How to Prepare for Bariatric Surgery

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Lose weight.,
Quit smoking.,
Start an exercise program.,
Understand the importance of changing your habits pre-op.,
Find a support network.

Often, doctors will ask you to lose weight prior to your surgery. Even losing 1% of your body weight can help you lose more weight in the year following your surgery.Your doctor may suggest that you lose 15 to 30 pounds prior to the surgery.Losing weight before the surgery helps you demonstrate that you are committed this lifestyle change to both your doctor and yourself.
Losing weight also helps reduce the risk of health problems and complications during the surgery. Studies have shown that losing weight pre-op and being at a lower weight at the time of the surgery reduces the amount of time a doctor has to operate. Lower operating time leads to a lower risk of complications.
Losing weight helps reduce the size of the liver. If your liver is too large, it can interfere with the surgery or even cause the surgery to be postponed until it has reduced in size., If you smoke, you should quit smoking before the surgery. Tobacco products have been shown to increase the risk of complications associated with bariatric surgery.Smoking can lead to post-surgery illnesses, such as pneumonia, and poor wound healing with a higher risk of operative complications.

Some programs require you to quit smoking a few months before beginning pre-surgery steps. If you smoke, discuss quitting and the timeline for your surgery based on your smoking with your doctor.

, Exercise will be an important lifestyle change before and after your bariatric surgery. Approximately six months before your surgery, you should start exercising consistently. Consider starting with a daily walk of 30 minutes.Start exercising at your own level. Figure out ways to get moving. This may include short walks with friends or your dog, doing chair exercises, dancing around your house, or joining a gym. If you can’t walk 30 minutes at one time, walk for 10 minutes three times a day until you can do it at once. Add daily physical activity into your life.Your major aim is to exercise frequently and consistently. Start by trying to get 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week, more if you can. At the beginning, the important thing is to make exercise a habit.
Gradually increase the intensity of your exercise as your fitness level improves. You want get your heart rate up. Try calculating your target heart rate for maximum benefits.

, When you decide to have bariatric surgery, you should start making lifestyle changes. These changes help condition your body for your post-op lifestyle so it’s not a shock or too difficult after the surgery. You will not be able to go back to your old lifestyle after your surgery, so you should start working on your lifestyle changes before the surgery.If you go back to old habits after your surgery, you will regain the weight, which brings back the health problems connected to your obesity.

, Since bariatric surgery is a life-changing surgery with physical and emotional implications, surround yourself with supportive people. Find family and friends who will be there for you. Talk to them about your choice for bariatric surgery and make sure they understand your reasons.Educate your friends and family on the surgery and the process you will go through.
If people around you discourage your weight loss or are not supportive, don’t let that stop you. Distance yourself from those people and surround yourself with encouraging, supportive, and understanding people. Reach out to support groups if you have to.

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