Presurgical Weight Loss Requirement
Before you can be scheduled for bariatric surgery, you will need to undergo a medically supervised weight loss program to lose some amount of weight – often as much as 50 pounds. This pre-surgical weight loss regimen is an insurance requirement and has a number of purposes:
- Introduces reduced portion sizes and healthy nutrition – After your surgery, you will only be able to eat very small portions of food and will have to maintain those small portions for the rest of your life. By initiating reduced portion sizes prior to surgery and learning about proper nutrition, you will have an easier time adjusting to the strict diet you will enjoy post-surgery. Your pre-surgery regimen will also introduce moderate exercise, which is also a lifelong requirement to losing and maintaining your weight. You will start with simple walking before advancing to longer walks and light hand weights. Exercise builds muscle which burns more calories than fat, which in turn speeds weight loss.
- Shrinks your liver – Your liver has increased in size as you have gained weight and will conversely become smaller as you lose weight. Because it is the organ that sits on top of your stomach, shrinking your liver prior to surgery gives the surgeon better access to your stomach during surgery.
- Helps minimize risks of surgical complications – Having any surgical procedure when you are very overweight is inherently risky; having medical co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease adds even riskier. When you lose weight before the bariatric procedure, you begin to lessen the risks of the surgery itself.
Our Registered Dietician will work with you to create an eating plan for you and will monitor your progress throughout the pre-surgical weight loss phase.