More than a quarter million Americans have weight-loss surgery every year, and of all the procedures available, gastric sleeve surgery is the most popular. Also called sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of your stomach, so you feel full faster and don’t feel hunger as acutely.
At South Florida Surgical Group, Michael Renfrow, MD, FACS, and Steven Kanter, MD, FACS, use state-of-the-art gastric sleeve surgery techniques to help women and men in southern Florida finally achieve their weight-loss goals. If gastric sleeve surgery is in your future, here are seven things you can do to prepare for your procedure and your recovery.
#1 Stop smoking
Smoking interferes with healing in multiple ways. First, the chemicals in smoke interfere with your circulation, making it more difficult for your body to deliver oxygen and nutrients necessary for healing.
Smoking also affects your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off germs and increasing your risk of infection. Quitting your smoking habit a month or more before can dramatically improve your healing and recovery period and reduce your risk of complications.
#2 Introduce new eating habits
Like any type of bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve surgery dramatically alters your eating habits. Before your surgery, our doctors typically recommend patients adopt different eating plans, sometimes switching to a liquid diet or other specialty diet for a few weeks. Not only can the change help you adjust to new eating habits after surgery, but it also prepares your body for the surgery itself.
#3 Familiarize yourself with your new eating plan
Speaking of new eating habits, now is the time to thoroughly review your post-surgery eating plan — and to make sure you understand all that it entails. Asking questions now helps you prepare physically and mentally for your new routine. Even though you’ll be restricted to liquids at first, now is also a good time to seek out recipes created for people who’ve had bariatric surgery.
#4 Stock your pantry
Another way to prepare yourself for the dietary changes associated with your surgery is to restock your pantry with options compatible with your new eating plan. Focus on foods you’ll be able to eat right after recovery, so you’ll have one less thing to concern yourself with during the immediate postop period. And use this as an opportunity to purge your cabinets of foods you won’t be allowed to eat, too.
#5 Prep your home
Catch up with household chores before your surgery, and if you can, have family members or friends on hand to run errands and complete other tasks during the immediate recovery period. You’ll want to have plenty of time to relax and rest, so arranging for chores before surgery lets you focus all your attention on healing.
#6 Expand your wardrobe
As you lose weight, your body will change its size and shape. Your rate of weight loss will vary, so having a few “flexible” items of clothing on hand ensures you’ll have something to wear while you lose pounds on your way to your target weight.
#7 Find support
Bariatric surgery comes with big benefits for people struggling with obesity — but it also comes with big changes. Bariatric support groups let you connect with other people who’ve been through the surgery, so you can get the emotional support you need from people who understand your challenges.
Get ready for your new tomorrow
At our practice in the Kendall neighborhood of Miami, Dr. Kanter and Dr. Renfrow offer compassionate, patient-centered care aimed at helping women and men lead healthier lives. To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and whether it can help you achieve your own weight goals, call 305-279-9522 or book an appointment online with South Florida Surgical Group today.