1. Find a Credible Surgeon
The first requirement for a successful bariatric surgery is finding a reliable bariatric surgeon who is well trained in bariatric surgery and has a consistent record of successful procedures. However, don’t limit the focus of your search to the accolades of the contenders, as the approach they carry is equally important. Ideally, a professional surgeon would discuss your options with you. They would make efforts to explain everything you should know, with a detailed list of precautions you must take days before and after the surgery.
2. Learn about Your Diet
Diet is the cornerstone of your weight loss journey, so you may be asked to say “yes” to a lot of “dos” and “don’ts”, such as you must follow a particular liquid diet before the surgery. Your surgeon may even ask you to shed some weight before the operation to test if you would be compliant with the postoperative diet. Of course, several other precautions such as eating and drinking slowly, chewing food thoroughly, and avoiding sugary foods require attention.
3. Do Your Homework
It’s good to trust your surgeon and depend on your bariatric team. Ideally, they would explain your options about the surgery, and offer the best option whether it’s the bypass, sleeve or band that is unique to your clinical situation. It’s very important for you to take responsibility, though. Don’t just leave things entirely up to your doctor and the healthcare team. Research and learn about the information you should know about how to prepare, what to expect, and what comes next.
4. Be Prepared for the Outcome
Ensuring you lose weight after a weight loss surgery requires a lot of effort on your part. It entails certain elements you need to be aware of in advance. In the case of a bypass surgery, for instance, the surgeons bypass the part of the stomach which most easily absorbs minerals. Consequently, patients may become deficient of few nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, calcium, and magnesium, which may lead to long-term diseases such as osteoporosis if not treated. Therefore, you may want to consult a dietician, besides talking to your surgeon.
5. Face the Facts
Realizing your weight loss dream doesn’t become easy outside the operation theatre. It takes time and involves enduring a few difficulties – guaranteed. By learning about them in advance, you can yourself prepare to tackle them, at least.
- Belly pain during the first few weeks
- A possibility of dumping syndrome
- Irregular bowel movements
- Temptation to sugar foods, “head hunger”
- Loose skin
6. See the “Good Part”
Successful weight loss surgery is all about your will power to accept and endure changes, whether it is about including exercise into your daily routine or following new diet plans. It can help you look smarter and feel good, however, are you ready to face the challenges that are a part of this journey? Are you ready to eat those veggies you hate? Can you down those protein shakes part of your pre-op diet? Will you hold your temptation to eat those sugar-rich foods?
Sure, obstacles will be there, and so will be the disappointments. Everything won’t be perfect before or post your weight loss surgery. You might still have the urge to eat those foods that your doctor has asked to forbid. Maybe one day you had a pizza and some candies you shouldn’t have had. However, have you been following your diet plan otherwise? Maybe you missed out on your workout today, but, have you been working out otherwise instead of skipping it completely? Patience is the key to success. Reaching a goal, therefore, be it losing weight, or anything else, is a journey that takes time. It’s a mixture of responsibility, hard work, and dedication, and you are likely to falter on a few steps during the initial parts of this journey.