Before undergoing bariatric surgery, it is important to prepare for the significant lifestyle changes that will need to be made. The coordinators working with Tijuana Bariatrics provide patients with a pre-bariatric surgery diet that will need to be followed before the procedure for a smooth transition into the diet required after surgery. Additionally, patients should prepare by beginning to engage in healthier habits for an easier recovery and the ability to maintain these habits.
The patient needs to understand that the surgery is just a tool. They need to change the way they eat, they need to get healthy habits, they need have a good relationship with food, and they need to follow directions. They need to seek for support with their family, friends. The doctors will still be in contact with the patient to do the follow-up, so if they struggle with some problems, they can always email us. We have a support group on social media that it's integrated by patients, and those patients are of great support as well.
When they apply for surgery, the coordinators will give the information, the guidelines for nutrition. They need to do a pre-op diet. That way, the surgery on the patient is smoother, it's safer, and they recover faster. So they do get guidelines to follow for the diet that they need to start.
They need to adopt new healthy lifestyles, like doing exercise, eating right, eating at the right moment. They cannot do the things that they used to do, to expect to have different results. You need to listen to your body and be aware whenever your body is getting full or you're eating the wrong stuff. You have to be very present whenever you're eating. Exercise, you need to start exercising. That day that we discharge the patient, we always tell them, "You need to be very active, you need to walk. You can start doing cardio for the first three months because you cannot do so much." So you need to start from the beginning to do those changes, so that way it won't become something very difficult to start a healthier lifestyle. The patient needs to understand that the surgery is just a tool. The rest is up to them to change it. It's the beginning of a life-long journey.