Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is a life-changing event. Following surgery, the foods you eat, your drink choices and your activity habits will change.
Making certain lifestyle changes prior to surgery will encourage an easier transition period, and could even improve weight loss efforts following surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
The preparation process for your procedure starts as soon as you make the decision to have weight loss surgery. This period often includes:
- Nutritional education and counseling
- Dietary changes
- Stress management
- Support groups
- Personal fitness training
- A medical and psychological evaluation
If you struggle with any obesity-related diseases, your condition will be assessed during this time, and you may be encouraged to see a specialist who can help you prepare for your upcoming surgery.
Talk with your insurance agency to determine what other criteria and preparations are necessary for your bariatric procedure to be covered. Many insurance companies require documentation of prior weight loss attempts before they will cover a weight loss operation.
Pre-Surgical Weight Loss
Prior to weight loss surgery, you will be encouraged to begin making small changes to your diet and exercise habits to encourage weight loss. These often include:
- Reduced sugar consumption
- Reduced fat consumption
- Elimination of soda and other high-sugar beverages
- Reducing portion sizes
You’ll be encouraged to start eating a high-protein diet. Protein will help your body heal after surgery and is important in helping you feel full with less calories. .
Although patients who are extremely obese will benefit most from weight loss surgery, they face higher post-operative risk than those who have less weight to lose. High-risk obese individuals who lose just five to 10 percent of their excess weight in the months leading up to their procedure are shown to experience faster post-operative weight loss and have shorter hospital stays.
Patients who use tobacco products will be asked to stop smoking at least one month prior to surgery.
Prior to surgery, mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation. Work with your weight loss surgeon to ensure that you are managing stress levels and addressing any issues that are prompting anxiety. The week of your operation, you will be given more specific guidelines outlining what you can eat, drink and do. Make an effort to follow these instructions as closely as possible.