Getting Healthier Before Bariatric Surgery

It may seem counterintuitive, but getting healthier and losing some weight before bariatric surgery can be very beneficial. One of the biggest roadblocks to a safe and effective surgery is generally poor health – a common byproduct of excess weight and poor dietary and exercise choices. In order to undergo the most successful surgery with the fewest possible complications, prospective weight loss surgery patients should try to ensure that they are in the best shape possible before undergoing the procedure.

  • Serious weight related diseases such as type II diabetes and high blood pressure can cause complications both during and after surgery – losing some weight can help minimize those risks
  • Patients must stop smoking immediately. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which in turn can increase the likelihood of infection and slow the progress of recovery. Poor lung capacity and blood circulation are two significant risk factors for complications
  • An intangible, but no less important, reason for getting in shape before surgery revolves around being prepared for long-term lifestyle changes. Patients can take the weeks or months before surgery to try out their new lifestyle, which includes improve diet and exercise regimens. Doing so before surgery allows the patient to learn what it takes to follow the post-op plan, identify opportunities and difficulties in the new lifestyle and avoid some of the frustration of jumping into a new lifestyle immediately after major surgery

The bottom line is that while the disease of obesity is not one that is easily solved, getting started as soon as possible with the post-op lifestyle helps in many ways – tangible and intangible. We encourage you to learn more about what you can do to jumpstart your new lifestyle even before surgery by discussing a pre-op plan with Dr. Chang and our team.