Diet, Support, And More: How to Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery

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Diet, Support, And More: How to Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery

After scheduling weight loss surgery, patients often have questions and concerns about the impending procedure. Your team of healthcare providers will give you specific instructions about what to do to prepare for the operation. Follow physician recommendations carefully to minimize the risk of complications and to ensure that you get the best results possible.

Losing Weight

To slim down after gastric band surgery, or indeed gastric baypass surgery or gastric sleeve surgery, you will need a strong resolve to stop unhealthy eating habits. Many physicians recommend that patients drop a few pounds prior to surgery. This directive can be an effective way for health care providers to gauge overall commitment to a lifestyle change that will result in improved health. Your doctor may suggest that you lose between 15 and 30 pounds before scheduling your procedure. People who lose weight preoperatively often lose more during the post-op period. Weight loss prior to the procedure often shortens the time you will spend in the operating room, also, because surgeons can perform the procedure more easily. Losing weight also reduces the risk of complications.

Quitting Smoking

Doctors will urge smokers to quit prior to surgery. Smoking cigarettes not only causes serious long-term health issues such as emphysema and cancer, but it also makes it more likely that complications will occur. Patients who smoke are more likely to develop pneumonia after undergoing an operation.

Improving Diet

Health care providers typically refer patients to a nutritionist for dietary counseling. You will learn information about making healthier food choices, serving yourself smaller portions, and taking your time to eat. Making dietary changes prior to the procedure can make it easier to adapt to healthier eating after it is finished.

Psychological Evaluation

Overeating and compulsive eating usually leads to obesity. People who engage in these behaviors often have psychological issues connected with them. To make permanent and positive dietary changes, you may need to explore what led you to overeat in the first place. If you do not understand and resolve these psychological issues, you may not be able to overcome the behaviors after surgery. A psychological evaluation can help you learn about what motivates your behavior so you can make positive changes.

Seminars and Support

Many surgeons offer seminars designed to educate patients about what to expect from weight loss surgery. Attend these seminars so you know your options, and you are ready for typical issues. Your physician may also provide opportunities for participation in support groups with other patients. Sometimes seminars and other educational opportunities are required for preapproval from the surgeon and insurance plans.

Learning about Liquids

After weight loss surgery, you will have stringent rules about drinking liquids with your meals. You will not be able to drink beverages until at least one hour after you finish a meal. If you drink with a meal, the liquids could cause food to move through your stomach too quickly, which may cause excessive hunger. Drinking may also fill up your stomach too much, causing you to become malnourished or dehydrated because you are not eating and drinking correctly. Therefore, learn the rules about liquids and begin getting used to waiting to drink after meals.

Follow recommendations for weight loss surgery to ensure that your recovery is fast and successful.

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