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Losing Weight Before Surgery

Deciding to proceed with surgery can be daunting. Preparation is key to a successful surgery and for an overweight person, one of the best things you can do to prevent complications is losing weight.

According, to Science Daily, people who lose weight before surgeries, even bariatric (weight loss) surgeries, suffer from fewer complications and usually heal faster. However, losing weight before a surgery demands hard work and focus.

Meet Your Physician

Meet with your doctor to discuss how much weight you need to lose and how long you have before your surgery date. If you have only ten pounds to lose and several months to do it, the process will probably not be too difficult. However, if you are fifty pounds’ overweight and are scheduled to have surgery the following month, you may have to work extremely hard to lose as much weight as possible before your surgery date.

Icon of a person stretchingExercise

Exercise at a minimum of five days a week for an hour or more to burn calories and lose weight quickly. You can alternate different types of workouts, such as aerobics, swimming, jogging, and using an elliptical trainer, so that you won’t get burnt out. A few times a week, adding strength training exercises like squats can also boost your metabolism and help you to lose weight quicker. If you are having surgery for an injury like a meniscus tear or other problem that interrupt your ability to exercise, talk to a personal trainer about what safe exercises you can do.

Check your Body Mass Index (BMI)

The Mayo Clinic has a very informative healthy weight pyramid tool. Use this tool to determine how many calories you should be eating each day for weight loss, and how many servicing of each food group is encouraged. The Mayo Clinic Body Mass Index tool (BMI) is easily accessible online. Simply enter your height, weight, sex and age and it will recommend how many calories and servings of different foods you should eat for maximum health.

Keep a Journal

Picture of a journal

Keep a food and exercise journal daily up until your surgery, and remember your motivation is your health. In your food and exercise journal, document what you eat daily and how much fitness activity you participate in. You may also use a calorie counter to track your daily goals, like this one.

A weight loss requirement before surgery should not discourage you, considering almost all patients could benefit from weight loss prior to surgery. As a result, your risk of infection decrease and healing may be expedited.

Dr. Kushwaha is a board certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment please call (713) 587-6263

About Vivek Kushwaha

Vivek P. Kushwaha attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.A. from the College of Natural Sciences. He then earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, Texas.

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