Well-prepared patients are almost always more likely to achieve satisfactory outcomes from their weight loss surgery procedure. It’s critical to know what to buy before bariatric surgery as part of your preparation. We have compiled a list of bariatric surgery must-haves that will help ensure you have a safe and comfortable surgery and recovery.
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Weight loss surgery prep
Your weight loss surgery prep should ideally begin from the moment you have made up your mind to undergo this procedure. At your initial consultation with a bariatric surgeon, feel free to ask what do you have to do before weight loss surgery? Your surgeon will guide you about the preparatory steps based on the type of surgery, your BMI and medical history, and your individual weight loss goals.
Pre-surgery bariatric must haves in terms of medical exams and tests typically include imaging tests, such as an abdominal CT scan or ultrasound, CBC or complete blood count, blood chemistry tests, and liver function test. Both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgeries are performed using general anesthesia. So, your surgeon will also require you to have an EKG (electrocardiogram) as part of pre-op anesthesia testing.
What do you have to do before weight loss surgery?
Getting ready for gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery usually requires at least a few weeks (or ideally, a few months) of preparation. The goal is to bring down your body weight naturally and improve your general health parameters as far as possible prior to the surgery. Here are a few things that should be a part of your weight loss surgery prep.
- Diet and fitness: Prior to your surgery, you should begin with a diet and fitness program under the guidance of your bariatric team. Reduce the intake of processed, high calorie foods as well as alcoholic, carbonated and caffeinated beverages. If you smoke, be prepared to stop the habit for at least a few weeks before your procedure as directed by your surgeon.
- Lifestyle program: If you are experiencing challenges of eating behaviors, sedentary lifestyle, low nutrition, and emotional or psychological issues, your bariatric surgery must haves may include a professional pre-op lifestyle program. It may involve your bariatric team, including your surgeon, nutritionist, fitness expert, behaviorist, and a support group.
- Intensive preparation: Two weeks before your bariatric surgery, you will have to go off certain medications, and undergo a few tests to determine your fitness for surgery. Both gastric bypass must haves and gastric sleeve must haves will include a stringent pre-op liquid diet phase of two to three days just before your surgery to reduce the fats around your liver.
READ THIS: 3 month pre bariatric surgery diet
Bariatric surgery must haves
At your pre-op consultation, you can ask your surgeon about what to buy before bariatric surgery. The bariatric team will provide you a checklist of the things that will keep you comfortable during your hospital stay and throughout your at-home recovery. Ask your team about what to wear on the day of surgery, what to bring to the hospital (including documentation), and what bariatric must haves to keep at home for recovery.
Gastric sleeve must-haves
It may not be the best idea to leave your recovery preparation to the last minute because post-surgery you need a restful and stress-free environment at home. Here are some of the gastric sleeve must haves that you should arrange for in advance.
- General medications: Keep a few over the counter pain meds, or ask your surgeon to prescribe painkillers and antibiotics, which you can keep at home. Also, keep some drugs to relieve nausea and gastric discomfort.
- Supportive pillows: After your VSG surgery, it may be difficult to sleep in your natural position for the first few days. Buy a body pillow and other soft pillows for abdominal support and a comfortable sleep post-operatively.
- Loose fitting clothes: One of the gastric sleeve must haves is comfortable, soft, and loose fitting clothes. Preferably choose front-button wear, which can be worn or removed without putting much strain on the body.
- Other items: Create a small recovery station around your bed, where you can keep your laptop, smartphone, medications, water, and bandages. House slippers, blankets, and hand sanitizer are other items to consider.
READ THIS: Bariatric surgery guidelines you must know
Gastric bypass must haves
Gastric bypass is a major procedure that will involve stomach tissue removal as well as changes to the small intestine. Greater focus on nutrition is essential after this surgery to avoid deficiencies. Here are a few gastric bypass must haves to consider.
- Nutrition supplements: Following your gastric bypass surgery, you may have to take daily nutrition supplements for life. Talk to your surgeon and arrange for essential vitamin and mineral supplements ahead of time.
- Protein shakes and fluids: For early post-op healing, your diet should include proteins. Stock up your kitchen with protein shakes in different flavors as well as protein Jell-O to supplement your nutrition intake.
- Food preparation items: To eat soft and pureed foods in the first few weeks, one of the vital gastric bypass must haves is food preparation equipment, such as a food processor, blender, juicer, and meal prep containers.
- Other useful products: To mitigate body aches post-surgery, you may keep a heating pad at home. Another handy item that can be helpful in the initial days is small sippy cups to take liquids in small, measured volumes.
What to take to the hospital for bariatric surgery
While you are considering what to buy before bariatric surgery, it is prudent to note down a list of items you will need to take to the hospital. Some of the bariatric must haves for your hospital visit may include:
- Loose fitting clothes
- Night dress and slippers
- Bathrobe, soap, shampoo, body lotion
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Comb or hairbrush
- Lip balm
- Personal medications (to use with doctor’s consent)
- Books, magazines, puzzles, smartphone, or tablet
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Things to buy before bariatric surgery in Mexico
Weight loss surgery in Mexico is a highly satisfactory experience for most patients. You can make your stay more comfortable when you know what to buy before bariatric surgery in Mexico. Here is our list of bariatric surgery must haves in Mexico.
- Sleep mask
- Ear plugs
- CPAP machine (if you have sleep apnea)
- Loose fitting clothes
- Socks and undergarment
- Flat slippers or house shoes
- Clean bathrobes
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, comb
- Body wipes for deodorizing
- Soothing gel or cream after bowel
- Female sanitary towels
- Magazines, books, board games
- Smartphone, tablet, laptop
- Charger, batteries
RELATED READ: What to pack for your gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico
Getting ready for gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery is much easier when you have a caring and supportive bariatric team to guide you through the process. Choose a dedicated weight loss surgeon who is focused on helping patients achieve freedom from obesity in a safe and comfortable manner. Salient bariatric preparation will lay the foundation for tremendous bariatric outcomes.