If you’ve made every effort to lose weight, whether by going on stringent diets or taking every pill your doctor has prescribed, but still can’t get to a healthy weight, you may be considering gastric bypass surgery. However, because it requires lifelong changes to maintain your health, it should not be taken lightly. But if you’ve already set your mind to it, you may be wondering: What comes next?
Once you have decided to undergo bariatric surgery, you will need to meet with your doctor to see if you qualify. You will be asked to provide your full medical history to the surgeon, which should include any past surgeries you may have had, as well as a list of medications you are on and any allergies you may have. After all, your first step in getting gastric bypass should be finding out if you qualify for the surgery. Once you are found to be a good candidate however, you will be asked to take a series of steps to ensure your safety and the success of the surgery.
For example, if you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking at least a month prior to the surgery. It is very important to heed this warning, as your lungs will be highly sensitive during the operation and smoking can hinder the healing process. Your doctor may also request that you avoid certain types of foods and beverages, including alcohol. Your doctor will likely provide you with a preferred bariatric food list prior to your surgery to help you know what you can and cannot eat or drink.
In preparation of the surgery, you will need to go through a pre-operative testing process, which will include providing urine and blood samples, and having your blood pressure monitored. Since you will be groggy following your bariatric surgery, you should ask a friend or family member, in advance, to drive you to and from the surgery, as your mobility will be limited.
The day before the procedure takes place, it would be recommended to stock your refrigerator and cupboards with the foods you will be limited to eating after surgery. This includes juices and soups, and any other type of liquid food on your bariatric diet list. In addition, you will want to work with your doctor to have all the medication and supplements you will need prior to coming home from surgery, such as bariatric vitamins.
Keep in mind, you will be unable to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery, which unfortunately includes water. It is imperative to strictly follow these directions, as having contents in your stomach can hinder surgery and the effectiveness of anesthesia. Another important thing to remember is to get plenty of rest. Wind down early the night before surgery. Set out loose clothes to wear to the procedure, a small travel bag prepared with a change of clothes, and other necessities.
On the day your gastric bypass surgery takes place, freshen yourself up by taking a bath or shower. When you arrive to the clinic where the procedure will take place, you will need to fill out some pre-surgery paperwork for your doctor, which is typical for all surgical procedures. You will likely go through a final testing of your blood pressure, and possibly provide urine and blood samples to assure you are able to follow through with the procedure as planned. Because you may be scared or nervous beforehand, your doctor or anesthesiologist will do their absolute best to put you at ease before the surgery begins; they understand how frightening surgery can be for you.
Gastric bypass surgery requires a radical lifestyle change, and it is important that you remain committed and follow the instructions of your doctor to ensure you do not suffer any type of side effects, such as malnutrition. To avoid this from happening, you will need to adhere strictly to the diet your doctor provides you every day for the rest of your life. It is also very important you always take your bariatric vitamins, such as calcium citrate with vitamin D, consistently without skipping doses. Maintaining your protein levels is very important as well. Talk to your doctor about how you can get protein samples to try to see which supplements work best for you. Following all of these steps can ensure that you have a fantastic leap forward into your new lifestyle.
Julia is a freelance writer representing a bariatric vitamin supplement retailer.