If you have decided to have gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery, congratulations! You’ve made the first step in a journey that will change your life forever. While you wait for your surgery date there are some things you can do to prepare. These tips may not be necessary, but they can help make your transition into the bariatric lifestyle easier. These tips are not meant to replace any instructions Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA has given you, they are meant to supplement to add to those instructions. These are only tips, some suggested by those who have been through the process. Some may work for you, some may not. Read and follow the guidelines Dr. Shillingford’s office has given you via email or in a packet. You can also read through the tips below to see what suggestions you could add to make the most of your time before your surgical prep begins.
- Read and research about your surgery type (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric band).
- Make friends with other people who are also having surgery around the same date as you. (Joining this online group can be a great help for that.)
- Stop or reduce your smoking, wean yourself off caffeine and soda, cut back on sugar, and start sipping more water.
- Incorporate some exercise into your life now (if you are able to).
- Take pictures of yourself and take your body measurements for comparison after your surgery.
- Talk to a counselor or therapist if you need to. Many gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients have found talking to an objective and supportive professional was a great help to them before and after their surgery.
- Create a list of things you are looking forward to doing. Maybe it’s to walk a mile without stopping, having to buy new clothes, or not needing a seatbelt extender on an airplane. These may help you remain focused as you go through the ups and downs of your weight loss journey. Not all victories are about the numbers on a scale. Seeing yourself meet goals you’ve set regardless of how much weight you’ve lost can be a confidence booster and get you through plateaus.
- Give away or donate the food in your pantry that you shouldn’t be eating after your surgery.
- Gather items that you will need after your weight loss surgery (i.e. protein supplements, protein powder, broth). But, don’t buy too much of one anything in case your body doesn’t tolerate it.
- Try making meal plans and grocery shopping accordingly.
- Practice eating more slowly and chewing your food more thoroughly.
You can use the time you have between now and when your pre-op diet begins before surgery to transition into your new lifestyle, which will include changes in how you eat and drink, what you eat and drink, and a variety of other changes. More transitions will be in your future in the coming weeks, months, and beyond. Being prepared can help.
If you have questions about your upcoming gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric band surgery, do not hesitate to call Dr. Shillingford’s office at (561) 483-8840. His office staff can be a great resource and want you feeling confident and knowledgeable about your surgery. To accommodate the many Spanish speaking bariatric surgery patients in the Boca Raton, Miami, and West Palm Beach areas, Dr. Shillingford has bilingual office staff.