Patients are a bit confused when I tell them they have to lose weight before they arrive for weight loss surgery. They say, “wait, what...I have to lose weight before coming to you?” or “isn't that why I'm getting the surgery to begin with?”. It sounds counter productive and somewhat backwards doesn't it...yet, there's a reason for it.
What if I told you there are some really important reasons why you need to lose weight prior to surgery and that those reasons could not only help you jump start your weight loss goals, but also make surgery so much easier, would you believe me? I hope so, because honestly, I want you to have success losing and keeping the weight off.
So, why is losing weight prior to weight loss surgery helpful?
Well, for one thing, faster recovery. Patients who lose weight prior to surgery tend to have more efficient surgery times, the risks are reduced and doctors have greater access to vital areas, meaning the patient spends less time on the operating table.
Another reason why losing weight matters prior to the gastric sleeve procedure is that your liver shrinks which improves safety and access for the surgeon. The liver? You might be wondering what does the liver have to do with losing weight or the sleeve surgery? Well, during your gastric sleeve procedure the liver is actually overlapping the stomach and needs to be propped up so that the doctor can get access. Smaller liver, improved access.
Besides all the medical studies, I can tell you based on observations with my over 9000 patients that those who follow my guidelines in losing weight prior to surgery are less prone to complications, are able to start exercise programs faster and adjust faster to the post op diet.
But how do you lose the weight?
Two words...liquid diet! And, it's mandatory! Hey, if losing weight is your goal then what better time to start, right? Think of it as prepping your body to becoming thinner. You are helping rid some of the visceral fat around your organs prior to surgery and getting your body in training for better things to come. Think of the liquid diet as your pre-op boost...what you need to help motivate you to be healthier.
What is a liquid diet and how long do I need to do it?
Protein shakes, sugar-free beverages, soup broth, vegatable juices and very thin cream of wheat or rice will be your pre-op diet prior to surgery. Caffeine and carbonated drinks are a no-no and should be taken off the list. It is important for you to know that the lenght of this diet will be determined by your current BMI or Body Mass Index.
You're probably shaking your head saying “no way, not a liquid diet, I can't do that” and I will encourage you to say “Yes” because I know based on my years as a gastric sleeve surgeon and the results that my patients have shown that you can do this and you, if you follow the instructions, will lose the weight and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery or how Endobariatric can help you, I encourage you to call us and we will be glad to answer any questions you might have.