10 Steps To A Healthier You
The decision to pursue weight-loss surgery is not one that is taken lightly. Patients often spend months, if not years, deciding if weight-loss surgery is right for them. Yet, once the decision is made it’s time to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for surgery and a healthier you.
At Suh Bariatric our caring staff is here to support you through what can be a confusing process before and after surgery. We will provide you with the tools necessary for you to achieve the safest, most effective surgical results, so you can be successful in reaching your weight-loss goals.
Remember the most critical component throughout this process is your commitment to the pre-operative preparation and adherence to the post-operative protocol for the rest of your life.
The following steps will give you an overview of what to expect as you prepare for a new, healthier and happier life.
Step One: Seminar
Attend a free educational seminar – Our seminars are conducted by Dr. David Suh and are required for all patients pursuing weight loss surgery. During this meeting he will cover a variety of topics:
- Anatomy and physiology of the offered weight loss procedures
- Co-morbidities and improvement of health with gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy
- Short and long-term results for each procedure
- Risks and complications of bariatric surgery
- Vitamin and mineral requirements before and after surgery
- Nutrition and exercise guidelines
- Question and answer session to help understand and compare the differences in surgical procedures
Patients are invited to bring relatives and friends to the seminar. Due to the adult topics of this meeting seminar we kindly ask you that you allow your children to stay at home.
Step Two: Consultation
Prior to your consultation you will need to do the following:
- Call our office at 951-256-8191 so we may obtain your insurance information and verify the covered benefits to assist you in completing the bariatric requirements
- Complete the online patient history form under patient login Download, print and complete the patient registration packet.
- Please bring the completed forms with you to your consultation.
During your surgical consultation you will meet one-on-one with Dr. Suh. He will discuss and clarify your medical history and will help determine, from a surgical standpoint, if you are a candidate for weight-loss surgery. If you are a candidate, he will explain your surgical options as well as the potential risks and benefits of surgery.
Dr. Suh will design a plan of action to meet your individual needs and order the necessary medical tests, clearances, including your required insurance criteria, to prepare you for a safe and successful surgical weight loss experience.
From the time of your consultation until your surgery date Dr. Suh will ask that you not gain any weight and prefers you lose 5-10 pounds prior to surgery. Research indicates that patients who lose a small amount of weight before surgery have shorter anesthesia times and better recovery. Pre-operative weight loss will decrease the size of your liver and also the amount of fat in your abdomen. This not only will shorten your operation time but will also increase your safety as a patient.
Please be advised: Dr. Suh will postpone your surgery if you gain weight or do not lose the requested amount of weight before your operation.
Step Three: Medical Tests
Depending on your health history Dr. Suh will order a variety of medical tests, lab work and possibly clearances. Your test results will help us determine your safety to have surgery and general anesthesia.
These tests may include any of the following:
- Chest x-ray
- UGI or EGD
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Lab work
- Sleep Study
- Cardiac or medical clearance
- Pulmonary tests
*If you are covered by an HMO insurance plan our office will send a request to your PCP who will help you coordinate and schedule your pre-operative tests.
Step Four: Psychological Evaluation
Meeting with a psychologist or psychiatrist before weight loss surgery is a requirement of most insurance carriers
Step Five: Education and Weight Management
Most insurance providers require 3 to 6 consecutive months of documented medically supervised weight management within 18 months before surgery. Dr. Suh and our certified bariatric nurse (CBN) can assist you with this requirement.
Other accepted programs include: Jenny Craig, Weight-Watchers (online program is not accepted by insurance), Opti-Fast, Medi-Fast along with others. Please contact your insurance company for a list of accepted programs.
Attendance at a support group meeting is required prior to surgery. We offer monthly support group meetings at several locations in the Inland Empire. Support group meetings provide you with an opportunity for you to meet with your peers to discuss your struggles and your triumphs in a supportive, non-threatening environment. For a schedule of support group meetings refer to our seminar and support group schedule.
