Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery
Deciding to have weight loss surgery is a major step and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have struggled with obesity for most of your life, you have experienced the frustration of many diet and exercise failures. Now that you have decided to proceed with surgery, you are hopeful that this time is going to be different.
Bear in mind that the preparation process is different for every surgeon and every bariatric practice. While what you will read below is a good general guide, always refer back to your bariatric surgeon’s specific instructions.
As you prepare for surgery, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your weight loss journey doesn’t start and end with surgery – there will be challenges and opportunities for the rest of your life. Much of your success depends on you. This is not a silver bullet.
- Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix for all the problems in your life, i.e. your spouse, family or friends, job, or social life. Surgery will help you with one part of your life, your health. Changing the rest is up to you, if you so choose.
- In some cases, your relationships may change for the worse after bariatric surgery. You may have unsupportive friends and family, or you may have people that feel left behind in your life.
- Inform yourself on the process, both before and after surgery. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of your surgeon or bariatric team. We are here to help and support you.
- Communicate with your friends and family as much as possible about your surgery and goals. Also share with them your worries and insecurities. This may help them better understand your decision to have weight loss surgery and even be more supportive.
- If you smoke, you will have to stop prior to surgery. We will strongly advise you to quit. Smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco are all bad for you and when you factor surgery into the equation, the risks of complications are considerable. If you are having difficulty quitting, ask for help, but don’t hide it.
- You should attend a support group before your weight loss procedure. You can find the schedule on our website. You will find it to be very helpful and you’ll have the whole group congratulating you on your decision and offering their support and best wishes.
- Try to up your activity, just a bit, before surgery. It will improve your circulation and make your recovery easier. It will also help you after surgery, when the time comes for you to exercise.
- Try to eat healthier in the months before surgery. As your surgery date approaches, we will probably have you start a pre-operative diet. If you have already been eating healthier, then you will find the whole process much easier. Those that haven’t adjusted their diet or are going on a “farewell tour” of all their favorite restaurants will make their lives more difficult. Your favorite restaurant will most likely continue to exist, and you’ll be able to enjoy it, in moderation, in the future.
So, please remember that weight loss surgery is a tool. The surgery will do its part, but you have to do yours too. Understanding that lifestyle changes have to be made is vital to your success in achieving and maintaining your weight loss. In the meantime, congratulations on a decision to change your life!