Preparing for Bariatric Surgery
Weight loss surgery is like other major surgeries. The best preparation is to understand the weight loss surgery risks and potential benefits and to closely follow your doctor's instructions.
To prepare yourself:
- Understand the surgical process and what to expect afterwards.
- Talk to people who have had weight loss surgery.
- Write a letter to yourself and your surgeon explaining your reasons for having the weight loss surgery and outlining your plans to maintain your weight loss after surgery.
- Start a journal about your experience. Record how you feel now, the obstacles you encounter, the things you hope to be able to do after weight loss surgery.
- Get a letter of support from your family. It helps to know you have people behind you, waiting to help.
- Enroll in an exercise program appropriate to your current physical activity levels; ask your doctor which exercice is best for you.
- Start a food journal keeping track of the calories consumed and the calories used.
- To physically prepare yourself, strictly follow your doctor's guidelines. These usually include, but are not limited to:
- Restricting yourself to a clear liquid diet 12-24 hours before surgery.
- Stop smoking for at least a month before weight loss surgery.
- Be certain to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding any medications you may be taking to control other health conditions.
- Arrive on time, with supplies from home for a three- to four-day hospital stay. If you use special equipment for sleep apnea, you should bring your machine to the hospital.