Being Emotionally, Mentally Ready for Bariatric Surgery

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Losing weight through bariatric surgery involves more preparation than just buying new clothes. Experts agree that a patient undergoing a bariatric procedure must be psychologically prepared for their physical transformation.

Patients require emotional support before and after a bariatric surgery, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon  (NIH). It’s important to understand how much your life will change after the procedure, and healthcare providers should assess how emotionally prepared each patient is before performing the surgery.

Mentally and Emotionally Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery

There are a variety of ways to help prepare yourself for the life-changing effects of bariatric surgery. 

Most patients will be able to easily identify the positive physical effects of the procedure, including decreased risks of chronic conditions and the ability to have a more active lifestyle, according to the NIH. But, some of the mental and emotional risks of the procedure can include depression, eating disorders and strain caused by changing relationships. 

Some ways experts recommend patients prepare for weight loss surgery include:

  • Join a support group: Support groups can offer validation, motivation and celebration of the choice patients make to lose weight, according to the Obesity Action CoalitionOff Site Icon  (OAC). It can help to talk with someone who understands firsthand the experience of bariatric surgery.
  • Prepare your home for post-surgery care: Getting your home ready in advance for when you return home after surgery can help reduce anxiety, according to the NIH. Being prepared for your new diet, activity plan, wound care, and medication can help make it easier to function at home after surgery.
  • Speak with a counselor before and after surgery: Patients have to undergo a psychological assessment before surgery, and the OAC encourages patients to continue counseling sessions after surgery.
  • Speak with family and friends: Educating loved ones about what to expect from you physically and emotionally after surgery can reduce stress on relationships, according to the NIH. Having a network of family and friends who are onboard with the changes also offers another layer of support to the patient.
  • Speak with a nutritionist or dietitian about an eating plan: A nutrition plan is vital to postoperative bariatric care, according to the NIH. An eating plan will prepare you to handle your new diet. Working with a professional makes it easier to manage reaching goals and experiencing setbacks.

For more information about being emotionally and mentally prepared for bariatric surgery, talk with your doctor or visit Premier Weight Loss Solutions.

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Answer a few questions and we'll provide you with a list of primary care providers that best fit your needs.