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​Preparing for Surgery

Mental, Emotional & Physical Preparation for Surgery

Weight-loss surgery is like other major surgeries. The best preparation is to understand the risks and potential benefits and to closely follow your doctor's instructions.

Mental and Emotional Preparation

  • Understand the surgical process and what to expect afterward.
  • Talk to people who have had weight loss surgery.
  • Write a letter to yourself and your surgeon explaining your reasons for having the surgery and outlining your plans to maintain your weight loss afterward.
  • Start a journal about your experience. Record how you feel now, the obstacles you encounter and the activities you hope to be able to do after surgery.
  • Get a letter of support from your family. It helps to know you have people behind you, waiting to help.

Physical Preparation

  • Restrict yourself to a clear liquid diet 12–24 hours before surgery.
  • Stop nicotine use at least two months before surgery.
  • Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding any medications you are taking.
  • Arrive on time the day of surgery with supplies from home for your hospital stay. (Length of stay varies depending on the type of procedure you are having.)
  • Bring any special equipment you use for sleep apnea, such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.