Although more and more people are turning towards weight loss surgery to address their obesity, it is by no means a simple procedure. Making the decision to have it completed is also about more than choosing to go under the knife and having to recover from it. You have to be committed to making permanent lifestyle changes, which have to stay with you for the rest of your life. And this starts the minute you decide to have the surgery completed.
How to Prepare for Surgery
- Six weeks before your surgery, you have to stop smoking and you have to commit to making this permanent.
- The day before your surgery, you will only be able to consume clear liquids.
- If you take any medication, your surgeon will discuss if and how you can take these.
How to Prepare During Surgery
- You will likely have to stay in hospital for two or three days, during which time you will be provided the right food at the right time.
- If you suffer from sleep apneas, you have to bring your own equipment.
How to Prepare After Surgery
- You will only be able to eat clear liquids in very small amounts for a number of days, sometimes weeks.
- After the clear liquids, you will be able to move on to pureed foods.
- After several weeks, you can move on to solid foods.
- You are likely to have to take multivitamins and other supplements for life.
- You must eat a high protein, low carb diet for life.
Is Surgery the Right Thing?
Surgery is a big decision, and there are always pros and cons involved. The biggest pro, of course, is that bariatric procedures are life-saving for many people. Yes, there are possible complications but they are much less likely to occur than the complications you will suffer by not having the surgery. The bigger question, however, is whether or not you are able to commit to the new lifestyle.
Naturally, there are other things that you have to consider as well, including:
- Does your insurance cover the procedure? If not, do you have the $20,000 to $35,000 needed for the procedure? And if it does cover the procedure, how much do they cover?
- Which surgeon should you go to? You need to look into the different procedures that exist and which one is most suitable to you, then find a surgeon that is able to perform that surgery. Make sure you properly review the different surgeons and clinics, their success rates, their qualifications, and their registrations.
- Are you ready to commit to the several years of follow-up care required for every bariatric procedure? You will have to frequently visit your surgeon, your nutritionist and dietician, and perhaps other professionals as well.
Clearly, there is a lot to think about. However, if you are at the point on which you are considering surgery, it is likely that you have at least already made up your mind about having it.