Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery
Preparing for weight loss surgery is crucial. Multiple clearances are required prior to surgery making it a process that takes time. Some patients are even required by their insurance company to complete three to six months worth of dieting before being able to have weight loss surgery. This may seem like a long time to have to wait, but we feel that you should take advantage of the process in order to adjust to the eating habits that will be necessary to be successful after surgery.
Nutritional preparedness is very important. It is a well-accepted fact that many 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
- Vitamin D
These nutritional deficiencies point 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 you should make eating an active process, such that you are truly paying attention to what and how you are eating.
- 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 combat nutritional deficiencies in the future.
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 risks of having 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, the surgeon 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 complications during 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 here 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. 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. Oftentimes 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, and Laredo to assist you with 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.
- You can interact with the office without any annoying phone calls by using Klara, a secure healthcare communication platform that allows you to text with our staff.
- Your reminder calls or text messages are made by an automated system.
- In our Corpus Christi, South Austin and San Antonio offices, weekend appointments are available for your convenience. In our San Antonio office, after hours appointments are also available.
Without this specially designed program, you would be left on your own to schedule these appointments with your primary care physician. Most of the time, this would require valuable time 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. If geographical constraints or other issues prevent you from doing your required monthly appointments at one of our locations, our office will attempt to contact you at least once a month in order to help you stay on track.