When a person knows they are going to have surgery, individual preparation can vary depending on the
nature of the surgery: for example, post-surgical wound care, guidelines regarding the resumption of normal activity, dietary adjustments. It all depends on the procedure one is going to have.
Weight loss surgery has its own very special set of pre-operative and post-operative guidelines that are incredibly unique. Not following these guidelines could result in a range of undesirable results varying from minimal or temporary weight loss all the way to life-threatening complications. As a gal who’s definitely got an affinity for drama, one might think I’m exaggerating this point. But as one of my very best friends likes to say, “this is not a joke!”
To those preparing for or contemplating bariatric surgery I would like to offer this golden piece of advice as it was once offered to me: follow what your doctors and nutritionists tell you as best you can. This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the best post-surgical outcome possible. I have witnessed individuals first-hand who have had great weight loss success because they listened intently to their doctors, developed lasting relationships with them, and took notes during their office visits and support group meetings. To so many, those notes have become their weight loss bibles and their content is priceless.
I have also had the unfortunate experience to observe weight loss surgery patients who worked so hard to surgery only to view their surgery as the “magic fix,” expecting it to do all the work for them. This view of weight loss surgery produces less-than-desirable results, I’m afraid. Understanding that weight loss surgery is a tool and not a “magic fix” is another key piece of knowledge. The surgeon and his or her team give the patient the initial tool to jump start the weight loss process, but after that it’s largely up to the patient to experience the success they really want out of weight loss surgery.
All the effort that goes into the painstaking process of learning what should be done before surgery to change one’s eating habits as well as after surgery is truly a waste if the patient doesn’t view this entire process as a change that will affect them for the rest of their life. It really does lay the groundwork for a lifestyle change, in every way shape and form!
Next up: Let’s do this! My surgery date at Emory Bariatric Center can’t get here soon enough.