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Preoperative Instructions

Preparing for Surgery

2 Weeks Before Surgery

The following recommendations will improve your postoperative recovery. Each item will help prepare your body for the change that is about to occur. As you will see, many of the items simply deal with training your mind and body to adjust to a different and healthier eating pattern.

  • Stop smoking.  Your lungs need to be as strong as possible for the surgery. Nicotine gum or patches may help during this process. For additional help, view our Smoking Cessation section of the Web.
  • Begin walking daily.  This will improve the circulation in your legs and help you develop a habit of walking, which is mandatory after surgery.
  • Drink water.  You should drink a minimum of 6 glasses (8 ounces per glass) of water on a daily basis. This will prevent you from presenting for the surgery in a dehydrated state.
  • Start taking multivitamins.  The brand or composition is not important at this point. After surgery, you will start Centrum Chewable, or (preferably) the Bariatric Advantage multivitamin.
  • Change your eating habits.  Eat 3-4 small meals per day without snacks to train your mind that constant food intake is a thing of the past. Eat high protein foods to build your protein stores before surgery. Consider eliminating sweets from your diet at this point. It will be easier than stopping abruptly after surgery.
  • Eliminate caffeine.  You are required to eliminate caffeine after surgery, and now is a good time to do it.
  • Buy supplements and foods.  The dietitian will recommend several items that you will need after surgery. Be sure to have these at home when you return from surgery.
  • Understand the post-surgery diet.  Review all nutritional information, and ask questions to ensure that there will be no surprises after surgery.

24 Hours Before Surgery

  • Begin a clear liquid diet.  Solid foods will interfere with the operation and can lead to potential complications.
  • Drink magnesium citrate.  Drink two (2) bottles of magnesium citrate the day before your surgery. This is a bowel stimulant to cleanse your bowels. It can be purchased at a local pharmacy.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight.  Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening prior to surgery. You may brush your teeth the morning of surgery, but remember not to drink anything.
  • Take blood pressure medication. You SHOULD take your high blood pressure medications the morning of surgery with a very small sip of water (only).
  • Remove dark nail polish. Dark polish may interfere with blood oxygen readings.

The Morning of Surgery

  • Arrive 2 hours prior to surgery.  This will give you enough time to prepare for surgery and sign all necessary paperwork.
  • Check in. Upon arrival at the hospital, check in through the admissions desk.
  • Go to Same Day Care Center area.  You will be directed to the Same Day Care Center area to prepare for surgery. Inform the staff of any changes in medications or health status. The nurses in the Same Day Care Center will start an IV, ask you to change into a hospital gown, and place special foot pumps on your feet. You will receive a blood thinning medication (heparin) 1 hour before surgery.
  • Talk to surgeon. Prior to surgery, the surgeon will meet with you to answer any last questions.
  • Talk to anesthesiologist. An anesthesiologist assigned to your case will also meet you prior to surgery. He/she will discuss medications that will be used. If you have a history of reaction to anesthesia, please inform the anesthesiologist at this time. If you are extremely nervous, please let the nurse and anesthesiologist know. They can give you medication to help you relax before the anesthesia.
  • Ask family to stay in surgery waiting area.  Surgery will last about 2-3 hours. The surgeon will speak with your family after surgery.
  • Stay in recovery room. After surgery, you will be transferred to the recovery room for approximately one hour.
  • Move to hospital room. If all goes well (which is expected), you will be transferred to the 3rd floor (Unit 3600). You will not need to stay in the ICU unless there are difficulties after anesthesia. Your family can meet you in your hospital room. They can bring your suitcase and other personal belongings to this room.