Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a medical procedure, so it’s completely normal to have some anxiety as your surgery date approaches. Some of my patients are too excited to feel stressed, but I would say the majority have at least a little bit of nervousness. Not surprisingly, one of the questions I hear most often is, “How do I calm these nerves?” Here’s my pre-VSG advice, along with valuable insight from sleeve veterans.
Picture Your Future.
Keep your eyes on both the short- and long-term pictures. Some patients feel most peaceful when they picture themselves waking up from the procedure, knowing it’s behind them and their best selves are in front of them. Others need to keep in mind their ultimate goals: getting to a target weight, running around the yard with kids or grandkids, or making everyone jealous at the next class reunion (no judgment!). As Beth attests, “Within a few days of surgery you’ll start seeing differences.” Tamra, who’s lost 11 pounds since her surgery three weeks ago, says, “I already feel better and have more energy than before.”
The exciting changes to your mind and body start pretty much right away. So whether you want to focus on how you’ll feel immediately post-surgery or on the completely transformed life you’ll experience slightly farther out from VSG, do what works for you.
Trust the Staff.
I might be a little biased, but I truly believe we have the best staff on the planet. And our patients seem to agree. Heather counsels, “The very moment you meet Dr. A and his staff, all your fears will disappear.” Aw, thanks, Heather! What I know for sure is that our patients rave about how kind, caring, and supportive our staff is, and that makes a huge difference in helping you feel at ease with your choice to have gastric sleeve in Mexico. Another thing I know is that we’ve perfected this procedure over the course of 17,000-plus surgeries. There’s no safer hospital or more skilled staff in the world for VSG. And if you’re feeling particularly nervous? Don’t try to hide it! Cheryl says, “Just make sure and tell the staff how nervous you are, and I promise they will take care of all your worries. Especially on surgery day.”
Go Over Your Plan.
“The more educated I was, the better I felt,” says Zina. That’s excellent advice. We have tons of blogs and videos on our site, as well as thousands of veterans in our private Facebook group. The unknown is always scary, so learning as much as possible about the procedure and what to expect can put your fears to rest as few other things can. The other thing I would say is to become very familiar with what your diet will look like in the days and weeks after surgery. Setbacks happen most often not because of faulty sleeves, but because of rushing stages and/or not sticking to an appropriate gastric sleeve diet. Worried about a leak? Then don’t go off-plan and try to make your stomach work harder than it’s supposed to. Worried about not losing much weight? Then stick to the ideas we (and your sleeve brothers and sisters) give you for optimal weight loss.
Nerves are normal. But hopefully these tips will help you from becoming overwhelmed by them as you await VSG and your journey toward a healthier, happier life.
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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.