Juliet

What I wish I knew/best advice before surgery...

27 posts in this topic

My surgery date is July 17. I'm trying to be as informed as possible, so I'm asking any of you for your best advice going into surgery. What helped you the most? What do you wish you knew going in? What's your best advice?

Thanks to anyone who contributes here, it can be really helpful!

Juliet

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Don't get bogged down with the number on the scales.  We don't lose weight at a constant rate and stalls are likely.

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@cinwa made what is probably the most important point. These are personal suggestions for getting through the immediate period after surgery -

If you are not already on a liquid diet, try it for a couple of days - find some protein drinks that you like. Try modelling the behaviors you will follow after your surgery - 

Suggest you take a probiotic before and after surgery to reduce the risk of painful gas, which a lot of people complain of. 

Good luck!

 

 

 

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Educating yourself beforehand is invaluable! 

-Bring a long charging cord and cute PJs to the hospital.

-Take PAIN medication for the surgical gas pain, & don't get behind on it.

-Weigh infrequently.

-Don't compare yourself to others.

-Get a Camelbak Eddy water bottle (I prefer the insulated ones).

-Buy a bunch of measuring cups & a digital food scale.

-Don't buy a bunch of protein supplements until you know what your tastebuds like AFTER surgery.

-Don't be shy about calling your surgeon to ask questions.

-Come here often.

Best wishes!

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37 minutes ago, Gretta said:

Educating yourself beforehand is invaluable! 

-Bring a long charging cord and cute PJs to the hospital.

-Take PAIN medication for the surgical gas pain, & don't get behind on it.

-Weigh infrequently.

-Don't compare yourself to others.

-Get a Camelbak Eddy water bottle (I prefer the insulated ones).

-Buy a bunch of measuring cups & a digital food scale.

-Don't buy a bunch of protein supplements until you know what your tastebuds like AFTER surgery.

-Don't be shy about calling your surgeon to ask questions.

-Come here often.

Best wishes!

This is a great list!

Gretta likes this

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Trust the process. Follow your plan. You will lose your excess weight. You won't miss your old foods like you fear you will. Make a list of goals/milestones for yourself and keep track of when you reach them. My list included things like: run a mile, ride a rollercoaster, wear 4" heels, buy clothing that is NOT plus-sized, get a new driver's license with my REAL weight, etc. 

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Immediate post-op period...clear liquids suck but you have to get through it to get to the other side.  Sleep in a recliner or (in my case) an adjustable bed.  1/4 cup really will seem like a LOT of food lol.

During active weight loss:  Protein and water, limit carbs, stay focused on the end result not the day to day struggles.  Use the "honeymoon" period when weight loss is relatively easy and hunger is at it's lowest to really maximize your weight loss.  This period is the best but is likely not permanent.  Also use this time to develop better habits (food and movement) and different coping skills (no more eating our feelings!)  That will set you up for success after the honeymoon is over.

Long-term...enjoy your new fabulous life :)

 

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1 hour ago, Michael_A said:

This is a great list!

Thanks, @Michael_A!

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@Gretta Love your list! My list is an echo of what's already been said.

 

You won't miss the bad food nearly as much as you thought.

You can still love to cook.

Stay with the protein shakes after you're released for solids. (It's just so much easier to get in what you need)

Don't weigh so much. (Just now letting go of this one)

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My advice is simple - stick with the diet plan from your surgeon and relax. Don't worry about the almost inevitable weight loss stalls, don't be frustrated at the puréed food stage, and don't worry about missing certain foods. Just relax. Believe in the process. And watch yourself transform. Remember, nothing (I mean nothing) tastes as good as skinny feels. You can and will do it. Remember, relax.

A skinny, healthy, more active, and more happy person is inside you waiting to come out and scream - I am thin and food no longer controls me and my life. 

Imagine what it is like to buy normal clothes that fit, image what it is like to walk into a room and have people admire you for your looks rather than think who is the fat person, image being able to fit easily into an airplane seat, image what it is like to be able to be active without really sweating or losing your breath, and image what it is like to know that your better weight and health has added so many years to your life. 

I have never regretted having a gastric bypass. I have only regretted that it took me so long to have it. 

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Take your measurements, take before pictures (how many of us hated having before pictures?!  I have very few), don't weigh yourself every day!  

