What to Buy Before Bariatric Surgery?

Once the decision has been made to undergo bariatric surgery, there is still a long process ahead before actually proceeding with surgery. You will have to go through different screening tests and visit a number of different healthcare provider's, including a registered dietitian.

Being prepared with the things you need before surgery and initially following surgery will be necessary in order for things to go smoothly. Not only do you have to prepare a bariatric surgery hospital checklist, but you will have to purchase items to bring to the hospital and have at home when you are discharged from the hospital.

Read on to know exactly what to buy before bariatric surgery.

The Essentials

There are definitely some items that you’re going to need for your hospital stay, as well as items that should be ready at home when you depart the hospital.

Multivitamins for Bariatric Patients

The first thing you should research are multivitamins for bariatric patients. Bariatric surgery increases your risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, so

supplements will be needed for life in order to prevent common deficiencies. 

Even before surgery, your surgeon may request that you start taking a multivitamin. Obesity itself can cause many vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to poor food choices. There’s a high chance that your body is already lacking in several vitamins and minerals before surgery. It's important to catch these low levels or deficiencies before undergoing weight loss surgery to prevent serious complications in the future.

That being said, some of the common micronutrients that are recommended include: 

  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Thiamine (B1)
  • Folic Acid

All of these nutrients can typically be found in a bariatric multivitamin unless further supplementation is recommended based on blood work and other medical conditions. 

Protein 

Many surgeons recommend something called a liver reduction diet 1-2 weeks before weight loss surgery. This diet incorporates high protein meal replacement shakes. Some surgeons will allow a very small meal for dinner, however the guidelines will be provided to you. The bariatric guide to the liver reduction diet is a good article to read on this topic. 

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFD) is seen in one-third of individuals who are severely obese. That being said, this diet has been shown to reduce the size of the liver in order to decrease the risk of complications during surgery. It has been shown to allow better access to the stomach when a fatty liver is reduced in size.

In order to prepare for a 2 week liver reduction diet, you will need to purchase bariatric high protein meal replacements. This will also get you used to the high protein intake you will require after surgery. High protein meal replacement shakes are also used after surgery if you are not able to meet protein goals through food sources. 

This is a very low calorie diet and should not be followed unless you were recommended to do so by a healthcare provider. 

Shaker Cup

The easiest way to make high protein meal replacement shakes is going to be in a shaker cup. A blender can be used as well, however, it can be less convenient if you are on the go. 

Water Bottle

Dehydration is one of the most common complications for readmission to the hospital after bariatric surgery. It can be very hard to consume anything in even moderate amounts after weight loss surgery. That being said, the idea is to be sipping on fluids throughout the entire day in order to try and reach a goal of 48-64 fl oz.

If you are carrying some sort of water bottle with you at all times, it will be easy to remember to stay hydrated. Some other things you can do to make sure you are consuming enough fluids throughout the day include:

  • Setting a timer 
  • Keep a water tracker log
  • Focus on water, however other fluids count in keeping you hydrated

Water is the number one recommendation because we know it is hydrating and contains zero calories. To spice it up a little, you can flavor infuse your water with Mio or even fruit.

It is commonly recommended to avoid carbonated beverages, sugary beverages, and caffeine after surgery. Also, do not drink a beverage while eating a meal. Your stomach is too small and will fill up quickly. You have to focus on consuming protein first. 

Food Scale, Measuring Utensils, and Bariatric Storage Containers 

Initially following surgery you will be on a liquid diet, transitioning to a soft food diet and then regular meals with smaller portions. This will take some time,

however, transitioning to a healthy lifestyle after bariatric surgery can be difficult if you are not prepared with the correct dinnerware and utensils when the time comes. With the adjusts made to the stomach, you will only be able to consume small amounts of food.

When you start getting adjusted to things, you may be able to consume a wider variety of food options. Bariatric food scales, measuring utensils and storage containers will come in handy to keep you on track. 

You can even check out bariatric portion plates that will help with proper food portions after surgery in order to avoid overeating. 

Bariatric Hospital Checklist

With a hospital stay of 3-5 days long, you will want to ensure you have everything you need in order to have a comfortable stay. A bariatric surgery hospital checklist can help you be prepared. 

The checklist should include items like:

  • Prescription drugs and other medications
  • Bariatric supplements
  • Loose clothing
  • Slippers and socks
  • Charging cords and headphones
  • Personal entertainment and books
  • Self-care products

Make sure you are prepared ahead of time with the items on your bariatric surgery hospital checklist

To Wrap Up

Bariatric surgery can be very overwhelming. The physical and mental pressure of changing your lifestyle can cloud your view before going to the hospital.

For that reason, we’ve made a list of the items that you will likely need to purchase before your surgery day to ensure a successful recovery at home. 

One of the most important things to remember is your bariatric surgery hospital checklist in order to provide the most comfort during your hospital stay. 

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    **This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.