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How to Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery


By Dr. Dieter Pohl

So, you have finally decided that weight loss surgery is the best option for you and you are looking to begin the process. First, congratulations for embarking on this journey, it is a bold move to take action in your life! Second, you are probably feeling an array of emotions at this time. Excitement, stress, curiosity, worry all striking at once. This is normal!


The following is a list of some basic preparations you can do ahead of surgery to ensure the best results and keep you moving in a positive trajectory to meet your weight loss goals.


Learn about weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery is an elective procedure, which means that the power rests in your hands. This goes without saying, but learn as much as possible about the weight loss surgery procedure you will be getting beforehand. 


Second, learn about the hospital and staff who will be operating on you. Carefully review a hospital’s listed weight loss surgery program. Look at the credentials for both the surgeon and the program. See if they have a good success rate and are a respected institution. Healthgrades is a great tool to verify a surgeon’s background. [LINK TO https://www.healthgrades.com/find-a-doctor]. You can also learn a little bit of our staff.


Don’t decide to go with a surgery center until you are completely comfortable.


Drink water

The average adult needs 64 ounces of water per day. Leading up to surgery it is recommended to drink more than the minimum of eight 8oz glasses. Surgery of any kind is an invasive procedure and will take a lot of energy out of your body. Maintaining a well hydrated system ahead of time will only make the recovery process easier. 


Begin exercising- lean muscle

If you are not exercising already now is a great time to start! You don’t have to deadlift a horse or run a marathon, but starting a simple exercise routine is a great investment in your future. Aerobic exercise, such as activities like walking, biking and swimming will improve your cardiovascular system. Resistance exercises, such as weight-lifting, will build lean muscle.


Weight loss surgery is not simply about reducing a number on a scale, it is a step in embracing a whole new lifestyle. Post-surgery it is important to remain active and replace fat with lean tissue. Getting an early start on exercise pre-operation will help the transition.


Change up your diet- protein

Again, weight loss surgery is only a piece of the puzzle. In order to ensure long term results it is imperative to adopt a healthier diet. One of the most important places to start making those adjustments is to increase protein consumption.  It is recommended to eat at least 60 grams of protein per day. This will keep you satiated, and along with exercise, you will help maintain lean tissue and add muscle mass!


Try eating healthy proteins each day such as grilled chicken breast, yogurt, fish, and eggs. Read our blog on the importance of protein after weight loss surgery for some further information and tips.



Stress is not your friend, so let’s keep it to a minimum! In fact, excessive stress can lead to weight gain, exactly what you are fighting! 


First things first, take another moment to double check that you are comfortable with your surgery team and are aware of all the specifics of the procedure. Next, have a plan in place for leaving the hospital. Perhaps arrange for a friend or relative to assist you in the early stages of post-surgery.  Finally, make preparations at your home ahead of time to make your recovery as easy as possible.


When you are no longer worried about the procedure, but instead excited about the opportunities afforded by undergoing weight loss surgery you are ready!


Support groups

Last, but certainly not least, is a tip that is often overlooked. Find out if the hospital or facility you will be visiting offers any post-surgery support groups. Weight loss surgery is only the beginning of a new chapter, a life-long journey that will require commitment and discipline. We understand these lifestyle changes can appear overwhelming, especially all alone. To ensure positive results, and staying on track of meeting your goal weight, we recommend finding a support group to learn about nutrition, share healthy recipes and encourage and motivate one another. Research the meetings and availability ahead of your surgery and try to attend a meeting or two before. Other members will be eager to share their experiences and offer valuable help!


Good luck with your weight loss surgery!

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