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Making the Most of Your Wait During the Bariatric Pre-Operative Process

Dumbells, water bottle, apple, workout shoes, and alarm clock placed on wood table

We encourage our patients to start the bariatric process even before their surgery. During this three or six-month wait, if using insurance, there is ample opportunity to prepare for life after surgery and start physical improvements to lower the risk of the surgery itself. This approach can also benefit you psychologically and make the postoperative changes you will experience much more manageable. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into what you can do before surgery to ensure that the procedure is as safe as it can be and that your post-op transition is as smooth as possible.

  1.  Quitting smoking during this time is especially important. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of complications after surgery and can lengthen healing time. We may even need to cancel your procedure if you can’t quit.
  2. Start building your support group. We can’t stress it enough, the support you receive after surgery can often be the difference between good and great results. Your support team is not just our staff at our office but also friends and family that will be there to help you during tough times and cheer you on during the victories. This is also an excellent time to join an online support group. At first, contributing may be daunting, but soon it will become a new community of friends around you.
  3. Losing some weight during the pre-op liver shrink diet and even before can lower the risk of surgical complications. Even modest weight loss is beneficial. We want you to take advantage of the excitement of your upcoming procedure to lose weight and reduce your surgical risk.
  4. Prioritize your mental health. The mental health component of weight loss and post-bariatric surgery life cannot be overstated. You must take this time to prioritize your mental health, whether through meditation or mindfulness or even going to a professional to work through emotional or behavioral concerns that may be partly to blame for your weight gain.
  5. Get your medical clearances. Depending on your evaluation with Dr. Tsuda, you will need several medical clearances to ensure you are a suitable candidate for surgery. These clearances can take a while, especially now with doctors’ offices being overwhelmed with patients. So start early. We can help you find an appropriate specialist if you don’t have one already.
  6. Start the planning process. If one thing predicts the degree of long-term success in bariatric patients, it’s how they plan. This may include meal plans like eating for the first several weeks after the liquid diet or setting expectations. Unachievable or overly aggressive goals only lead to frustration and, ultimately, quitting. A good plan can help you get through it with the fewest hiccups.

There’s no doubt that the pre-surgical wait is frustrating, especially if you are using insurance. However, this does not mean that you should not be thinking about your life after bariatric surgery. Instead, this is the perfect time to set the foundation for a lifetime of improvement and adjustment. Taking this time to plan and build the support system you need will pay dividends.

Of course, for patients with the financial means, there’s always the option to self-pay or cash pay for the procedure. Dr. Tsuda has negotiated excellent all-inclusive rates for the gastric sleeve at a leading Las Vegas outpatient surgical center. Consequently, we can offer one of the lowest costs for a cash-pay gastric sleeve nationwide. For more information, we encourage you to contact our office.