Planning ahead leads to positive results and more relaxed recovery.
Bariatric surgery is a viable option with long-term weight loss results for individuals classified as obese who have had difficulty losing weight through standard diet and exercise.
Each year, more than 200,000 surgical weight loss procedures are performed.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bariatric surgery is a safe and effective treatment to combat severe obesity and maintain weight loss, which is why so many people struggling with obesity decide to move forward with it.
At Beltre Bariatrics, we proudly offer various bariatric surgery treatment options. If you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery or have recently started your weight loss journey with Dr. Beltre, preparing ahead of time for surgery day is crucial.
Let’s discuss some of the most important ways to prepare for weight loss surgery.
Dietary changes are essential for long-term weight loss surgery success.
Once you have committed to weight loss surgery, it is critical to begin losing weight immediately by implementing a low-fat, high-protein, well-balanced diet into your everyday life.
The dietary instructions you will receive are specifically designed to reduce the number of fat cells in the liver and around the intestines. If the liver contains too much excess fat, it may crack and begin bleeding as it is moved away from the stomach during surgery.
Large amounts of fatty tissue around the intestines make working with the intestines extremely difficult, potentially leading to injury, leaks, or other complications.
Committing to a weight loss diet in advance will help ensure that your surgery is quicker and safer, and your recovery time is shorter.
The dietary guidelines for patients preparing for bariatric surgery include:
- Protein supplements and protein powder shakes
- Healthy foods like yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, lean meats or fish, fruits, and vegetables.
- Limiting foods high in saturated fat, including fatty meats, fried foods, and whole milk dairy products
- Limiting foods high in refined carbohydrates including bread, pasta, cakes, and cookies
- Limiting sweets and sugary foods, including regular soda and juices.
- Avoiding alcoholic beverages
- Stopping any over-the-counter herbal supplements
It is highly encouraged that you continue to consult with the nutritionist after the surgery. Monthly consults for four to five sessions with our nutritionist will help ensure a change into a healthy lifestyle.
Lifestyle changes do a world of good in preparing for weight loss surgery.
In addition to dietary changes, you will need to begin to follow specific lifestyle changes that should continue after surgery.
While every form of weight loss surgery will have its own specific lifestyle and dietary requirements, there are a few changes that should develop into lifetime habits for all patients, including:
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding binge eating
- Stopping the consumption of all carbonated and caffeinated beverages
- Beginning the practice of not drinking with your meals. Begin drinking 30 minutes before you eat and do not drink again until 30 minutes after you eat.
- Starting a routine exercise program after consulting with your primary care physician or bariatric surgeon
- Begin to cut foods into small pieces and practice chewing well.
- Joining a monthly support group
Follow a comprehensive, pre-operative timeline
The last two weeks before your surgery are the most important. We’ve put together a brief guide to give you insight into what to expect leading up to surgery day.
Two Weeks Before Surgery
The high-protein diet begins in earnest once you’re two weeks from your surgery date.
Breakfast and lunch should consist of a high-protein shake, which you can acquire at a retail or health food store. We recommend Premier protein shakes. If you already have a brand you like, make sure it’s low in sugar and carbohydrates.
Dinner will consist of lean meats and vegetables only. You may drink sugar-free liquids between meals.
One Week Before Surgery
A week out from surgery, you will need to stop taking prescription and over-the-counter medications such as Coumadin, Plavix, aspirin, ibuprofen, and arthritis medications, as they can cause increased bleeding and stomach irritation.
If you are using time-released medications, ask your pharmacist to convert them to non-time-released during this period.
Two Days Before Surgery
At this stage, it is essential to begin your clear liquid diet.
You cannot consume solid foods in the two days preceding surgery.
You may consume clear liquids, such as water, clear juice (no pulp), clear broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable), Jell-O, popsicles, and clear flavored water products.
The Day Before Surgery
The day before surgery, you must stop taking medications such as Metformin and Pradaxa.
The night before your procedure, you will receive a call from the hospital informing you of your arrival time. If you are having your procedure at the surgery center, when you come in for your consent you will be given a package with all the information regarding the location of the center and arrival time.
Please remember to bring a photo ID to the hospital or surgery center, as we will need to verify your identity during check-in.
Morning of Surgery
Once you arrive at the hospital or surgery center, inform the nurse of any medications you may have taken that morning.
Your family members will be asked to wait in the waiting room as you’re taken into the operating room, where you will meet the experienced surgical staff who will be taking care of you. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have before beginning surgery.
We recognize that getting ready for surgery can be a challenging process. With the support and assistance from the team at Beltre Bariatrics, we can make it a success together.
Start Your Weight-Loss Journey Today
Board-certified surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre has made it his life’s passion to help individuals like you achieve their weight loss goals safely and successfully.
Whether you have come from central Florida or traveled halfway—or even all the way—across the country, our goal is to offer a weight loss surgery option that is safe, effective, and affordable.
We understand that significant, long-term weight loss is not easy. Even with the help of metabolic surgery, losing weight and keeping it off requires a life-long commitment to serious lifestyle changes and hard work. The good news is that success is possible with the help of Dr. Beltre and our dedicated team of caring, experienced specialists!
If you believe that weight loss surgery is right for you or would like to learn more about metabolic surgery options available, we encourage you to contact us to begin the process today!