Bariatric Surgery is a big commitment that requires an understanding of your body, the surgery, and your own mental state. It’s possible to go into surgery unprepared, and doing this can result in a negative and expensive experience.
Mentally preparing for Bariatric Surgery is a topic in itself. This article will explain how to prepare for surgery mentally and what you can do to put yourself in the best mindset for rapid weight loss.
Why You Need Mental Preparation For Bariatric Surgery
The surgery is only the beginning.
Most people are more terrified of the surgery than anything else. The reality is that weight loss procedures are incredibly safe and, considering the patient population, have a very low risk of complications.
However, the surgery isn’t what most people have difficulty with. The problems come later. You will find yourself unable to eat the foods you used to. You won’t be nearly as hungry as you once were. Many patients find themselves depressed because the food that they once loved is no longer enjoyable.
Recovery requires significant dietary changes.
As stated before, dietary changes can be hard to handle. Many bariatric patients will have undergone a clear liquid fast before surgery. The length of this fast will be determined by the doctor. During recovery, the patient will be slowly introducing new foods and figuring out which foods agree with them. This completely upends old eating behaviors which may have been a source of comfort for the patient.
The weight loss may be the most difficult part.
Bariatric surgery is incredibly effective at producing weight loss results. It’s not unusual for a patient to lose over 100 pounds in the first year alone. When a patient loses this much weight in such a short amount of time, life changes drastically. People treat the patient differently. It may be difficult for the patient to recognize the person in the mirror. Food is no longer an effective source of comfort, requiring new coping mechanisms.
How To Prepare For Bariatric Surgery Mentally
Learn about the procedure you’re going to have.
By learning about the procedure you’re going to get, you can understand how it will help you lose weight, what you have to do in order to recover, and what you can expect in terms of weight loss.
Maryland Bariatrics has a blog where you can learn all about various bariatric procedures. Check it out!
Come to surgery prepared.
Planning your overnight bag in advance can help you feel a lot more prepared for the surgery itself. You should have a change of clothes, some comfortable slippers, an empty water bottle, a comfortable pillow, something to read or otherwise occupy yourself, and your medication.
Plan for four weeks of heavily reduced activity.
You can expect to go back to work after about two weeks post-op. However, even when you do go back to work, you will still be unable to lift heavy weights or do strenuous activity.
How To Prepare For Post-Op Weight Loss
Don’t get attached to numbers on the scale.
Sometimes patients get overly preoccupied with the amount of pounds or kilograms they weigh. However, your body is changing in much more subtle ways. Non-scale victories should be celebrated instead, such as fitting into old smaller clothes, or being able to complete exercises that you weren’t able to before.
Accept that your body is changing.
This seems a bit silly for someone who just had surgery for the purpose of changing their body, but the mind takes some time to get used to your rapidly changing body. If you don’t recognize the person in the mirror just yet, it’s okay. Know that your body is changing and that you will settle into your new form.
Seek professional guidance, such as counseling and therapy.
Many bariatric patients find themselves dealing with mood swings and depressive episodes due to their restrictive diet and the toll that rapid weight loss can take. Although the relationship is complicated, this rapid weight loss can affect your body’s ability to produce serotonin, which is a mood regulating neurotransmitter. Not only that, but it can often be hard to deal with the social and emotional realities of these changes.
Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness, nor is it an indication that the surgery was a bad choice. It’s an investment in your overall health.
Maryland Bariatrics at Saint Agnes Medical Center is home to the Top Rated Bariatric Surgeons In Maryland. They offer gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and even Bariatric Revision Surgery in Baltimore. If you’re looking for a Weight Loss Surgeon, Maryland Bariatrics is here for you. Schedule a consultation today!