Bariatric surgery is a weight loss surgical procedure for reducing the stomach size.
It involves different practices such as using a gastric band to restrict the amount of food one can swallow. Another method is removing a part of the stomach or resecting and redirecting the small intestine by gastric bypass surgery.
Over 90% of Type 2 diabetes patients in America are either overweight or obese. Bariatric surgery has been a phenomenon in helping individuals with obesity to shed excess weight. More people are adopting this method due to its high success rate.
The operation causes lasting effects to the lives of patients. Therefore, it is essential that they be ready to adapt to the forthcoming changes.
Are you preparing for bariatric surgery? Here are five things you should start doing.
1. Deal with Your Cravings
An adult requires at least 64 ounces of water per day. Be keen to quench your thirst with water only. Avoid beverages with lots of calories such as energy drinks, soda, alcohol, and juice. Reduce your intake of coffee with sugar or cream.
Carbonated drinks and those containing caffeine should not feature in your list of beverages. Take your liquids at least 30 minutes after meals instead of combining them with solid food. You can discover how well you are feeding and drinking by recording the associated habits.
Remember that you won't be eating much immediately after the surgery. You will probably be feeling full for extended hours, and you will need to take in tiny portions of food.
Look at food as fuel for your body which you should only take when necessary. Concentrate on eating and how you feel after meals. Eat slowly and chew the food well.
Stop eating reactively, like when you are tired, bored, or emotionally disturbed. Don't engage in other activities while eating such as watching the TV or working on your computer.
Quit cigarette smoking and the use of products containing nicotine. Such substances are known to cause complications to patients before and after bariatric surgery. Your body should be free of nicotine for more than three months before the operation.
2. Develop an Exercising Program
If you don't exercise often, consider making a program for keeping fit. You don't have to be hard on yourself. Start with what you can handle without straining like short walks. Increase the intensity in your daily exercise gradually.
Identify an activity that you enjoy and be consistent. What is important at the initial stages is the repetitions. As you get used, add a few minutes of daily activity.
You will need to be active even after the surgery to maximize the outcome. Soon after leaving the hospital, restrain yourself from intensive activity to prevent complications. Your doctor should advise on the opportune time to resume exercise.
You may have to wait for two or three weeks depending on your condition. Begin with a short walk again, and extend it to several minutes with time.
3. Know What to Expect
Having a clear picture of what will happen after bariatric surgery is critical to recovery and realizing the gains. Weight loss won't occur immediately after the procedure. On the contrary, you might be a bit heavier while leaving the hospital due to the accumulated fluids during the surgery.
Bariatric surgery will give you a smaller stomach, but it will not make you thin at once. You could take months before you lose half of the unwanted weight, and several others to achieve your desired size.
Think about the factors which made you the way you are and focus on overcoming them. Start to socialize with positive-minded people who understand your situation. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle and keep a record of your progress.
Learn about this surgery by reading books and blogs as well as talking to others who have been through it. You will find invaluable information on the types of procedures, the risks involved, and the expected change.
4. Find a Companion for Support
Any surgery requires the patient to have someone to look after them. Find a healthcare provider and a relative or friend to help you achieve your long-term weight loss goals. Having a supportive person by your side will help you to recover and stay focused.
Coping with weight loss surgery can be challenging for some people, like those with complications or food addictions. If you are preparing for bariatric surgery, think about your recovery plan. You can look around for online seminars, support groups, or make arrangements with a doctor.
Medical follow up is essential to prevent problems after the surgery. You will need close monitoring by a healthcare provider and a dietician for a few weeks to enhance a quick recovery. Patients of gastric bypass also need regular blood tests to ensure the body continues to absorb enough nutrients from the gut.
5. Plan for Off Sick
After your surgery, you will have to stop working to give your body a chance to heal. Therefore, you may need to inform your employer in advance.
Typically, patients who get a gastric band operation go home a day after the procedure. They need about 7 to 10 days to get back to work.
Those who undergo sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass may have to stay at the hospital for three days. They can start working after two weeks.
However, these aren't fixed timelines. Some patients recover quicker than others. Resuming to work may also depend on the kind of job you do.
Preparing for Bariatric Surgery - Final Thoughts
People with severe obesity often find themselves in an endless struggle to lose weight. They try different diets and attempt to exercise, but they don't seem to improve. Being overweight comes with several risks such as developing hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Bariatric surgery laced with other treatment plans has helped hundreds of thousands of overweight people to achieve weight loss. The operation improves the overall health of the individual with long-lived benefits.
If you are preparing for bariatric surgery, these tips should help you to get ready for the operation. Weight loss will enable you to lead a more fulfilling life.
If you want to learn more about this surgery, just reach out to us at any time.