Follow your plan to the letter.  Try to get your fluids in as soon as possible (2 oz shot glass, every 15 minutes for 8 hour will do it!). Then aim for your protein!  Get up and start walking as soon as possible.  

Good luck!

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16 hours ago, msmarymac said:

Immediate post-op period...clear liquids suck but you have to get through it to get to the other side.  Sleep in a recliner or (in my case) an adjustable bed.  1/4 cup really will seem like a LOT of food lol.

During active weight loss:  Protein and water, limit carbs, stay focused on the end result not the day to day struggles.  Use the "honeymoon" period when weight loss is relatively easy and hunger is at it's lowest to really maximize your weight loss.  This period is the best but is likely not permanent.  Also use this time to develop better habits (food and movement) and different coping skills (no more eating our feelings!)  That will set you up for success after the honeymoon is over.

Long-term...enjoy your new fabulous life :)

 

I'm going to keep this and read it & re-read it & re-read it again. THANK YOU!

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As an aside to all of the excellent advice above, the issue about whether you should or should not weigh yourself every day really depends on your personality. There are many postings on this here at TTF.  In a nutshell, this is what people think on this topic:

If you will be frustrated and discouraged when days go by with no weight loss - the so-called weight loss "stall" - which is very common especially in the first month after surgery, then weight yourself once a week.  That way you should not see in the first few months any weight plateaus that last more than one week, unless you really cheat on your diet.  You also will not be frustrated by having some days when you step on the scale and see that your weight has gone up (due to fluid retention, etc.) even though you are eating next to nothing..

On the other hand, if weighing yourself every day will help you stick to your diet, as you will see the results of your diet expressed in a weight number every day, then weigh yourself every day (in the morning before you drink or eat anything is best).  I personally fall into the weigh yourself every day group.  I gained my excess weight prior to my surgery by not getting on the scale for months at a time and by viewing the scale as my enemy.  Now I see the scale as my way of demonstrating each morning that my gastric bypass is really working and that my life as an overweight person is truly over. 

By the way, I use a Fitbit scale to weigh myself, so all of my weight measurements are stored on line.  This means that I can turn out neat little graphs showing my weight loss like the one below.

 

weight.png

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

Take your measurements, take before pictures (how many of us hated having before pictures?!  I have very few)

 

I forgot about this one! Yes, take lots of pictures from all angles. I had my husband take pictures of my when I didn't know he was taking them. Take pictures of things like your wrists, feet, ankles. EVERYTHING will look different once you lose your excess weight. And, for most of us, it takes a while for our brains to catch up to what our thinner bodies look like. When I was down to a size 14 I still felt like I looked like I was a size 22. What helped me make the connection to my smaller body was looking at pictures. Before and current. I still saw fat when I looked in the mirror. I took pictures pre-op in a bathing suit and my bra and underwear. Any time I thought, "I don't think I look any different" I would look at those pictures and see how very different I looked!

Edited by Stephtay

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2 hours ago, Stephtay said:

I forgot about this one! Yes, take lots of pictures from all angles. I had my husband take pictures of my when I didn't know he was taking them. Take pictures of thinks like your wrists, feet, ankles. EVERYTHING will look different once you lose your excess weight. And, for most of us, it takes a while for our brains to catch up to what our thinner bodies look like. When I was down to a size 14 I still felt like I looked like I was a size 22. What helped me make the connection to my smaller body was looking at pictures. Before and current. I still saw fat when I looked in the mirror. I took pictures pre-op in a bathing suit and my bra and underwear. Any time I thought, "I don't think I look any different" I would look at those pictures and see how very different I looked!

This. This. This. 

I was neglectful of both before photos and measurements because it was just too depressing and I still thought in the back of my head that this wouldn't work. So, ignoring the plentiful advice here, I didn't subject myself to official before photos or measurements. Regret. It's so helpful to see my progress in terms of photos, and now I unfortunately don't have many. 

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Measure everything!  Ankles, neck, upper arm, thigh, wrist...when you aren't losing poundage, more than likely inches will fall off. I measured every month..

I weighed every other Saturday and had hubby hide the scale.  I used to reward myself if the scale was down or I'd say to heck with the diet if the scale didn't budge...if the scale had been in plain sight, I'd have been on it 10 times a day!  Now I weigh every day.  

I look at old pictures and don't see me.  I look at new pictures and can't see me.  I'm stuck in there somewhere!  

