Preparation for Weight Loss Surgery

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Should you consider weight loss surgery?

People who have tried all kinds of diets, enrolled in numerous “magical” weight loss programmes and have been working out at the gym like crazy but have not achieved the desired results see weight loss surgery as the last straw.

It is an important step to take, and for some people it might even take up two years from the moment when a patient first starts to think about a weight loss surgery to the actual moment he or she decides to have it. Talk to relatives and friends, talk to doctors and hospital staff. Make an informed decision.

Preparation for weight loss surgery

The preparation for weight loss operation includes examinations and recommendations by medicine professionals such as a bariatric surgeon, an anaesthesiologist, a nutritionist and sometimes even a psychologist. This group works together to generate a treatment plan.

Consider Pros & Cons

Patients must be aware of the risks and benefits of weight loss operation. All in all, any procedure carries some risk and can lead to a great deal of worry. So prepare responsibly.  You must be physically and mentally prepared. In addition, before the operation you have to lose some weight. Most of all, you must be aware of a change in your lifestyle and be willing to maintain your normal weight to guarantee a healthier life.

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself:

  • Have you really tried to lose weight by dieting and sport?
  • Are you psychologically prepared for the surgery and for the change in your lifestyle?

First Consultation

  • Be ready to review your medical history with your surgeon.
  • Inform your doctor about any anaesthesia complications that you or your relatives have had. For example, some patients can aspirate food or liquids into their lungs as a result of the inhibition of the natural throat reflexes that general anaesthesia can lead to. This is one of the reasons your doctor will ask you to avoid drinking and eating during a particular period of time before operation.

Medication

  • Medication you are taking may interfere with weight loss surgery or with the medicine that your doctor will prescribe before and after your surgery. Be prepared to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking or planning to take during recovery. Herbs, minerals and vitamins may also interact with the medication, so tell your doctor about them as well. Here are a few examples of how surgery and surgery-related medicaments can interact with normal medication or food supplements: Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix and vitamin E can enhance the risk of bleeding during operation. Estrogen hormone medicaments such as birth control pills may enhance the risk of blood clots.
  • After operation, your stomach or the exit of your new stomach will be smaller. Medication can irritate your new stomach sack and lead to nausea or aches, so you may be asked to squash your pills for a few weeks. You should talk to your doctor about the tablets to squash and for how long. Some pills cannot be squashed because they are “sustained release” and must be replaced by a non-sustained release form pills.

In the weeks and days before weight loss surgery

Follow your doctor’s instructions concerning your medication.

Stop smoking for at least 30 days before weight loss surgery. Smoking may increase the lung sensitivity during the surgery and can cause pneumonia. Smoking may also slow down the healing progress by narrowing the blood vessels and thereby limiting the flow of the blood to the healing areas. Many surgeons will not perform surgery if there is evidence proving that the patient is a smoker and even go as far as asking for blood or urine examination for an evaluation of nicotine level before the operation.

Lose some weight before the operation.Since the stomach lies under the liver, during the surgery the liver is lifted. If the liver is very oily, the operation may not even be carried out due to the liver cracking and bleeding. If the weight is reduced by 3 – 15 kg, depending on the excess weight, the size of liver goes down. Therefore the risk of complications due to liver bleeding decreases, while the possibility that the surgery will be performed successfully increases.

Abstain from alcohol consumption for at least 48 hours before weight loss surgery.

  • The Last Night Before Your Surgery - follow your surgeon's recommendation. Avoid drinking and eating before the operation.