What to Expect
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The first step toward your weight loss goals begins with learning more about bariatric surgery. For the most successful results, our patients need to take important steps to adjust their lifestyle, with comprehensive preparation and ongoing support from our staff.
Here’s what you can expect before and after your procedure.
Medical Nutrition Therapy for Weight Loss Patients
Once you have decided to have weight loss surgery, you must attend our medical nutrition therapy. We provide six consecutive months of free nutrition education, taught by one of our registered dietitians or physicians.
Our nutrition education program meets the requirements of most health insurance plans that cover weight loss surgery. Contact your health insurance company to find out what your nutrition education requirements are.
Medical Nutrition Therapy: What We Cover
Our goal is to improve your current health and help you prepare for the many lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery. Our experts provide information to:
- Help you develop small, specific and consistent goals for healthy weight loss
- Support you before surgery in making realistic lifestyle changes
- Educate you on postoperative bariatric surgery recovery
- Inspire you to achieve long-lasting weight maintenance
Some of the specific topics we cover at our nutrition therapy sessions include:
- A food diary to track your food intake
- Exercise for all stages of your recovery after surgery, including life-long fitness
- Hydration (water intake) and vitamins
- Mindful eating to recognize true hunger
- Portion control to understand serving size
Guidelines for Nutrition Therapy Appointments
- Please arrive on time. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late, do not come. Please call our office to reschedule at 1-800-492-5538.
- Do not bring children.
- Complete all paperwork before class.
Requirements for Health Insurance Coverage
If your health plan covers your weight loss surgery, the insurance companies require specific details in each note to document your medical nutrition therapy. Each monthly note must contain:
- Patient’s full name
- Date of therapy appointment
- Current weight and weight change since previous appointment
- Current diet
- Your nutrition education
- Adherence to your medical nutrition program
- Recommendations for progress
- Physician’s signature
Our registered dietitian, Mary Beth Sodus, works with patients throughout their bariatric surgery process. Here she offers advice based on her years of experience helping patients build a healthy life.
Adjusting to Life after Bariatric Surgery
If you want weight loss success, you have to fully participate in your recovery. Your new, healthy lifestyle is worth it, but the journey is intense with many changes along the way. To make your life the best it can be, you need to:
- Deal with changes that may often be difficult
- Take time every day to reflect on your new self and your new feelings about food
- Get some physical activity or exercise for about 30 minutes each day
Breaking Bad Eating Habits after Bariatric Surgery
As you welcome your new self, you’ll be saying goodbye to so much. Soon after surgery, many of our patients say that even though they don’t feel constantly hungry (particularly during the first six months), they grieve what it means to lose their appetite. Our weight loss surgery support group can help you deal with these feelings.
Over the years, we’ve learned from our patients about their need to say goodbye to their life before surgery:
- They tell us that food commercials on TV often trigger old behaviors that must be overcome.
- They know that no matter how appealing the ads are, fried foods are off the menu, soft drinks are forbidden, and junk food is no longer a choice.
- Many miss coffee and pastry breaks with friends, or they find themselves remembering the times they took extra helpings or ate a second dinner, just because the food tasted good.
Transforming those old behaviors into a new, healthy lifestyle can cause anxiety, friction and pain. It may help to think of your transformation as heating ore to separate precious metals:
- Your weight loss surgery is about your physical transformation.
- You will have a new stomach pouch that helps you feel full with just two to three ounces of food.
- Your transformation is about a new you that you support by learning and practicing the skills and behaviors of a healthy lifestyle.