9 Tips to Prepare for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

You’re done struggling with your weight and you’ve decided gastric sleeve surgery is the best choice for you. Here at West Houston Surgical Associates, we couldn’t be more excited for you and we’re looking forward to helping you change your life.

Gastric sleeve surgery removes about 90% of your stomach, which means you fill up faster so you eat less and lose weight. The surgery also removes the section of your stomach that triggers your hunger hormone, so you also feel less hungry. Win-win!

But before undergoing your life-changing surgery, there are some things you need to do to get yourself ready.

Learn as much as you can

It’s one thing to make the decision that you’re ready to undergo gastric sleeve surgery, but you need to know what to expect so there are no surprises. To help you get prepared, we go over the details of the procedure and answer any and all of your questions. But you may also want to talk to someone who’s had the surgery to get a little personal insight on how it might affect your life.

Finalize insurance and financing

Nowadays, many health insurances companies cover the cost of weight loss surgery, but each company has different criteria. Before the surgery, you need to talk to your insurance carrier to make sure gastric sleeve surgery is a covered benefit and get the specifics about the requirements for coverage. Then, share the information with us so we’re all on the same page.

Clean up your diet

Way before your surgery you need to start making changes to your diet to get ready for your new lifestyle. This not only shows us that you’re committed to changing, but also gives your body all the good nutrients it needs to support health and healing after your surgery. Because what you eat is such an important component of our weight loss program, we devote a lot of time talking to you about your pre- and post-surgical diet.

Stock up on protein

Following your gastric sleeve surgery, you need to make sure you get an adequate amount of protein every day. Getting enough protein in your diet ensures you retain your muscle mass while you lose the fat. This means you need to stock your kitchen with high-protein foods you like, such as eggs, lean meats, poultry, seafood, tofu, and cottage cheese. We find that some people have a hard time getting all the protein they need from food, so you may also want to consider adding a protein supplement into the mix.

Make water your go-to beverage

We not only push protein, but hydration is also vital after your surgery. But you’re not going to be able to tolerate juice or sugary soda after we shrink your stomach — concentrated sugar in your digestive system may lead to stomach pain and diarrhea — so we need you to make water your go-to beverage. Sugar-free drinks are OK, too, but not the bubbly kind.

Start an exercise program

Developing healthy habits before you have your gastric sleeve surgery shows us that you’re committed to a healthier lifestyle. You can start small with a 10-15 minute walk every day and then slowly work your way up to 30-60 minutes.

Get support

You can’t do it alone. You need to surround yourself with positive people who support and encourage you on your weight loss journey. You may also want to invest in counseling to help you find alternate ways to manage your emotional eating.

Commit to quit

Smoking, that is. If you smoke, we need you to quit before your surgery. Cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products increase your risk of complications from the surgery.

Invest in new clothing

You’re going to lose weight quickly after your gastric sleeve surgery, and you may need a few sets of different clothing sizes. You don’t need to break the bank buying a new wardrobe, but you do want to have a few pieces in various sizes so you have something to wear as the pounds melt off.

Gastric sleeve surgery can dramatically change your life for the better. To learn more about the procedure and see if it’s right for you, call West Houston Surgical Associates today, or request an appointment online.

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