Bariatric surgery is a big step and a major commitment. Preparing ahead of time can help you adjust to life after your procedure and may even improve your results and speed your recovery. At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, we’re on your side to help you start — and stick with — your new healthy lifestyle.
Your diet and eating habits will change significantly after weight loss surgery. Establishing certain routines in the months and weeks before your procedure can make the transition easier. A healthier diet can also help you:
Your dietitian will give you specific instructions about your diet before bariatric surgery.
In general, you will need to:
A few weeks before surgery, you’ll transition to a full-liquid diet that includes:
Smoking cessation is one of the single most important things you can do to improve your health and reduce the risk of complications during and after weight loss surgery. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reports that smoking before surgery can result in:
You should aim to quit smoking at least 4 to 6 weeks before your surgery. Your care team will help you make a smoking cessation plan that may include nicotine replacement therapy, behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques or support groups.
We recommend increasing your cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) function, as well as your muscle strength, prior to surgery. Known as “prehabilitation,” a pre-surgical fitness plan can reduce your hospital stay, lower your risk for pneumonia and enhance your overall recovery. Some insurance plans also require medically supervised preoperative weight loss before your surgery.
In addition, you’ll need to commit to a more active lifestyle after surgery. So establishing an exercise routine now can make it easier to continue with your fitness goals following your procedure.
Your care team can help you build a customized exercise plan or connect you with a trainer or physical therapist. We may recommend:
We invite you to take the next step to find out more about your weight loss options.