How to Prepare for Bariatric Surgery

Do you know what’s required to prepare for bariatric surgery?  Weight loss surgery represents a turning point that will involve major changes in your diet and lifestyle. Rather than try to make those changes all at once, it’s best to start making preparations well in advance.

Physical Preparation

Given that the primary goal of bariatric surgery is to lose weight, many of your preparations will be physical. The changes you’ll need to make prior to surgery include the following.

Quit smoking

Among the more difficult preparations you can make is to quit smoking if you currently do so. This is important because the risk of complications with surgery increase if you smoke or use nicotine products. By quitting, you increase the chances of a successful operation.

Adjust fluid intake

Another preparatory step you can take is to increase your water intake and limit other forms of fluids. This is to avoid consuming extra calories after surgery while making sure you stay hydrated. In particular, juice, soda, alcohol, energy drinks, and caffeinated beverages should be either limited or eliminated completely.

Start making dietary changes

Your diet will need to change dramatically after surgery, so it’s best to start making those changes now. Since you won’t be able to eat as much at meals, you’ll need to focus on proteins and nutrients first and cut out fat and empty calories. That means transitioning from fatty meats, carbs, and sweets to lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Mental and Emotional Preparation

Mental and emotional factors play a major role in weight loss, so your preparations should involve those as well.

Study up on bariatric surgery

It’s common to fear the unknown, so studying up on bariatric surgery can help you cope with the anxiety you might experience beforehand. Books, online articles, and videos can help you educate yourself on what to expect.

Set realistic expectations

It also helps to set realistic expectations. Your rate of weight loss will depend on many factors, including the type of surgery you choose. In general, you can expect to shed pounds fairly quickly early on, while continued weight loss will require more effort. By knowing what to expect, you can avoid getting discouraged.

Find emotional support

Obesity is often tied to addiction, stress, or depression. In those cases, psychiatric support can be just as valuable as having a dietician on your side.  If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or another similar condition, or if you have experienced emotional trauma, seeking the help of a professional counselor can be particularly important to the success of your weight loss procedure.

Weight loss surgery is a challenge and it will be almost impossible very difficult to make it alone. The importance of having a support system as you navigate your weight loss journey cannot be overstated.  Find a close family member or friend to provide emotional support when things get rough. In addition, getting your primary care physician on board can provide you with additional help.

As you prepare for surgery, don’t be afraid to ask for help. At Malladi Bariatrics & Advanced Surgery, we can help you prepare for weight loss surgery as well as provide further resources, such as support groups, dieticians, and physical trainers.  Joining a bariatric surgery support group can be particularly helpful.  You will meet people who have had similar experiences and can share advice and provide comfort and a listening ear.  Malladi Bariatrics has started a Facebook support group for our bariatric surgery patients that will be moderated by our wonderful registered dietitian, Veronica Bush!  To join, like or follow the Malladi Bariatrics Facebook page and then go to the Groups tab.

To learn more about how to prepare for bariatric surgery, contact us today.