What to Expect From Weight Loss Surgery & Patient Interview

Are you considering weight loss surgery but you’re not sure what to expect? This blog is for you! We’ve put together an outline of what you can expect from the surgery process at Nashville Weight Loss Solutions.

We’ve also interviewed a patient about her weight loss surgery experience with Dr. Houston and our team. She answered all of the questions you’ve been wondering about!



Meet, Heather!

Heather had gastric bypass surgery and this is her post-operation interview:

What did your weight stop you from being able to do? Were you suffering from any medical problems?

Before my gastric bypass, I was consistently gaining weight. No amount of exercise helped. I tried multiple diets as well as just not hardly eating anything and still gained. I was on blood pressure medicine daily and couldn’t get my thyroid to function properly. My hormones were all over the place too. I had gotten so big that I was ashamed to go anywhere in public and afraid to run into people I knew. I hid at home as much as I could. I had so many fun things I wanted to do with my son who was 3yrs old at the time but I didn’t have the energy and again, I didn’t like going out. I have never felt such low self-esteem and had such little confidence in who I was. I was at rock bottom.


How long were you considering Weight Loss Surgery before you came in? What eventually made you decide to go for it?

A friend posted about her weight loss surgery in October 2021 and after reading her story, I immediately began researching options. I reached out to Dr. Houston’s office and set up a consult. I scheduled my surgery at that consult and never looked back. It felt like my last option. It was the only thing I hadn’t done in an attempt to lose weight so I was willing to try it. I wasn’t confident it would work based on all I had tried previously but he encouraged me it would.


What was it like to work with our team from the start of your journey to today?

The team has been great to work with! Everyone is so kind and helpful. Julie went out of her way to work with me to find the best date for my surgery due to me being a single mom. We went back and forth on so many different dates trying to find the best timeframe for my recovery. She truly never stopped until we got the right date locked in.


Describe your life now, after Weight Loss Surgery. What is the #1 thing you love being able to do now (that you could not do before)?

My life since surgery has completely changed. I’m off of the blood pressure meds, my thyroid levels are great, I’ve consistently lost weight, and I have energy unlike anything I can ever remember before surgery. I have a drive and excitement for life I had lost. My son who was 3 and now is 4 has so much fun enjoying life. I get to participate in adventures with him that I couldn’t before. I’m no longer ashamed to be seen out in public and in fact, I’m excited to go out! I have enjoyed finding new clothing stores I like since I no longer fit into the clothes at plus-size stores. Shopping for “regular clothes” has been thrilling. Sometimes I look at something and think there’s no way. But often times I’ve had to switch it for something even smaller.


Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For You?

Weight Loss Surgery is usually considered an option for those who have a BMI (body mass index) above 40. It is also an option for people with a BMI of 35 to 40 who are experiencing serious health problems as a result of obesity. If you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, you may be wondering what to expect from a pre-operation and post-operation standpoint. We’ve broken down the highlights for you.

Pre-Operation

Once you’ve been scheduled for surgery, your surgeon will give you instructions on how to prepare to set you up for success. Dr. Houston’s instructions may vary based on individual patient needs. A dietary and exercise program will be suggested by Dr. Houston and followed through by his dietitian.. Even a small amount of weight loss before surgery can make surgical exposure to the stomach much easier and safer. In addition, establishing healthy habits before surgery will make it easier to follow after surgery when it’s most critical.

Some patients may be required to begin a pre-operative diet 10-14 days prior to surgery. The purpose of a pre-op diet is to deplete glycogen stores in your liver and help to shrink the fat around your organs. A pre-op diet makes laparoscopic surgery easier and decreases the risk of complications. Our pre-op diet consists of sugar-free beverages, Jell-O, broth, and protein supplements.

Two days before surgery it is required that you follow a clear, liquids-only diet. Our office will provide you with a list of approved, clear liquid protein supplements you may consume.


ERAS: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program

ESR or Enhanced Staged Recovery is a research-based program to:

  1. Decrease the length of your hospital stay

  2. Reduce nausea

  3. Reduce pain

  4. Decrease drowsiness

  5. Speed up recovery

To help support this we:

  • Make sure patients are hydrated with a high-calorie, carbohydrate drink prior to surgery

  • Pre-treat patients with an anti-nausea and pain medication prior to surgery

  • Replace fluids based on the patient’s specific needs during surgery

  • Use fewer narcotics during and after surgery by using other alternatives

  • Focus on early ambulation


Post-Operation

Immediately Following Surgery

Hospital stays vary from patient to patient. Some patients may have the opportunity to go home the same day as surgery, while others may stay 1 night in the hospital.

Ambulation and fluids are key. Your nurse will help you to get out of bed and walk up and down the hallway. Movement helps to alleviate gas pains and will help to speed up the healing process. You’ll be provided a pitcher of water in the hospital. You should drink between 4-6 ounces of liquid per hour.

Following surgery, you will start a liquid diet. You’ll begin with thin liquids which include protein shakes as directed by your dietician.

Post-Operation Diet Advancement Overview

Stage 1 Clear (Thin) Liquid Diet

Stage 2 Full (Thick) Liquid Diet

Stage 3 Blended (Soft) Diet

Stage 4 Solid Diet

 

Conclusion

At Nashville Weight Loss Solutions, we offer the 3 main bariatric surgeries available today as well as bariatric revisions, in select cases. If you think you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, we are here to guide you through the process. Visit our bariatric surgery page on our website to learn more information about each type of surgery. Visit our contact page to book a consultation with Dr. Houston.


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