Preparing for Bariatric Surgery: A Checklist

Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing event. In addition to a physical transformation, patients often experience some smaller adjustments in their day-to-day lives. From new eating and exercising habits to new emotional relationships with oneself and others, the changes that result from bariatric surgery can be immense. But they can also be extremely positive. Bariatric surgery has been known to improve a patient’s overall health, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea and more. It has also been known to enhance the overall mood and psychological health of patients. Preparing for your surgery in advance can make the post-surgery changes in your life more seamless and set you up for a more positive experience overall.

Just as a runner would never complete a marathon without months of training, a bariatric patient should never go in for surgery without some significant preparation. If you or a loved one has been approved for bariatric surgery, stop, take a minute and plan. Making a checklist and sticking to it could be one of the best things you do throughout your weight loss journey.

Checklist for a more successful bariatric surgery:

  • Attend informational seminar
    To ensure you are physically and emotionally ready for surgery and the lifestyle changes that will result, it is important to attend an educational session.

  • Schedule an appointment with surgeon
    Talk to your surgeon to discuss the benefits, risks and complications associated with bariatric surgery and ensure you are an ideal candidate.

  • Meet with dietitian to establish weight loss goals and weight loss plan
    In preparation for surgery, you will receive fitness and nutrition counseling. A dietitian will also provide detailed information about your pre- and post-surgery diet.

  • Attend support group meetings
    While not required, many doctors will encourage patients to attend support group meetings before surgery to connect with and learn from patients in similar situations.

  • Receive medical and psychological testing information
    Doctors will perform medical and psychological testing to check for any conditions that might impair your ability to handle surgery.

  • Arrange pre-operative testing and lab work
    Pre-operative testing varies greatly between bariatric programs and surgeons. At a minimum, most will require basic blood tests, an EKG and chest x-ray.

  • Schedule surgery
    Make sure you have allotted ample time off work for surgery and a suitable recovery period. Schedule your procedure and arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery.

  • Attend a pre-operative education session prior to your scheduled surgery
    In the weeks leading up to surgery, you’ll see the pre-surgery department for pre-operative tests and education.

  • Prepare your home for recovery post-surgery
    Set up comfortable sleeping arrangements, start preparing any food or supplies you will need after surgery and ensure you have proper home care aligned.

  • Arrange post-operative visits
    You will likely meet with your team after two weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, 12 months and then annually for at least five years.

A successful bariatric surgery starts with you, the patient. The sooner you start to prepare for surgery, the more likely it is that you will see significant results. So meet with your doctor, make a list and start checking those items off. A new and improved checklist could be right around the corner: new clothes, improved health, new energy, new you.

The Covenant Bariatric and Metabolic Center is a leader in bariatric surgery and can help transform your life. Read patient success stories here.

Posted Date: 1/5/2017

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