’s case reviewing the diagnostic tests results. The patient is provided detailed information and options for the interventions that are best suited and the outcomes that can be expected. The best thing is that the patient is encouraged to actively participate in decision-making for the treatment options. At this stage, the team may decide that lifestyle modifications are enough for the patient or surgical interventions may be needed, and the patient is advised accordingly.
Pre-operative counselling and monitoring
Once the type of surgery is decided, the patient undergo preoperative work up to assess the patient’s fitness for surgery. The patient requires to sign a consent form which spans a few pages escribing all pros and cons of the surgery. The patient and the family are provided detailed instructions on the do’s and don’ts before the procedure. In addition, the patient is assessed for post-surgical commitment of lifestyle change to help maintain the benefits of a bariatric surgery. The patient is counselled for the need of permanent modifications in his eating habits and exercise regimen.
Surgery may be the wrong word for the intervention, as there are no big incisions or painful recovery. Any bariatric intervention is performed with laparoscopically or endoscopically as per the patient’s condition. These are minimally invasive procedures, and some may not even require severe forms of anesthesia. Laparoscopic interventions involve very small cuts or holes made in abdomen for the surgery, endoscopic interventions do not involve any incision at all! The recovery is fast and less painful, and requires fewer days of hospitalization.
Following the surgery, the patient is kept in ICU. However, surprisingly, the patient may not have any Ryle’s tube or Foley’s catheter in his body, and the patient is encouraged to ambulate the same day and go to the bathroom. As a result, the patient doesn’t even feel like a patient. The patient is provided restricted diets till the patient’s gastrointestinal system is ready top function again normally. The next day the patient is shifted to the ward, and monitored closely. Eventually the patient’s diet is changed and the response is noted over a couple of days.
Customized care instructions for home
The patient is discharged to home with a detailed information about recovery and life after bariatric surgery. The healthcare team provides a customized graph to the patient with interim weight goals for regular monitoring. The diet counselling is provided to explain the importance of diet modifications as the body gets used to the new anatomy. The nutrition counsellor provides information about what food items can be included in the diet; the patient is free to decide how these food items are included. The patient gets a sense of control over oneself by following the advice regarding diet and exercise.
Follow-up, Continuity of Care & Diabetes Care
The patient is called for follow-up visits regularly to monitor the progress. Nutritional deficiencies are evaluated and nutrient supplements are advised accordingly. The patient usually experiences several short-term as well as long-term health benefits, such as weight loss, improved sleep, alleviation of joint pains, and better quality of life. The patients can also attend the support group to share information and experience with similar patients who have undergone bariatric surgery.
Support group meeting
Interacting with support groups comprising of people with similar situation provide you emotional support and help bring a positive impact on your health. At AIG, we host and encourage support groups that provide a safe environment for our patients enabling them to meet, share and discuss their personal experiences with each other and develop new friends. We believe that social interaction improves emotional comfort and also offer moral support. Our Centre for Obesity and Metabolic Sciences at AIG organizes support group activities for our patients, every alternate month to share their success stories and find solutions for their problems through discussions. We also help our patients to stay on track with their weight loss goals through our specialized workshops and exercise classes.