Preparing for Weight-Loss Surgery
Prepare yourself both mentally and physically for bariatric surgery.
Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery is like any other major surgery. The best preparation is to understand the benefits and potential risks and to closely follow your doctor's instructions.
To mentally prepare yourself:
- Get letters of support from those close to you — it helps to know you have people supporting your decision
- Start a journal about your experience — record how you feel now, the obstacles you encounter and the things you hope to be able to do after surgery
- Talk to people who have had weight-loss surgery
- Understand the surgical process and what to expect after the surgery is complete
- Write a letter to yourself explaining your reasons for having the surgery and outline your plans to maintain your weight loss after surgery; discuss these plans with your doctor so he or she can help you achieve your goals
To physically prepare yourself, it's important to follow your doctor's guidelines. These usually include, but are not limited to:
- Arrive on time, with supplies from home for a three- to four-day hospital stay; if you use special equipment for sleep apnea, please bring your machine to the hospital
- Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding any medications you may be taking
- Restrict yourself to a clear liquid diet 12 to 24 hours before surgery
- Stop smoking at least one month before surgery