Pre-op Check List
Preparation for your surgery is important. It helps to reduce stress and can even minimise your risk of complications and increase the amount of weight you will lose. Good preparation will make you much more likely to keep from putting weight back on in the longer term.
Lifestyle changes should begin about 3 months before your surgery.
- Eating changes: Begin work to retrain your taste buds to enjoy high-nutrition, healthy food. After surgery you will be able to eat only a fraction of the amount you can eat now, so it is important that it contains the maximum amount of nutrients.
- Begin to eliminate junk food from your diet. Eating junk food after bariatric surgery can contribute to malnutrition and uncomfortable side effects such as dumping syndrome.
- Eat lots more protein. This will help sustain you; it is good for weight loss, and will help to build up muscle before your surgery.
- Learn to eat more slowly, and cut down your portion sizes. Learn to stay in touch with your body, and avoid overeating. Stop eating before you feel full.
- Start taking multi-vitamin supplements, under advice from your doctor and/or dietitian.
- Don’t drink with your meals. This will help prepare you for your post-surgery regime. Stop drinking sugary drinks altogether and drink more water. Stop drinking alcohol.
- Gradually start building up the amount of exercise you do. Try to move gently for up to 30 minutes per day.
- If you smoke, you should give up now – preferably for good.
- Find a support group and start to attend regularly. This will help you learn what to expect, and help you build friendships that will support you after surgery.
Two weeks before your surgery:
- Hospital pre-surgery tests will be scheduled.
- You may have a final consultation with Dr Ma.
- You will be given post-op prescriptions, and you should have these filled before your surgery.
- You should organise for someone to take you to hospital and pick you up when you are discharged. You must also ensure you have someone to stay with you for a few days after you return home.
The day before your surgery:
- You need to be ‘nil-by-mouth’ from midnight on the day before your surgery: you may not eat or drink anything. To do so will force the cancellation of your surgery.
Dr Suzanne Ma
MBBS (Monash) FRACS (General)
Dr Ma is an expert in weight loss surgery as part of an overall weight loss for life and health program.