Step Six: Nutrition and Diet
Your role as the patient will require honesty, responsibility and cooperation with Dr. Suh, our staff, as well as the inter-disciplinary team, involved in your care, to ensure your success.
If you smoke, stop smoking immediately. Smoking will increase your chances of having complications with anesthesia and gastric ulcers.
Eliminate chips popcorn, pretzels, crackers and soda from your diet for the rest of your life. These items will increase your cravings, your hunger, and your portion sizes causing substantial weight regain after surgery.
Take a multi-vitamin and 1000 mg of vitamin C (in increments of 500 mg) daily, which will improve your healing following surgery.
Start on a high protein, low fat, low sugar, zero starch diet. Make sure to eat 3 meals a day to avoid your body going into “starvation mode” and cut back on your portion sizes to reduce your caloric intake.
A nutritional evaluation is a requirement before surgery. The dietitian will discuss with you your current eating behaviors and the necessary changes you will need to make after surgery including vitamin supplements, protein intake, hydration and any other concerns you may have.
Step Seven: Exercise…..Move
Movement and activity is a key component in being successful after surgery. If you do not exercise, start an exercise program today. MOVE!
Exercise comes in a variety of ways: walking, gardening, hiking, water aerobics, chair exercises and the traditional weight and cardio workout. Everyone is capable of increasing his or her caloric expenditure by getting up and just moving. Exercise is essential. Not only will you will feel better but also, you will look better.
Step Eight: Surgical Process and Hospital Stay
Once you have completed the above steps, Dr. Suh will review your tests, evaluations, and education confirmation and clear you for surgery. Our office will prepare and send a request for surgery authorization to your insurance company or HMO group. Typical time to receive surgery approval is 10-14 business days. We will contact you when we receive your surgery authorization to schedule your procedure.
CHECK YOUR EMAIL – we will be sending your surgery instructions by email within 48 hours of scheduling your surgery. Read the instructions carefully and contact our office with any concerns or questions.
The week before surgery you will have two scheduled appointments, one with Dr. Suh and the other with the hospital. These appointments are mandatory. The details for these appointments will be included in the email along with your surgery instructions.
Remember to stick to the pre-operative diet to ensure you lose the requested amount of weight.
On the day of surgery you will arrive at the hospital two hours before the scheduled procedure. Family members or friends may accompany you to the hospital. The nurses there will greet you and escort you to the pre-operative area. Once changed into the patient gown, your nurse will start an IV and administer the medications Dr. Suh has ordered for your care and safety.
Dr. Suh and the anesthesiologist will each speak with you before being taken to the operating room. The operating room staff will provide you excellent care throughout your procedure. The anesthesiologist will constantly monitor the level of anesthesia to ensure your safety and comfort.
Following surgery you will be taken to the recovery room where advanced level nurses will continuously monitor your status for about two hours. They will provide IV pain medication and oxygen to assist with your recovery.
When you are alert and stable you will be transferred to a private hospital room where you will spend the next two nights. Dr. Suh will visit you daily and monitor your vital signs, pain level, lab work and fluid intake during your stay.
Nurses on the floor will encourage walking to help prevent blood clots and also to help relieve the gas pressure in your abdomen. They will monitor your vital signs, pain level and review important information with you to follow after discharge.
Step Nine: Post-op Appointments
Regular, consistent follow-up appointments are vital to your success. Appointments are scheduled at one week, one month, three months, six months, nine months, one year and preferably every year after. During these appointments Dr. Suh will review your diet, hydration, supplement compliance, exercise, lab values and potential behavioral “pitfalls.” He will also evaluate your weight loss to date and help make adjustments in your diet and exercise routine to help you reach weight loss goal.
Step Ten: Commitment and Follow-Through
The most successful bariatric patients follow-up regularly, are consistent in their diet and exercise routine, commit and adhere to the bariatric protocol and attend support group meetings regularly. Dr. Suh and our office staff are dedicated to providing the support and tools necessary for you to achieve a healthier weight, a healthier life and a healthier you.