Jul 30

Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Prepping for bariatric surgery and life afterward is easier with a game plan. While researching another topic related to surgery, I came across a document from the Weight Loss Center at the Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. that provides great information. “Eating for the New You,” offers guidance on nutrition and supplements before and after surgery. My surgeon, Dr. Patrick Gatmaitan now practices at Baptist.

Steps to Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Preparing for surgery and your new life is a step-by-step process.

Ten months post surgery, I reviewed the checklist (below) of steps to take before surgery and think it really hits the critical points pre-surgery patients — those starting the preparatory stages — need to consider and practice. Following these steps, based on approval from your medical team, will help you prepare for surgery properly and set the stage for your post-surgery life.

Steps to Take While Waiting and Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

□ Attend nutrition classes prior to surgery. Review the benefits to classes vs. seeing an individual physician to prepare for surgery.

□ Read “Eating for the New You” from Baptist Hospital, Pensacola, Fla. and/or other materials provided by your weight loss team, several times and share it/them with others who will help you. ** Remember, your medical team may have different instructions than those outlined in “Eating for the New You”.

□ Switch to calorie-free, non-carbonated beverages.

□ Wean yourself off large amounts of caffeine before surgery to avoid the withdrawal headache after surgery.

□ Practice drinking slowly, 1 oz in 5 minutes and getting 48-64 ounces in daily.

□ Practice eating meals without drinking and waiting 45-60 minutes before drinking.

□ Enjoy your meals free from distractions (TV, reading, eating in car, at desk/computer).

□ Become aware of grazing or eating with emotions and practice other coping strategies.

□ Begin eating three balanced meals per day. Eat protein foods with each meal, smaller portions, and a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

□ Practice concentrating on the food you eat and chewing thoroughly.

□ Time yourself — take at least 20 minutes to eat your meal (1 plate of food).

□ Sample different protein supplements to determine which ones you might use. Avoid buying large amounts as your taste may change after surgery.

□ Begin taking the daily multivitamin and calcium now to start the habit of taking supplements regularly and to ensure your body is ready for surgery.

□ Walk or engage in other physical activity if able to prepare your body for surgery.

□ If you smoke, stop smoking.

□ Attend a support group.

□ Grocery shop before you have surgery so that you have the food/drinks/equipment you need when you return home from the hospital.

□ Talk to your medical team about concerns.



About the author

Laurie Lee Dovey

LLD is a writer, photographer, marketing and media consultant, hunter, angler, RVer, sports nut, poker player, and wife.

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