CODS (Centre for Obesity and Digestive surgery) — one of the topmost centers for bariatric surgery in Mumbai has seen growing number of patients year after year, thereby giving birth to out-reach clinics. The whole idea of reaching out to patients was conceptualized keeping in mind many facets of follow up and consulting near you.
Patient convenience, reduced travel, affordability, better compliance, regular monitoring are some of the key factors in any sort of medical follow up. Especially, when it comes to bariatric surgery,post-surgery follow up is as crucial as the surgery itself. Most of the patients will be compliant for the first few months post bariatric surgery. However, it is very important to stay in touch even after years of doing the surgery. It helps you stay on track, maintain your weight, avoid nutritional deficiencies and keep you motivated in general.
We at CODS, have recently started out-reach clinics at Surat, Belapur and Malad so it helps your staying on track even easier no matter when your bariatric surgery was done.
Talking of my personal experience of traveling to Surat – the city that is as famous for food as it is for diamonds, it is by far the most enriching experience ever. As a nutritionist, I started traveling to Surat somewhere around 2 years ago when we knew we have 100 + patients from this city itself. It was most natural then to decide to consult in Surat, than to call the patients all the way to Mumbai. As months passed, our number of patients increased too, thus increasing my frequency of visits there.
This gave me a chance to interact more with the patients, their families and the people in general of this beautiful city. The hospitality, the warmth and the care that this city exudes is unmatchable. I have never felt like an outsider as I interact with weight loss surgery patients. Language, I believe, plays a very important role here. If you speak Gujarati, you belong to them. Within no time, they all have become my pals.
This also helped me with my primary reason of being there – Follow up. Because I could communicate with them in their language, they felt comfortable sharing their dietary details and other personal behavior — which leads to a better understanding of patient’s lifestyle. It also, in specific, helped my counseling as patients of older age could only understand Gujarati. I also developed a better rapport with them, owing to the language!
Another thing that helped me with my Surat visit was a better understanding of their food habits. I began to slowly understand the mood of the city, their eating patterns, the widespread availability of variety of foods etc. As in every city, Surat has its own famous hot spots. Food remains the mainstay of every celebration. People display their affection with food. I have had patients bringing in the best of farsans and sweets during follow ups (which I also have devoured!). This brings in an added challenge of counseling patients to let go/reduce all the savouries that are so much a part of their life.
The best advantage, to my belief, of course is the compliance post weight loss surgery. In today’s busy day and age, rather than traveling 280 kms to Mumbai, it’s much easier to meet a doctor nearby. Patients have the comfort of having a doctor and a nutritionist in their city. This, in turn, leads to better weight loss, better results and happier patients, who can get the best surgical intervention at CODS and followups in their own city and in their language.