Preparation for Surgery
Certain basic tests are done prior to surgery: a complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis and a chemistry panel. Other tests, such as pulmonary function testing, echocardiogram, sleep studies, GI evaluation, cardiology evaluation or psychological evaluation, may be requested when indicated.
An accurate assessment of your health is needed before surgery. The best way to avoid complications is to never have them in the first place.
- Select a primary care physician if you don't already have one, and establish a relationship with him or her. Work with your physician to ensure that your routine health maintenance testing is current.
- Make a list of all the diets you have tried (a diet history) and bring it to your doctor.
- Bring any pertinent medical data to your appointment with the surgeon - this would include reports of special tests (echocardiogram, sleep study, etc.) or hospital discharge summary if you have been in the hospital.
- Bring a list of your medications with dose and schedule.
- Stop smoking. Surgical patients who use tobacco products are at a higher surgical risk.
This varies by procedure. The laparoscopic adjustable gastric band is done on an outpatient basis with a possible overnight stay. The sleeve gastrectomy usually requires a one to two night stay. And you can usually expect a two to three day stay for the gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.
The Hospital Stay
Basic toiletries (comb, toothbrush, etc.) and clothing may be provided by the hospital, but most people prefer to bring their own. Choose clothes for your stay that are easy to put on and take off. Because of your incision, your clothes may become stained by blood or other body fluids. Other ideas:
- Reading and writing materials
- Crossword and other puzzles
- Personal toiletries
Life after Surgery
The basic rules are simple and easy to follow:
- Immediately after surgery, your doctor will provide you with special dietary guidelines. You will need to follow these guidelines closely. Many surgeons begin patients with liquid diets, moving to semi-solid foods and later, sometimes weeks or months later, solid foods can be tolerated without risk to the surgical procedure performed. Allowing time for proper healing of your new stomach pouch is necessary and important.
- When able to eat solids, include a protein at every meal and snack. Protein in the form of lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish) and other low-fat sources (should be eaten first. These should comprise of at least half the volume of the meal eaten. Reduce or eliminate your intake of simple/refined sugar and high fat junk foods.
- Drink at least 64 oz of water each day. Water must be consumed slowly, 1-2 mouthfuls at a time, due to the restrictive effect of the operation.
- Increase you activity and develop a routine. Aerobic activity is encouraged and weight/resistance training as instructed by your doctor.
Yes. All insurance companies require a Dietary evaluation with a registered dietitian, and certain plans may require a supervised diet prior to bariatric surgery. This time can vary from three months up to one year depending on your specific insurance plan. Following up with a dietitian after surgery can assist you to stay on track and encourage ongoing success.