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One thing that was cool: As I was checking out of the hospital, there were various measuring cups in my room from various fluids I had been brought to drink. I asked if I could take them home. They said they'd just end up in the trash if I didn't. I have found all those well-marked hospital cups so useful.

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On 7/6/2017 at 9:43 PM, Res Ipsa said:

My advice is simple - stick with the diet plan from your surgeon and relax. Don't worry about the almost inevitable weight loss stalls, don't be frustrated at the puréed food stage, and don't worry about missing certain foods. Just relax. Believe in the process. And watch yourself transform. Remember, nothing (I mean nothing) tastes as good as skinny feels. You can and will do it. Remember, relax.

A skinny, healthy, more active, and more happy person is inside you waiting to come out and scream - I am thin and food no longer controls me and my life. 

Imagine what it is like to buy normal clothes that fit, image what it is like to walk into a room and have people admire you for your looks rather than think who is the fat person, image being able to fit easily into an airplane seat, image what it is like to be able to be active without really sweating or losing your breath, and image what it is like to know that your better weight and health has added so many years to your life. 

I have never regretted having a gastric bypass. I have only regretted that it took me so long to have it. 

I wish I could "like" this 1,000 times :))) EXACTLY what I've been looking forward to & what I needed to hear before my surgery in two days!!!

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On 7/6/2017 at 7:37 AM, Juliet said:

My surgery date is July 17. I'm trying to be as informed as possible, so I'm asking any of you for your best advice going into surgery. What helped you the most? What do you wish you knew going in? What's your best advice?

Thanks to anyone who contributes here, it can be really helpful!

Juliet

How are you doing? 

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10 minutes ago, Miss A said:

I wish I could "like" this 1,000 times :))) EXACTLY what I've been looking forward to & what I needed to hear before my surgery in two days!!!

You'll do fine. Lots of good advice here to select from. We'll be looking to get an update from you after your surgery! Best wishes -

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Wow, what great posts! You are all so kind. Res Ispa's "simple" advice post is now on my refrigerator, and I have to confess it made me tear up. I still don't believe all that will really happen. And I guess I'll take pictures today -- and measurements -- but I'm not going to enjoy it.

Bless you all for being here!

How long did it take y'all to get up and around?

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6 hours ago, Juliet said:

And I guess I'll take pictures today -- and measurements -- but I'm not going to enjoy it.

I started taking some pics and a few measurements several months ago when I started losing weight on my 6 month pre-op program.  I also hated the idea of doing it--  looking at myself there in the mirror, and seeing those measurements.

It was only a day or two later on this forum that someone said they realized something going into the operating room: this is the fattest I'll ever be.

So now I think that same thing when I take my pics and cringe at my measurements: this is the fattest I'll ever be.

That's why I can find some morbid enjoyment in it, although it's unpleasant at best. 

It's cathartic :-)

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I read here before surgery that a way to avoid post-op shoulder tip pain is to rest your arms above your head when laying in your hospital bed. Does it work.....I don't know. However I did it and had zero shoulder tip pain after my surgery. 

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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 11:40 AM, Stephtay said:

Trust the process. Follow your plan. You will lose your excess weight. You won't miss your old foods like you fear you will. Make a list of goals/milestones for yourself and keep track of when you reach them. My list included things like: run a mile, ride a rollercoaster, wear 4" heels, buy clothing that is NOT plus-sized, get a new driver's license with my REAL weight, etc. 

Oh my Heavens! My driver's license is telling the truth for the first time in 26 years!

Michael_A, Stephtay and BurgundyBoy like this

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On 7/16/2017 at 11:16 AM, Juliet said:

Wow, what great posts! You are all so kind. Res Ispa's "simple" advice post is now on my refrigerator, and I have to confess it made me tear up. I still don't believe all that will really happen. And I guess I'll take pictures today -- and measurements -- but I'm not going to enjoy it.

Bless you all for being here!

How long did it take y'all to get up and around?

Hi Juliet, I see your surgery is scheduled for today. Hope all is going well for you!

Was able to get up the same day, late afternoon, and walked to the bathroom as well as walked around the surgical floor a few times. Being motivated I did a couple of tours around the floor and then the next morning did 5 tours. Helps the spirits and reduces the chance of bad things like a blood clot. I think that is the common experience. 

Post soon and let us know how you are doing!

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