August 2022
Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

10 Tips on Getting Ready for Bariatric Surgery

Bags and clothes on a bed

As a patient, undergoing Bariatric Surgery is the ultimate resolution in committing to and achieving
long-term weight loss success. This is a new chapter in your journey with results that will change your life.

While undertaking this new lifestyle, equip yourself with tips as you are in the
process of getting ready for Bariatric Surgery. Following the tips below can tremendously
help alleviate the stress of going through the process of undergoing Weight Loss Surgery.

1. Toss the Chips & Buy the Berries

Once you have a date for your surgery, there is no time like the present to change your eating habits - and in turn, start to improve your health. Clear your cupboards and fridge of foods unsupportive of your weight loss goals, and start working with your dietitian on what to replace those foods with.

2. Bariatric Surgery Pre-Op Diet

Your dietitian will set the guidelines for the pre-op phase of your diet. This is geared to make the surgery safer by reducing the size of your liver, so it must be taken seriously. Ensure to stock up on high-quality meal replacements and fresh foods to fulfill the plan set out by your team.

3. Safety Recommendations

The safety of your surgery is of utmost importance. There are safety recommendations your surgeon will have you comply with. For example, smoking is hazardous leading up to your surgery. It will slow down your recovery, impair tissue repair and healing, and increase the risk of blood clots. Your surgeon can refuse to operate if you are known to have been smoking leading up to your surgery.

4. Check Vitamin Levels

Being "nutritionally fit" before your surgery will help reduce complications - so ask your team if you have any nutrients or vitamins in the lower ranges that you can try to correct before your surgery date.

Many Bariatric patients are deficient in vitamin D, iron, B12, and calcium. Starting a vitamin supplement regimen before surgery will only help your health in the long term.

5. Get the New Foods in Order

Making sure you will be stress-free after you get home is key. Stock up on all the foods you will need in the liquid and puree stages, and ensure you have enough protein on hand to meet the recommended range every day. You can freeze boneless, skinless chicken and be able to eat it once your stomach handles solid foods. Make sure you also have a solid supply of vitamin supplements.

6. Pack your Hospital Bag

Prepare for one extra night just in case. Your surgeon will likely have a guide as to what you need to pack. If you don’t have one, purchase an extra long cell phone charger! 

7. Mindset

Seek support from a counselor or psychologist who specializes in working with patients who have obesity to form new lifestyle habits that will also help change the emotional relationship with food. Joining a Bariatric support group is also critical to your success.

8. Supportive Network

Make sure you have a support team of friends and family who know what the surgery entails, and what you might need physically and emotionally as you recover and adjust to your new life.

9. Plan Some Down Time

Bariatric Surgery is a major surgery where you will need to get plenty of rest as you recover. This, combined with a limited food intake, will make you tired, so make sure you have adequate time off from work and people to help you around the house. 

10. Practice Putting Yourself First

You have taken this brave and bold step to create a healthier and happier life. It's your time to make sure you focus on everything you need to do to get the best and safest results. Consider reducing your commitments to others for some time after you get home so you can stay focussed on learning all about your new way of

  • Thinking
  • Eating
  • Feeling
  • Being Healthy

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery tips is essential to aid you in achieving weight loss success. Remember, this is a marathon process, not a sprint. Be kind to yourself when things don't go "perfectly as planned." There will be challenges along the way, but this guide will help you overcome them! 

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