A Handy Guide to Prepare you for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery
April 22, 2016
When you choose your obesity surgeon, you need to be confident that you are in “right hands”. Your surgeon is only partly responsible for the success of your bariatric surgery. It is ultimately ‘YOU’ who is responsible to ensure that you get the desired results. This blog discusses some of the steps you need to take before surgery to ensure that the surgical process takes place in a safe way, the recovery process becomes easy, and you lose weight fast.
Maintain a Strict Pre-Op Diet
There are several strong reasons to follow the pre-op diet. The diet plan plays a crucial role in shrinking your liver so that it doesn’t block the surgeon’s view during the surgery. This plays an important role in making your operation easy and safe. The pre-op diet also helps you to lose some weight. Many of you may expect the weight loss process to start after surgery, but following a pre-op diet is a good idea as you start losing weight beforehand. The more you lose weight before your surgery, the safer will be the surgery. Obesity surgeons may suggest different pre-op diets. The diet usually allows the intake of about 500 calories and may consist of lean proteins and other nutrient-rich foods, or a liquid diet with protein shakes, or the combination of the both. You will be required to include three protein shakes as meal replacements with one cup of vegetables and one or two thin strips of chicken as snacks in between the meal replacements. The pre-op diet may last from a few days to several weeks or even months. The longer you follow the diet, the better results you can expect. The diet will not only help you lose more weight but also shrink your liver more and motivate you to follow a strict eating program long-term after surgery.
Get in Shape
Exercising before the surgery is necessary as it improves the functioning of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. In addition, exercise also burns calories and helps you lose a little extra weight before surgery. Getting into shape before the surgery also eases the recovery process. If you are active before surgery, it becomes easier to recover after surgery. Walking around the house and the neighbourhood helps you lessen post-op pain. You don’t need to follow a rigorous exercise regimen. If you don’t have an active lifestyle, try out some light exercises initially. If your doctor advises you to remain active, ensure that you find some time every day to go for a walk. The American college of sports physicians recommends all to exercise for 150 minutes a week to ensure optimal cardiovascular fitness.
Clean and Stock the Kitchen
Before you undergo the procedure, ensure that you clean your kitchen and get rid of food items that add extra kilos. Throw away junk foods, desserts, starchy snacks, red meat and cheeses. Remove everything that you should not be eating, from your kitchen. Make sure that you get rid of unhealthy foods from your kitchen weeks before the surgery. Then, stock it up with healthy alternatives. Store protein shakes and powders that you’ll need after surgery. You can also get some flavoured water if you’re unable to tolerate normal water post-op. In addition, stock up on non-perishable food items, such as canned chicken and tuna, frozen fruit and vegetables, and instant oatmeal packets.
Take Your Nutritional Supplements
Post operation, it is mandatory to add nutritional supplements to your diet. If you undergo the sleeve or bypass surgery, you need to depend on nutritional supplements all your life. With the band, you’ll need supplements for months, years, or life. It is advisable to start taking the supplements before the surgery instead of waiting till the procedure is complete. When you start a pre-op diet, ensure that you take a multivitamin. Even if you’re eating a balanced diet, supplements ensure that your body gets the necessary supply of nutrients it needs to help you recover after the surgery. If you take multivitamins before the surgery, your body will still have a good store of nutrients in reserve, even if you have trouble eating and swallowing supplements for a few weeks after surgery.
Practice Your Healthy Eating Habits
The measures that you follow during pre-op can turn out to be of great help after you undergo the procedure. You need to ensure that you eat slowly, measure the portions, and follow a healthy diet plan instead of eating processed, high-calorie foods. Your food or liquid bolus size after a sleeve or bypass should be 10 to 15 mls. Try this with a cough syrup measure weeks before surgery so that you don’t struggle after.
The Way Ahead
Undergoing the surgery may not be easy, but you can take a few steps to make the recovery process easy. By using these tips, you can take control of your pre-op prep as soon as you are ready to lose weight and get healthy. Just remember, Surgeons play a small part in your weight loss process. They give you a tool. Its upto you to use it properly. The primary role is still yours to play.