Mentally Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Mentally Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Many of our patients report the physical aspects of surgery being easier than the mental aspects.  Emotions are a huge component when it comes to the before and aftermath of a bariatric procedure.  In order to have success with your weight loss journey, it is crucial to prepare emotionally for your procedure, and for how your life will change afterward.  It is essential to look into the emotional aspect of your weight gain and to tackle every sensitive issue as they come.  If you do not deal with the underlying issues of your emotional state as it pertains to your journey with weight struggles, you may not be able to maintain your weight loss after your procedure.




It is essential to have realistic expectations of the surgery init of itself.  Weight Loss surgery is a tool, not the cure, and you will not wake up from surgery skinny.  The operation is just a small part of this journey, and once you wake up from surgery, the reality of this journey will become very real.  Your life will have to change drastically, and this can be very daunting for people.  Preparing for this ahead of time will help it seem less shocking. 


It may take months to start really noticing the weight loss, and some hit what is called a plateau with your weight loss.  You can be losing weight at a rapid speed and then all of the sudden it stops, and many wonder if they are doing something wrong, or they might start thinking that the surgery didn't work.  It is important to know that this is normal, and it just takes time.  It is important to stick with your healthy lifestyle even when it feels like you aren't getting the results you want, as fast as you want.  This will be a journey that requires time and effort, and it is crucial to take it easy on yourself and to take it one day at a time.  Keeping a clear head, and your eye on the prize will help you stay on track, and don't be afraid to reach out for guidance and support when you need it.


It may help to find someone who can support you through this process.  Even if it is someone who hasn't gone through the process, anyone can support you and make you feel less alone.  This can be a daunting journey, and having a support system, it will make it easier to navigate through this new life.  
A significant setback patients face after surgery is realizing that they have a food addiction.  Addressing this before surgery can be very helpful.  The surgery will help curb your appetite, but food addictions are an emotional struggle, and the surgery will help you maintain, but you will have to address your emotional issues if you want to be successful.


Many use food to deal with stress and heartache, but this is not the way to manage your problems, and if you are debating bariatric surgery, you are aware of this.  Addressing the addiction and wanting to change will help you to make better eating habits and help you take it day by day.  It will get easier over time, and once you get to a point where you have changed your lifestyle and feel healthier, it will be easier and easier to make those choices every time.  




None of this should scare you off from surgery.  If you are researching bariatric surgery, then you know it is imperative to make this change.  Learning to manage food is essential to maintaining your weight loss and a healthy future.  This surgery will limit your intake of food; you will have to eat slowly at first; this will help get into good habits.  Making these changes early before surgery will help make the transition easier.


Depression is something that may happen in terms of addressing emotional issues relating to obesity and food addiction.  Bariatric surgery has an extremely high success rate, but its success depends on your willingness to do the work.  It takes time and focus, and most importantly, dedication to wanting a healthy future.  If you at any time during this journey are struggling with depression, it is vital to discuss this with your doctor and get whatever help you may need.  This will help develop a positive outlook and will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Focusing on the light will help you to take things one day at a time.


This surgery very well may change your life, and our patient testimonies attest to this. Check out our other articles on our patients' stories.