Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery

Preparing for weight loss surgery is paramount and similar to that of a wedding, in that it is a mind, body and soul commitment. As a result, multiple medical clearances are required prior to surgery. The nutritional preparation is not easy to understand. Many patients are disappointed that their insurance company requires three to six months worth of dieting prior to being able to have weight loss surgery. While Texas Bariatric Specialists does not necessarily endorse this insurance recommendation, it is a required evil and we feel that you should take advantage of the preparation process in order to reassess your life.

Nutritional preparedness is very important. It is a well-accepted fact that the 20-35% of patients who are being evaluated for weight loss surgery may suffer from a nutritional deficiency secondary to a poor diet and other health-related conditions. The most frequent deficiencies that are observed are:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D

These nutritional deficiencies points out that we don’t eat as well as we think we do and it is important that we make some fundamental changes even before surgery. These fundamental changes include:

  • Improving your lifestyle related to eating is important because one should make eating an active process, such that you are not eating in front of a television and you are eating as a family unit. By doing this, you will be able to improve your overall family’s eating etiquette.
  • Becoming a smarter consumer is very important as well as label-reading as these habits teach you to understand what you are buying, how much it costs, and what nutritional value it provides.
  • Learning the importance of individual micro- and macro-nutrients is very important, as being educated will help you to combat nutritional deficiencies in the future.

Taken together, these changes will lead to better nutritional health prior to surgery, or even if you chose not to proceed with surgery. Nutritional health prior to surgery is of paramount importance. Deficiencies prior to surgery can increase the risk of weight loss surgery. As a result, you need to be screened appropriately and treated aggressively.

Preoperative weight loss is something that is endorsed prior to any weight loss surgery procedure. Texas Bariatric Specialists requires that all patients undergo a preoperative weight loss program with a minimum of two weeks prior to any procedure. In many cases, Dr. Patel will prescribe a predetermined amount of weight loss, which is required prior to surgery. One often wonders why you need to do this if the whole point of surgery is for weight loss. The fact remains that there are very few variables in your life that you can control that will ultimately alter or improve your risk of surgery. Preoperative weight loss is the most important variable that an individual can alter. While any type of weight loss is difficult, our team is there to help you. We do not leave it up to just you; rather, you participate in a specially designed diet which will be initiated at your initial nutritional evaluation or at your two week preoperative class. This diet will assist you in losing weight in the most critical areas such as your intra-abdominal fat (fat inside of your belly) and within your liver (this shrinks your liver). As a result, the diet will significantly improve the chances of your procedure being done laparoscopically and significantly improve the overall outcome following surgery.

You are not alone in this nutritional transformation. The nutritionist in our office will sit down with you for a one-on-one consultation. They will then identify any trouble issues and assist in coaching you throughout the entire process however long it takes.

Additionally, Texas Bariatric Specialists sets the industry standard on post-operative care being unique in offering flexible times and days to receive your essential follow up visits. Often times other medical weight loss programs do not contain the all-encompassing approach to weight loss that we have engineered. Most insurance companies also require better eating habits, behavioral therapy and exercise therapy, in order to demonstrate a comprehensive weight loss attempt for coverage. We have a program in each one of our offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Del-Rio, Killeen, Austin, Laredo, and San Angelo, Texas to assist you in staying on track. Missed appointments, late appointments and inappropriate documentation are the top causes of patients being denied weight loss surgery even though they’ve gone through a program. At Texas Bariatric Specialists you are provided a systematic approach unlike any other in San Antonio, Corpus Christi or Austin:

  • Your monthly visits are pre-scheduled for you.
  • Through an online portal site you always know when your next appointment is going to be.
  • You can interact with the office without any annoying phone calls to check the status of your insurance application.
  • All of your reminder phone calls are made by an automated system.
  • In our offices in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, weekend appointments are available for your convenience. In our offices in San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Austin, after hours appointments are also available.

Without this specially designed program, you would be left on your own to schedule these appointments with your personal physician. Most of the time, this would require valuable days off from work. In addition, your doctor may not know what to do and as a result, your likelihood of being approved may be significantly reduced. However, geographical constraints and other issues may prevent you from doing this at our locations. Our office attempts to contact each one of our patients undergoing a weight loss program at least once a month in order to help you stay on track.