Important Steps Prior to Bariatric Surgery
August 29th, 2011
So, you’ve made the decision to change your life. You’re ready to be healthy again. Way to go! That is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, and will be a catalyst in helping you on your journey to improved health and increased weight loss. This road to weight loss surgery is paved and we’ll help you every step of the way (read our success stories!), but there are a few things you’ll need to do before your surgery date that will have a large impact on your post-op recovery and overall health.
Improve Your Nutrition
Vitamins and protein are key to the healing process following surgery. Protein will help you maintain muscle mass while losing weight and make you feel full longer after your meals. Your doctor will instruct you as to which vitamins and supplements you will need. Plan to incorporate a multi-vitamin, B12, calcium into your daily intake. Start doing this as soon as you can, not only because it will help your health, but it will also to help you get in the habit of taking important vitamin supplements on a continual basis.
Get a Sleep Study
Many over weight individuals suffer from Sleep Apnea Syndrome (SAS) and don’t even know it. SAS is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing. In a recent study of patients who had completed a preoperative evaluation for bariatric surgery, 73% of tested patients had SAS that required treatment. As a result of the study, researchers recommended that patients who undergo bariatric surgery should be screened, tested and treated for sleep apnea.
Exercise is crucial to weight loss success; it shortens the recovery period and reduces the risk of postsurgical complications. Our doctors have found that patients who start an exercise program before weight loss surgery are twice as likely to have an easier time exercising after surgery. Because exercise tends to be difficult for people who are overweight, the key is to start slowly. Walk in place for 10 minutes, twice a day. Resume exercising two to three weeks after surgery. Cardio and strength training should be part of your exercise routine, three to five days a week.
Cut Down on Alcohol and Quit Smoking
Smoking can make lungs more sensitive during surgery and can slow the healing process by narrowing the blood vessels and restricting the flow of blood to the healing sites. Smoking contradicts the purpose for having surgery: Improving your health! Alcohol is full of empty calories that provide no nutritional value. Weight loss surgery makes you more sensitive to alcohol, so a little goes a long way.
You have committed to changing your lifestyle. You are ready to achieve and maintain a healthy weight with a regimen of healthy choices. The comprehensive weight loss program, including MyWeight Nutition & Wellness Counseling designed by the Surgical Specialists of LA addresses all of these issues, and we will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Visit www.whyweight.com or call 1-877-691-3001 and ask to speak to a patient advocate to answer questions you may have regarding weight loss and bariatric surgery, including questions about our new incisionless procedure—POSE, a one hour endoscopic procedure that is transforming the lives of our patients.