Preparations in the Week before Bariatric Surgery

The Week Before Weight Loss SurgeryAs you approach the final days before your surgery, it is common to experience some amount of worried anticipation, but preparing properly can provide a sense of control that will make you more comfortable with the upcoming procedure. If you’ve followed the general pre-surgery instructions and any additional guidelines provided to you by Dr. Taylor, then you will be ready to take the steps necessary in the final week of preparation.

By completing the following steps yourself, and those needed on the day before surgery and day of surgery, you will have done your part to ensure the safety and effectiveness of your operation—our dedicated and experienced surgical team will handle the rest.

Adjust medications. Dr. Taylor will discuss any changes that need to be made to your medications in the week before surgery. You should carefully follow these instructions, but you will typically need to stop using blood thinners, including blood-thinning herbal medications and pain relievers that contain aspirin. You will also likely be asked to stop using appetite suppressants, vitamin E and estrogen medications like birth control pills that can increase your risk of blood clots.

Fill post-operative prescriptions. You will need to fill any prescriptions that you will be required to take after surgery now so that they will be available to you directly following the procedure. Filling these prescriptions now will save you the trouble of doing it as you recover in the days after the operation.

Purchase any other supplies that will be needed during recovery. These include dietary supplements and any other supplies you feel may be necessary during your recovery phase. If uncertain about what you will need as you recover, ask Dr. Taylor for suggestions.

Avoid carbonated beverages. Drinking carbonated beverages can cause increased gas, leading to added discomfort. This step is especially crucial for patients of gastric banding as gas can cause the upper stomach pouch formed by the band to stretch, resulting in serious pain. Additionally, many carbonated beverages like soda are full of empty calories and should be phased out to ensure successful weight loss.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol will put added strain on your already-sensitive liver after weight loss surgery. Drinking in the week before surgery may lead to pain and liver damage. You should refrain from drinking alcohol for one month before surgery.

Arrange for a support group. Taking part in a support group is one of the best ways to ensure your continued well-being during your weight loss journey. A support group will provide you with a venue in which to discuss the complicated emotions that can accompany bariatric surgery while also allowing you and your peers to encourage one another to reach your goals. Ask Dr. Taylor about the support groups available at Warrenton Weight Loss Center.

Complete hospital pre-admittance. Approximately two weeks before the surgery, you will need to complete your pre-admittance to the facility where your surgery will be performed. This will include lab work, an x-ray of your chest, and an EKG which checks for problems in your heart’s electrical activity. During this visit, you will also meet the Bariatrician and undergo a complete physical examination. Your medications will also be evaluated and adjusted as needed, and our registered dietician will meet with you to discuss the details of the post-surgery diet and provide you with a written list of information about dietary changes. You may also want to request emergency contact phone numbers. If you become sick in the days before your surgery, you will need to inform Dr. Taylor immediately so that he can ensure that you will be able to safely undergo your operation.

Practice coughing and deep breathing. Because anesthesia can increase your risk of pneumonia, it’s important to cough after surgery to expel mucus. However, you will not be able to cough normally and will need to use a pillow as a splint. To practice, place a pillow over your abdomen and put a little pressure on it with your hands, then cough. You will also need to practice conscious deep breathing by filling your lungs and holding for three seconds, then releasing as if you were blowing out a candle. Try to practice both of these techniques several times a day in the week before surgery.

By following these guidelines in the final week before your bariatric operation, you will be adequately prepared for the steps needed the day before your surgery.

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