It’s great that you’ve made the smart decision to finally take control of your health through bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery has been proven to help people just like you get weight problems under control. Still, bariatric surgery is a serious operation and there are some steps that need to be taken beforehand. The first step is determining if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery states that candidates should not be more than 100 pounds overweight. The ideal candidate for bariatric surgery should have a BMI over 25 with a secondary condition of hypertension, sleep apnea or one of several other conditions listed. The candidate should have tried and failed to sustain healthy weight loss in the past.
Once you’ve qualified as a possible candidate, a battery of diagnostic tests have to be done. These include an abdominal ultrasound and several blood tests to check levels of urea, cortisol, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), creatinine and a complete blood count. Among other things, these blood test results will be a baseline to measure results after the surgery. Additional pre-operative tests may include cardiac catheterization and EKG, treadmill stress test and echocardiogram to test the heart health, colonoscopy, pap smear, mammogram or chest X-ray, and flexible sigmoidoscopy, which tests the condition and function of the lower intestine.
As you can see, there is an abundance of tests and procedures that you must endure before you’ve even had the surgery. These tests are there to ensure your physical condition and ability to undergo surgery. You must also undergo psychological tests. You will be asked why you are seeking the surgery and what you hope to gain from it. You will also be asked about a history of depression or anxiety. During the entire pre-operative stage, you will be evaluated to determine if you understand that your eating habits must change for the weight loss to be an ongoing success.
The Pre-Operative Diet
In order to be in the best possible physical condition before the surgery, you’ll be given a pre-operative diet plan to start two weeks beforehand. This may include things like meal replacement shakes and bars, bariatric vitamins, various vegetables, and protein shakes. These foods will help ensure you’re ready for surgery when your appointment date finally arrives.
Bariatric surgery is a serious procedure. Now that you better understand the steps that must be taken before surgery, you’ll have the best possible outcome with your weight loss journey!