Preparing For Bariatric Surgery
Here are the steps that will help you be prepared for the life changing bariatric procedure:
- 1. Check your benefits with insurance company
Call your insurance company and find out if you have a bariatric benefit or is it a contracted exclusion. Our office will always check your benefits along with your out of pocket expenses but it is always a good practice to know your healthcare plan and what to expect.
- 2. Attend Bariatric Surgery Information Session
We require all patients to attend an information session. Even though you might have attended other sessions with other practices and learned everything about the weight loss surgery – each practice is different and has different programs.
- 3. Stop drinking alcohol and quit smoking
Alcohol after surgery can also cause your blood sugar to go haywire resulting in weight regain and will put you at a higher risk of several health problems, some of which are severe. Smoking leads to decreased blood supply to your body’s tissues and delays healing. Smoking harms every organ in the body and is extremely dangerous combined with bariatric surgery. It also increases the risk of blood clots during the surgery.
- 4. Drink more water and limit other beverages
Adults need at least 64 ounces of water every day. Identify and limit or eliminate sources of liquid calories, including alcohol, soda, juice, energy drinks and coffee with cream or sugar. Eliminate caffeinated and carbonated beverages. Stop drinking liquids with your meals and wait 30 minutes after a meal before drinking.
- 5. Make changes in your diet routine
Try to eat three regular meals and one to two small snacks per day. When planning meals, be sure to include breakfast and try to avoid eating within four hours of bedtime. Focus on increasing protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, while reducing or eliminating sugar and high-fat foods, as well as fast-food and restaurant meals.
- 6. Eat more protein
Start to incorporate more protein in your diet. After the weight loss surgery you will have to consume protein at every meal. Since your post op diet will include protein shakes – start tasting and trying out different protein shakes that are on the market. However, remember that your taste might change after the surgery so you might not like the same foods later.
- 7. Begin an exercise routine
Think about how you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Focus on frequency of physical activity rather than length of a workout. Find a physical activity that you enjoy (swimming, walking, chair exercises etc.)
- 8. Make it a goal not to gain any more weight
Avoid overeating in anticipation to your surgery. In fact, all patients are required a special diet according to a specific BMI range two weeks before surgery. This helps reduce the fat around your liver that will aid your surgeon during the operation.
- 9. Build a network of support
Make sure your friends and family understand why you have chosen surgical option to loose weight and educate the ones that are negative about it. Reach out to other bariatric patients on internet.