If you are about to have bariatric surgery, chances are you are equal parts excited and nervous. Although this is an important step on your road to a healthier lifestyle, you may be worrying about recovery and adjusting to life with a gastric sleeve. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare. The following tips will help you get ready for your surgery.
Tip #1: Take a leave of absence
Although bariatric surgery isn't invasive, you still need to plan for several weeks off of work. This is because while recovery is quick, adjustment can take longer. You have to get used to eating less, as well as learn which foods and in which amounts won't cause a negative reaction when you eat. Although your doctor can provide guidance on this, every person is different. During this period nausea, lightheadedness, and diarrhea or constipation aren't uncommon. By taking time off work for four to six weeks, you can adjust in the comfort of your home.
Tip #2: Prep some meals
You likely won't feel like cooking for the first few days after you get home, but take-out won't be an option either. The best choice is to purge your home of any food you know you won't be eating after surgery. Your doctor will provide you with a list of foods to avoid as well as a list of recommended foods. For example, the first few days after the procedure you are only allowed clear liquids, so you will want broth, milk, and popsicles on hand. Then, you will want to move on to things that digest easily like eggs and pureed fruits and vegetables. Use the food list provided to prepare your home by stocking up on the right foods.
Tip #3: Pick up your medications
After surgery you will likely be provided with a prescription or two to help with recovery. You may also be instructed to take some vitamins to ensure proper nutrition as your diet adjusts. Another concern is if you are on any types of medication for other conditions, since the surgery can affect these medications. In some cases, you may need to change medications following surgery. To make all of this easier, get a copy of the prescriptions and the recommended vitamin list before your procedure day. This way you can pick up everything beforehand so you won't be running around town to the pharmacy when you should be home recovering.
For more help, consult with your bariatric surgery service.
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