Best Tips on Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Tijuana Bariatric Center » Best Tips on Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Best Tips on Preparing for Bariatric Surgery in Tijuana

Undergoing bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico, is an essential step in regaining control of your life. It's an exciting time for patients because of the incredible, life-changing results. Preparing for weight loss surgery is just as important because it sets the stage for a successful recovery and a life-long weight loss journey. We'll take you through the necessary mental preparation and items you'll need for a comfortable post-op recovery.

Undergoing a bariatric procedure is an exciting time for patients because of the incredible, life-changing results that can be achieved. However, to ensure that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible, it is important to follow some specific steps.

Preparing for Your Initial Weight Loss Surgery Consultation

Dalia - Sleeve gastrectomy
Dalia - Sleeve gastrectomy

The initial consultation with our bariatric team will involve discussing your health history and candidacy requirements for our procedures. During your virtual appointment, we will discuss your weight loss options to determine whether a gastric sleeve, mini gastric bypass, gastric bypass surgery or another procedure is most appropriate for you. We will also examine the relevant physical and emotional considerations before and after your surgery.

Come to your appointment prepared on several different levels. Electing to have bariatric surgery for obesity involves significant lifestyle changes that require the support of family members and friends. Discuss your decision with those close to you before you go for your initial consultation, as it's almost impossible to achieve weight loss success without them. Ask your doctor how to talk to family members who may seem scared or indifferent about your decision.

Have medical records from your primary care doctor and any lab or imaging tests to forward to our office. You may also need to undergo tests to confirm that you are a candidate for a particular type of weight loss surgery.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, either. Make sure you understand the pre-op diet program and the changes you will undergo as part of your post-op lifestyle. Although you may already know a lot about bariatric surgery, undoubtedly, more questions will arise as you get closer to the big day.

Following the initial consultation, we will gather medical records so our bariatric surgeons can conduct an in-depth health analysis and discuss other necessary information to determine your candidacy. At this time, you should notify our medical team of any allergies, health conditions, or general concerns about factors that may affect your outcome.

Mentally Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Leah after Bariatric Surgery
Testimonial: Doctor Garcia and nurses were great.

Besides making sure your body is healthy enough for the procedure, your emotional state is just as vital for a successful surgery and the weight loss to come. Mental preparation is just as crucial as physical preparation to help you lose excess body weight and achieve better overall health. Follow these five tips to achieve a healthier weight.

Have Realistic Expectations

Bariatric surgeries like sleeve gastrectomy are merely tools for weight loss. You won't wake up thin but will have a smaller stomach to help you on your weight loss journey. Weight loss will take some time and effort. Follow doctor recommendations to start exercising, incorporate lifestyle changes, and begin eating a healthy diet. Having a clear idea of what lies ahead will have a significant role in your success.

Don’t Do It Alone

Long-term support is everything for bariatric patients. Seek a family member or a close friend to help you set weight loss goals. Take advantage of any obesity support groups or our multidisciplinary team to help you plan meals with healthy foods and stay on track.

Seek out your primary care provider can help you set long-term goals for losing weight, stay motivated and keep track of your weight loss process. Educate yourself as much as possible.

Recognize Food Addictions and the Importance of an Exercise Routine

Address any food addictions before surgery. Consult a mental health doctor to help identify what role food plays in your life and help you develop healthy alternatives. Learning to manage food is essential to maintain weight loss because:

  • You will have a strict diet
  • You must eat slowly
  • Grazing on junk food will affect your ability to lose weight

Work with a bariatric dietician to adjust your daily diet and develop an individualized meal plan to help prepare you to lose the necessary pounds for bariatric surgery.

Many patients get discouraged by the amount of exercise needed to burn calories. However, proper eating helps improve mood and sleep, which aids physical activity. You can increase strength and muscular endurance without buying expensive equipment, resulting in weight loss.

Seek Help for Depression 

After bariatric surgery, you need focus and time to achieve weight loss success. Bariatric surgery patients suffering from depression have an even hard time to sstayingtrack, especially if food addiction is involved. Talk to a doctor or mental health care professional for ways to develop and maintain a positive attitude about your new lifestyle.

Taking care of Other Addictions

Tobacco, alcohol, and drug addictions also can undermine your efforts to lose weight. Alcohol is high in calories and reduces inhibitions, causing you to eat more. Patients also feel the effects of alcohol more quickly after surgery. Smoking increases the risk of post-op complications, respiratory problems, and ulcers. Talk to your doctor if you need a program to help quit any addictions.

