As you prepare for Gastric Bypass Surgery, there are certain things you need to know. You’ll get a lot of information on the procedure, how it’s done and the ramifications automatically from your Doctor, whether it’s in pre-screening classes or in your first meeting.
But there are things that may not automatically be covered that will impact your recovery and post-op life. Here are a list of questions to take to your Doctor, so you’ll know how to plan:
- How long will I be out of work or school?
- Will there be a limit on how much I can lift or cary? How much and for how long?
- Will I need to have someone stay with me when I get home? For how long?
- How soon can I resume normal household duties?
- How soon can I resume taking care of my children?
- What kind of pain medication will you be sending me home with?
- What supplements do you recommend I take? (If he says “Flintstones” either find another surgeon or realize that he’s not up to date on the latest studies. Flintstones don’t cut it.)
- How often will you be checking my blood vitamin levels for deficiencies? Can I be tested more often if I wish? Will I be receiving a copy of the results?
- How small will my pouch be? Do you have a standard measurement, or do you use “anatomical landmarks?”
- What kind of exercise do you recommend and when can I start?
- What about medications after surgery? I take _____. How will surgery impact the absorption rate and effectiveness of this medication(s)?
- I have diabetes/ high blood pressure/ other co-morbidity. I know that gastric bypass often, but not always, dramatically reduces or even eliminates these problems. How closely will you monitor these conditions after surgery, and how will we know when or if my medications should be changed or stopped?
- Is it possible for my pouch to stretch back out? If so, what can I do to prevent it?
- I’ve heard diarrhea and gas are a common side effects. Is this true and is there anything I can do to prevent them?
- What do you think is a realistic goal weight for me to achieve and maintain?
- How rapidly do you expect me to lose weight? 10 pounds a month? 30? How wide a range is “normal?”
- Can I expect plateaus? What do you recommend when I have them?
- How long can I expect weight loss to continue after surgery? Will it ever again become very difficult or impossible to lose weight?
- How hard will I have to work to maintain my weight loss in 2-3 years?
- This is a lot of information to take in all at once. What do you consider are the most important things I need to keep in mind before having surgery?
This is not everything you might want to know before surgery. What are some questions you’d like to see added to the list?