Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is a life-altering event that is both empowering and stressful. Taking certain steps before your procedure can help you prepare for your life post-surgery, and make your transition into a new way of living must easier.

Before having weight loss surgery, you should learn as much as you can about the risks and benefits of different bariatric procedures, such as Roux en-Y gastric bypass surgery, and gastric banding (Lap-Band) surgery. Just as the doctors prepare your body prior to surgery, you can prepare mentally, as well. A myriad of medical websites include detailed information about different bariatric procedures, the physiological changes involved, and the research supporting their effectiveness.

Learning the Inside Scoop

You may find it helpful to talk with others who have undergone weight loss surgery. If you don’t know anyone personally who has had weight loss surgery, you can check out different message boards on the Internet for guidance. Websites such as RenewedReflections.com and ObesityHelp.com have forums where thousands of people discuss issues associated with weight loss surgery, from the physical effects to how it can affect their self-esteem and relationships. In addition, talking with family and friends about your surgery can help them understand the reason for your decision and what you will be facing, so they can offer the support and encouragement you need.

Getting Your Mind Right

Weight loss surgery is a life-changing event, and for that reason, bariatric specialists require that patients undergo a psychological assessment before surgery. Your doctor will likely send you to a counselor trained to work with bariatric patients. During your first meeting, you will discuss your personal and psychiatric history. The counselor will ask you questions to determine whether you are mentally and emotionally ready to handle the responsibilities that come with weight loss surgery. Patients with drug or alcohol problems, untreated depression and other mental disorders may not be the best candidates for weight loss surgery, or may need additional pre-surgery counseling before they qualify for the procedure.

Getting Your Body Right
You will also need to begin a diet and exercise program before surgery. Your doctor will provide you with guidelines designed specifically for your individual needs, and you must follow the plan closely to qualify for surgery and ensure your long-term success. This is just a precursor to the significant lifestyle changes to come. In addition, if you’re a smoker, your doctors will probably ask you to stop smoking for at least eight weeks prior to surgery. Other common changes include drinking more water, avoiding caffeine, keeping a food diary, and beginning a regular walking or exercise program.

Weight loss surgery requires significant preparation, both physical and mental. To have lasting success, you need to prepare both your mind and your body before surgery, and also ensure that you have a strong support system in place with your family and friends. Most important, you need to follow your doctor’s recommendations and trust the experts to provide you the best possible guidance and care so you can live a long, healthy and happy life after surgery.

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  1. Lap-Band King - 1 day till surgery

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