Successful Bariatric Surgery Preparation

Prior to your bariatric procedure, closely follow your pre-op diet to lose as much weight as possible. The pre-op diet will help make surgery safer while also helping you get used to healthy foods rich in protein and lower calorie intake. You can find additional information on specific pre-op diets for gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery in our blog.

veg and fruit and blender

A healthy diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, both whole and juices.

Pre-Surgery Timeline

Three to Six Months Before Surgery

In the months before surgery, it is essential to get into the habit of eating healthy foods. Since your stomach will not accommodate as much food after the procedure, you must be able to provide your body with the nutrients it needs while consuming smaller portions. During this time, bariatric surgery patients should strive to:

  • Eat More Protein: Protein will help you feel full more quickly and will help preserve muscle once you begin losing weight.
  • Take Multivitamins: Multivitamins can complement your regular diet, so taking them should become part of your routine.
  • Avoid Alcohol: After surgery, changes to the digestive tract can cause patients to become intoxicated more easily. Alcohol not only contains empty calories, but consumption can also affect willpower and lead to unhealthy eating patterns.

Two Weeks Before Surgery

Adhering to a strict diet plan not only supports a successful surgery, but also helps patients learn healthy eating habits to complement their post-operative lifestyles.

During the seven to 14 days prior to the surgery, your doctor will prescribe a strict, liquid-only diet. Patients must adhere to the diet; otherwise, there is a strong possibility that the procedure will be canceled and need to be rescheduled at a later date. Examples of various liquids that can be consumed during this one to two-week time period include:

  • Clear broths
  • Meal replacement shakes
  • Protein shakes
  • Sugar-free beverages
  • V8 (vegetable Juices)

In some cases, you may consume thin cream of wheat or cream of rice, but patients should consult with their doctor first. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks are strictly forbidden, and patients should wait at least 30 minutes between meals and the consumption of liquids.

Cassidy - sleeve gastrectomy
Cassidy - sleeve gastrectomy

At this point, you can also stock up on essentials like easy-to-prepare meals for other family members and do any chores that require bending, stretching or heavy lifting, as you won't be able to do these for several weeks following your surgery. Place essential items in easy-to-reach places to aid your recovery. Full recovery from bariatric surgery can take up to six weeks, so make sure you have the proper assistance for childcare or other needs.

Do not use aspirin, blood thinners, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen, Aleve, or Motrin for one week before surgery, and stop taking Vitamin C and Vitamin E, as they all can cause excessive bleeding. Ask your doctor about what other medications you may need to discontinue temporarily.

What to Bring to the Hospital for Surgery

Prior to your procedure at our Tijuana, Mexico, surgical center, assemble some personal items to maintain your comfort. Think about bringing the following:

  • Pajamas or nightdress, dressing gown, and slippers
  • Personal toiletries
  • Underwear
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Flat shoes to wear home
  • Reading material
  • Mobile phone or tablet
  • Notepad and pens for asking questions
  • Glasses and case
  • Earplugs
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Hydrating lotion
  • Heavy socks
  • A good book

We encourage having a close friend or family member with you as much as possible during your hospital stay to provide support and to act as an advocate for anything you may need.

Tijuana Bariatric Center is Committed to Preparing Patients for Bariatric Surgery

Following these guidelines on preparing for bariatric surgery will go a long way in helping you to have a more successful procedure and recovery experience. Our team will assist you every step of the way, including travel to Mexico, with transfers from San Diego, answer any questions you may have, and connect you with a bariatric surgeon within our network that will help you achieve the results you desire.

Learn More

For more information on the steps that need to be taken to prepare your procedure, please contact us online or call 1-800-970-0577 today.

Author: Dr. Fernando Garcia Govea

Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Garcia is a highly qualified surgeon, and has more than eight years of bariatric treatment experience and two decades in the medical field. His experience (10,000+ procedures) helps him work with all patients including those with a BMI of 80 or higher to improve their quality of life.

Read more here: Fernando Garcia Govea

Dr Garcia

Call Us: 800 970-0577

Tijuana Bariatric Center is a facilitator company providing scheduling and marketing services. It is not a medical facility or healthcare provider. Tijuana Bariatric Center℠shall not be liable to anyone for any decision made or action taken in reliance on this information. This information does not constitute medical advice, results are not guaranteed, may not be permanent, and can vary per individual and does not establish any physician-patient relationship. The correct venue for claims regarding the actual medical services provided either by the medical facilities or surgeons or medical staff will be Mexico. Any claims against Tijuana Bariatric Center℠ must be asserted within 90 days of the event.