Before enduring bariatric surgery, a patient must prepare their body for the surgical procedure. Firstly, a preoperative diet will help to reduce the size of the patient’s liver. Many doctors believe there is a direct connection between obesity and a fatty liver, which can be both disadvantageous and dangerous for weight loss surgery. If the liver’s size can be reduced, the risk of complications post-surgery significantly lowers.
Not only do preoperative methods involve a patient’s diet, but also preparatory things that help prepare the patient for the procedure itself. This can include paperwork, pre-op testing such as Compete blood count, Upper GI or Electrocardiograph or scheduling of the surgery itself. Some surgeons even require a gallbladder ultrasound. Other suggested tests may include a sleep study, cardiology evaluation, psych evaluation, pulmonary function testing and echocardiogram.
These tests allow a surgeon to understand a patient’s complete health assessment before surgery. These tests help to reduce the chance of complications. The tests endured will depend on each patient’s existing medical health and/or whether they have heart issues, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other potentially-dangerous conditions post-op.
In terms of pre-op procedures, the pre-operative diet remains the most important part of this process and preparations for bariatric surgery.
When preparing for Gastric Sleeve surgery, a patient should consume 800 to 1,000 calories daily in liquids alone. The major problem with this directive is that patients can easily consume much more than this, so headaches or mood swings are normal during this process. Note: it is extremely important to consume enough water while on the liquid-only diet. Also, patients should avoid any and all caffeine.
Shortly before weight loss surgery, a laxative should be taken daily. After taking one, only clear liquids should be consumed after that such as sugar-free juice, tea, Gatorade, Jell-O, broth, Slim-Fast or Atkins Low carb shakes, protein powder, popsicles, water or any other clear liquid. A patient should not consume anything to eat or drink after midnight before surgery (or eight hours before the procedure if it is scheduled later in the day).
In order to speed up the process, select a primary care physician if you don’t already have one and establish a relationship with them. This will allow you to make sure that your routine health maintenance will be maintained post-surgery. Prepare a list of past weight-loss attempts to present to your surgeon. This will allow him or her to determine if the type of weight loss surgery you’ve chosen (gastric sleeve) is right for you and your weight loss goals. Bring all of your medical data to your surgical appointments including any results from a sleep study, EKG, etc. Create a list of all medications you take and how often for the hospital post-op. Also, if you still smoke, STOP! Patients who smoke have an increased risk for complications after weight loss surgery.
Also, doctors recommend that no Advil, Aleve, aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for a week prior to surgery. This is because these medications can cause unnecessary bleeding after surgery. Patients may also take necessary medications such as heart or blood pressure ones with a few sips of water prior to surgery the morning of.