Preparing for and Recovering from Weight Loss Surgery
Pre- and Post-Op Tips for Weight Loss Surgery
People who suffer from obesity have many physical and psychological restrictions that limit their health and wellbeing. Even though weight loss plans work for some individuals, there are many people who are left only with the option of bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery does not limit itself to reducing one’s body weight. A successful surgery can improve the one’s overall well-being and drastically improve one’s quality of life.
Having weight loss surgery performed is surely a great milestone in a person’s life. Many people who book these surgeries are very excited about gaining the maximum benefits of the surgery. But, a great responsibility lies in the hands of the patient to prepare well for the surgery. Of course, the patient is always instructed and guided by the surgeon who will be carrying out the surgery. But, knowing these useful tips helps to prepare for this day of excitement.
- Change your diet before surgery – All bariatric surgeries are serious surgeries which will require early preparation. It is important that patients follow a recommended diet starting at least a week before the surgery. There are many diets which your doctor can recommend for you, but following an all-liquid diet is often the best choice for a safe surgery.
- Stop smoking – Quitting smoking a month before the surgery is really important as it ensures a faster recovery. Moreover, it will reduce the risk of surgery-related complications. The doctor will question the patient about smoking and alcohol intake before the surgery.
- Know the facts – It is true that patients can rely completely on the surgeon’s’ expertise and skills. However, knowing the procedures that will be used during the surgery will be a great way to prepare for the day and reduce stress. Clearing doubts and discussing the procedure with the doctor allows the patient to get the right information and will increase their confidence.
- Do not eat or drink anything 12 hours before surgery – As in all planned surgeries, the patient’s stomach must be empty at the time of surgery. This will minimize risks and complications. Therefore, bariatric patients are asked to fast for 12-16 hours prior to surgery.
- Seek support – It is important to have support during this life changing surgical procedure. Having a family member or a friend in the hospital will be of a great psychological support.
- Follow the post-surgical dietary instructions – Patients are initially not allowed to consume solid food. The doctors will start patients on a liquid food diet and then change this into solid food when appropriate. This slow process will allow the operated-upon stomach to slowly adapt. It is necessary to keep in mind that consuming solid food too early or consuming high sugar/fat food may damage the operated-upon stomach.
- Walk as much as possible – The doctor will let the patient know when he/she is ready to walk. At this time it is important to move as much as possible as this will help the bowels to function well and will prevent blood clot formation.
- Do not bathe until the doctor says – Patients are normally prohibited from bathing for a day or two after the surgery. This is mainly to reduce the risk of contracting an infection.
- Get enough rest – As this is a surgery in the abdomen, patients require some time to completely heal. It is important to relax well and have a good rest after the surgery to make sure the body’s healing process is well active. Avoiding physical exercise or going to work until the doctor recommends will also ensure the patient’s safety.
- Don’t miss the follow-up – There will be follow-up consultations after the surgery to make sure the surgery was successful. Also, patients will be asked to carry out certain tests. Attending these follow-ups will help the patients to alleviate any risks while ensuring a good prognosis.
Following these tips will help anyone who is preparing for, or recovering from, any bariatric surgery. These tips are not meant to supersede any medical advice given by doctors. However, knowing how to guide yourself will allow patients to support doctors throughout the procedure and to achieve successful outcomes from the surgery.
If you think you are ready for this type of procedure but are unsure where to go for a smooth operation and great experience, Blue Valley Surgical Associates is a multi-specialty acute care hospital in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis that offers surgical solutions to obesity. A weight loss surgery consultation can be arranged by calling 913-378-1365.
This article is written by Branden Davis