Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

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Tips on Preparing for Bariatric Surgery in Tijuana

Nora testimonialCommitting to bariatric surgery is a significant step in improving your life. Preparing for bariatric surgery is almost as important as having the procedure itself, as it helps set the stage for successful recovery on your life-long weight loss journey. We'll take you through the mental preparation necessary along with the items you'll need for a comfortable post-op recovery.

How to Prepare for a Bariatric Consultation

The initial consultation with your bariatric surgeon will involve a discussion of your weight loss options while also going over a wide range of physical and emotional considerations relevant before and after your surgery. You'll go over the different types of procedures, including gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, Lap-Band surgery, and other types of procedures performed at your chosen medical practice.

Come to your appointment prepared on several different levels. Electing to have bariatric surgery for obesity involves major 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 virtually impossible to achieve weight loss success without them. Ask your bariatric surgeon how to talk to family members who may seem scared or indifferent about your decision.

Bring medical records from your primary care doctor and any lab or imaging tests you may have. You may also need to go through additional 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 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.

Mentally Preparing Yourself for Weight Loss Surgery

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 follow. Becoming mentally prepared is crucial to help you achieve a healthier weight and life. Follow these five tips to achieve weight loss success.

Have Realistic Expectations

Bariatric procedures like sleeve gastrectomy are only 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 on physical exercises, lifestyle changes, and diet habits. Having a clear idea of what lies ahead will have a significant role in your success.

Don’t Do It Alone

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 your doctor's multidisciplinary team to help you plan meals and stay on track.

Seek out your primary care provider and a family member or friend to help you set long-term goals, stay motivated and keep track of your weight loss process.  Educate yourself as much as possible. Take advantage of your bariatric program’s multidisciplinary team to help develop your plan and keep you on track.

Recognize Food Addictions and the Importance of Physical Activity

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:

  • What you eat or drink will be sharply restricted
  • 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 exercise. 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. If you suffer from depression, it’s even harder to stay on track, especially when struggling with food addiction. 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. You may 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.

Bariatric Surgery Preparation

Prior to your bariatric surgical procedure, closely follow your pre-surgery diet to lose as much weight as possible. The pre-op diet will help make surgery safer while also helping you get used to a long-term protein-rich diet and lower calorie intake.

Stock up on essentials like easy-to-prepareLady from Ohio - bariatric surgery meals for other family members and do any chores that require bending or stretching, as you won't be able to do these for several weeks following your operation. Place essential items in easy-to-reach places to aid your recovery.

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 all of these can cause excessive bleeding. Ask your doctor about what other medications you may need to discontinue temporarily.

What to Bring to Hospital for Surgery

Prior to surgery, assemble some personal items to maintain your comfort. Think about taking the following:

  • Pajamas or nightdress, dressing gown, and slippers
  • Personal toiletries
  • Underwear
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Flat shoes for the trip 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

Try to have a close friend or a family member in the hospital with you as much as possible after the surgery for support and to act as an advocate for anything you may need. Following these guidelines on preparing for bariatric surgery will go a long way in helping you to have a more successful operation and recovery experience.

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

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