Mentally Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery
Many patients focus on the psychological adjustments they will have to make after surgery. After all, we are all having bariatric surgery in order to achieve goals; one of which is to improve our diet and general lifestyle over the long-term. As the typical patient understands, improving these parts of our lives are not as easy as following a diet and exercise plan. We have a good days and bad days, sometimes we are motivated and other times we simply don’t want to follow the plan. All of this is very normal but makes for some challenges after bariatric surgery. This is especially true over the long term when our weight begins to stabilize, and we don’t see the incredible results of early postoperative life.
But it would be a mistake to focus solely on the postoperative lifestyle as it relates to mental and psychological preparation. In fact, starting your mental preparations well before surgery is the best way to help ensure great results after the procedure and long into the future.
So, what exactly do we mean by this?
Firstly, almost all patients will have a psychological evaluation before surgery. This is mostly to ensure that the patient is in the right frame of mind before having the procedure. Remember that our success is directly linked to yours and we want to see you do well. If you simply aren’t ready to have bariatric surgery, it’s best to wait until you are. However, this psychological evaluation is only a snapshot in time and cannot fully delve into the big ups and downs that you will experience after surgery. As such it simply is not enough.
What we recommend for patients considering bariatric surgery
If you have reached our site, you have likely done a great deal of research online, seeing which doctors may be best suited for you, which procedure might be the right one. However, where you should focus your efforts is in the many resources giving you an idea of what life will be like both before and after surgery. There are a myriad of forums, websites and advice columns that will give you that information in a clear and concise way.
Second, before your procedure, you will undergo a preoperative liver shrink diet, which lasts between 2 and 14 days, depending on the patient. This diet is restrictive and mimics the diet shortly after you have surgery. While the primary goal of this preoperative diet is to shrink the liver and give us a little bit more room in the abdomen during surgery, it is also a glimpse of what is to come. Talk to us about what to expect with your pre-op diet and make the most of the experience so you know what to expect afterwards as well.
There are thousands of bariatric surgery patients in the Las Vegas area. Some may be a few days or weeks post-op, while others may have decades under their belts. Feel free to speak to us to get an introduction. We would be more than happy to put you in touch with prior patients who have a lot of advice to give, as it relates to what to expect throughout bariatric surgery process.
Finally, no one has seen more of the pre-and post op bariatric life than your surgical team. So, we encourage you to talk to Dr. Tsuda, Dr. Ryan or our physician assistant Brian Grace about what to expect and don’t be afraid to ask questions that you may think are trivial or stupid. Trust us, they are not.
Again, we base our success as surgeons and a surgical practice on our ability to help you change your life. However, this is a lifelong collaboration that starts months before surgery. Not only are we happy to spend the time with you so we are all on the same page, but we encourage it. If you have reservations, concerns or questions about bariatric surgery and especially about how to mentally prepare for what is to come, we encourage you to contact our office, schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons and ask the pressing questions that you need to know to feel safe and comfortable with your decision to have surgery. We look forward to helping you with this next phase in your life