From celebrities like Al Roker, Gabourey Sidibe, Paul Wall, and others, bariatric surgery is used more often than you might think. In your case, you’ve done all of your essential research. You have the support of close friends and family members, and you have chosen a bariatric surgeon you can trust. Now you may be in the process of preparing for gastric sleeve surgery. But what exactly does that entail? While the rules may be simple on paper, they will also require some strength, encouragement, and effort. As you read along, we will help you better understand what to expect when you are preparing for gastric sleeve surgery.
Before you truly begin your weight loss journey, you should understand that the entire process will not be easy. It is widely speculated that patients can simply have the surgery, lose the weight, and be done for good. Weight loss surgery is much more serious than that and will require a ton of work and entire lifestyle changes before and long after your surgery is complete. We can start with some of the most basic necessities patients will need to follow before even getting close to entering a surgical setting.
1. Quit smoking
To put it simply, smoking restricts blood flow. It also increases the risk of complications during surgery by continuing to do so beforehand. Along with an ongoing list of reasons as to why you should stop smoking long term, gastric leak, collapsed lungs, and developing pneumonia post-op are among them. You should quit smoking at least 30 days before and after your gastric sleeve procedure.
2. Reduce alcohol intake
Alcohol should be consumed responsibility as overdoing it can cause complications during surgery. Even after surgery, alcohol should be consumed in carefully monitored moderation. You should quit drinking alcohol about a week before your surgery.
3. Mental prep
Help yourself check everything you need to off of your list to put your mind at ease. This type of prep can begin with making sure you have a support system. Whether this means you have one person or a whole team of people to help you out, you should have someone to back you up during this turning point in your life. This is also the perfect time to make sure you have everything in your personal life sorted out including:
- Time off of work
- Food/drinks present in the home for after your surgery
- Someone at your home who can help you post-op as well as take care of the things you need taken care of around the house (children, pets, cleaning, etc.)
Try to take part in some moderate exercise before you need to go into the operating room. The more weight you lost beforehand, the less likely you are to run into complications during your surgery. Make sure your activity is nothing too severe so you don’t cause any type of injury.
Many people think you are allowed one last “bad” meal before having bariatric surgery. This is false! By overeating and consuming foods that are high in fat and sugar, you can cause more trouble during surgery than you might think. For the best results, ask your bariatric surgeon and or dietician for exactly what you should be eating before your surgery.
Start a few weeks out by cutting down drastically on your sugar intake. If you are diabetic, this rule is very important. Next, think about what you can and should eat. Focus on eating as clean as possible. Stick to leafy green vegetables, lean meats, and other foods low in carbs. This is also a great time to start incorporating low sugar protein shakes into your diet. You should opt to hydrate with tons of water cutting out soda, energy drinks, and juice.
A few days before surgery your doctor may advise that you adhere to a liquid diet. Among the liquids you should avoid include coffee, caffeinated tea, carbonated beverages, and any other liquid with too much sugar or sodium. Aside from water, low sodium broth, sugar free jello, and sugar free popsicles are some liquids you may want to enjoy just before your surgery.
Join a support group
The more help you have before and after your surgery, the more likely you are to lose weight and be happy doing so. Having a group of people that are going through something similar can be comforting during a time you might need it most. Your group can serve as a positive outlet to compare stories, tips, and other helpful tidbits as you move forward through your weight loss journey. Keep in close contact with your support group, surgeon, and dietitian to improve your chances at seeing results and changing your lifestyle for good.
Brief review on gastric sleeve
The gastric sleeve procedure removes about 75% of the stomach. Taking about half the time of a gastric bypass, a gastric sleeve procedure causes the patient to eat less. By limiting caloric intake, the patient then begins to lose excess weight. Should the patient follow optimal food and exercise guidelines post-op, they can then lose most of their excess weight over the course of a few years.
Preparing for gastric sleeve surgery can be scary and intimidating. Although the road to change may not be easy, it can be rewarding when you establish new habits that help improve your overall lifestyle. For more information on Gastric Sleeve Surgery or any other weight loss options contact Dr. Chaudhry and Advanced Houston Surgical today.