Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery

Hygiene

Skin integrity is essential for the operative site. It’s important to maintain good hygiene, by keeping skin clean and dry, especially in the days before Weight loss surgery. Skin breakdown could possibly cause your surgery to be delayed.

Exercise

The best time to begin your exercise program is before your surgery. The sooner you start exercising, the easier it will be after you have surgery. Start moving more, but don’t injure yourself.  Walking on a daily basis improves your circulation and makes breathing easier during recovery. You will also benefit from having a plan in place prior to your procedure eliminating the need to establish one during your recovery phase.  A pedometer is a great tool to help you track your walking progress.  If joint pain becomes an issue and prevents you from walking daily, you may want to look into an aquatics program. Water exercises still condition your breathing but are not weight bearing and therefore are easier for people who have joint problems.

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Tobacco

Since smoking hinders proper lung function, it can increase the possibility of anesthetic complications. Smoking can increase your risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs). Smoking also reduces circulation to the skin and impedes healing. Smokers who undergo anesthesia are at increased risk for developing cardiopulmonary complications (pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and the collapsing of the tiny air sacs in the lungs) and infection.

Medicines

It is important to avoid aspirin and all aspirin-based medicines for at least 10 days prior to surgery. Herbal medications such as St. John’s Wort, Gingko Biloba, garlic, etc. should be avoided, as these have blood-thinning properties. Other herbal supplements such as kava and valerian root are known to interact with anesthesia and should also be stopped at least 10 days prior to surgery.

Remember to tell your surgeon all of the medicines and herbal supplements you are taking.  Do not forget to check the label of your multivitamin, as many can contain herbal supplements as well. Remember to check all labels of over-the-counter medicines, since certain ones can contain aspirin, too. When in doubt, please check with your pharmacist and/or surgeon.

Work and Disability

Typically, bariatric surgery patients can expect to return to work in about two to four weeks, however this can vary from person to person. This may vary greatly. The time you take from works depends on many things, including the kind of work you do, your general state of health, how badly your work needs you, how badly you need you need your work (i.e. the money), your general state of motivation, the surgical approach (laparoscopic vs. open) and your energy level.

Alcohol

Alcohol causes gastric irritation and can cause liver damage. During periods of rapid weight loss the liver becomes especially vulnerable to toxins such as alcohol. You may find that only a couple of sips of wine can give you unusually quick and strong effects of alcohol intolerance.

In addition, alcoholic beverages are high in empty calories and may cause “dumping syndrome.”

For these reasons, we recommend complete abstinence from alcohol for one year after surgery and avoiding frequent consumption thereafter.

 

 

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