You have been trying hard to lose weight but to no avail. You have exercised, counted your calories, and even tried to stop eating altogether. Nothing has worked. Your scale hasn’t moved, and you feel even worse than ever.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be stuck in that stage forever. There’s always another option to lose weight: weight loss surgery. It might be the fastest and most direct way for you to lose weight, and for you to have a better quality of life.
Just like other invasive medical procedures, undergoing weight loss surgery needs preparation.
So how exactly do you prepare for it? You might be wondering where you should start, what you need to know, and so on.
Well, don’t worry. Read on to find out more about what you need in weight loss surgery preparation.
Six months before surgery
Unlike other invasive medical interventions, weight loss surgery cannot be scheduled immediately. Preparing for the procedure usually requires a 4-6 month period of introducing lifestyle changes that will complement the surgery. Insurance companies may also require that much time to prepare as part of their coverage policy.
During this period, your doctor may ask you to attend presurgical lifestyle classes. You will also have to make lifestyle changes, especially in your diet, to address unhealthy eating behaviors. Since making adjustments in your food consumption alone is not enough, it would be good if you can start and maintain an exercise or physical regimen.
It is also a good idea to maximize this period to regularly consult with a nutritionist regarding meal planning and food preparation. And if you are a smoker, you should also try to stop. People who smoke have a higher chance of developing complications during surgery.
If you need to, talk to a mental health professional in the months leading up to your surgery. Weight loss involves not just the body, but our minds and emotions as well. These counseling sessions will help prepare us emotionally and mentally for the life-changing event in our lives. It will also provide us with the mindset and resolve to not just go through with the surgery but to maintain the weight loss years after the procedure.
In short, in this period, do all that you can to prepare not just for your upcoming surgery but for your life after it.
Weeks before surgery
As the date of your surgery nears, your preparations need to ramp up. Your doctor may require you to undergo tests such as chest x-ray, blood test, and EKG. This is to make sure to catch any health red flags before the scheduled surgery.
Depending on your surgeon, you may also be asked to go into a pre-operative liquid protein diet a week or two before surgery. It is a drastic change in your food and nutrition intake so make sure to discuss this with your surgeon. Also, avoid caffeinated drinks a month before surgery.
If you are taking any medications, it is imperative that you inform your doctor about this so you know if you can take them or not. Certain types of medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Coumadin, and Plavix increase the risk of bleeding during surgery.
A day or two before admission
Be in constant communication with your surgeon and medical team, especially a day before surgery. You will be provided with information for the time and requirements of your admission on the day of your surgery. Make arrangements for a family member or a friend to accompany you during admission.
Your surgeon may also put you on a clear liquid diet such as water or soup broth. With the significantly reduced amount of food intake, be ready to experience lesser energy going into surgery. You may need to take multivitamins to make sure your body gets the nutrition it needs during and post-surgery recovery.
It is important that as the day of your surgery nears, you strictly follow all pre-operative instructions from your surgeon and medical team. This will help ensure that your body is in the best state of preparation for the surgery, and to avoid unnecessary complications.
What to bring for surgery
When you undergo weight loss surgery, you will be required to stay in a medical facility anywhere from three to five days. Think of it as a hotel stay or a vacation, if it will make you feel better. In either case, make sure to pack comfortable clothes, changes of underwear, and your must-have toiletries.
Remember to also bring reading materials that will help you pass the time as you recover from surgery. Don’t forget to pack your chargers for the gadgets that you will bring. It would be wise to bring copies of important documents that hospitals usually require such as insurance papers, identification cards, credit cards, and records of medical history.
On the day of your surgery
On surgery day, you might feel like a tangled ball of nerves. It’s normal, but you have to remember that this surgery is for your own good. Also, your doctor wouldn’t make you go through this if it wasn’t needed. And you didn’t just get any doctor to do the procedure for you, right?
Just go through the procedure and trust that everything will go well. You will soon reap the rewards of this step!
Preparing for weight loss surgery is essential!
Making the necessary long-term preparation for weight loss surgery helps you achieve your goal better. We know six months is a long time to prepare, but it is necessary if we want to achieve our weight loss goals.
Also, making small changes such as forming healthier food habits, increasing physical activity, and stopping smoking will prepare you better for your weight loss procedure. And remember, if this is maintained post-surgery, you will come out of the procedure a healthier you.
Sticking to the changes that you have incorporated in your everyday life shows grit, determination, and commitment to make weight loss in the immediate and long-term possible.
If you are looking for a doctor or weight loss surgery center that is sure to do a good job for you, look no further than Davtyan Medical and Weight Loss and Wellness. Our head, Dr. David G. Davtyan, is board certified in Surgery and Bariatric Medicine. He is also one of the most respected weight loss surgeons Los Angeles has to offer.
Dr. Davtyan has a deep, personal understanding of all his patients’ weight loss challenges, which makes him very empathetic towards all our patients. Our patients, therefore, feel much more comfortable as they embark on their journey of losing weight and reclaiming their health.
And rest assured that all the staff at our center are fully trained by Dr. Davtyan. We are all invested in your long-term health, which is why most of our patients consistently reach their weight loss goals and maintain their new lifestyle for years.
If you have any questions or concerns or want to know more about our weight loss procedures, our doors are open. Reach out to us via the form on our website, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.