The benefits of losing weight before surgery

There are all kinds of health benefits to losing those few excess pounds and wobbly bits. Shifting them before surgery however is not negotiable, especially for certain ops which we will cover shortly.

For minor surgery, such as lancing or removing growths is pretty straight forward, however, major surgery, such as removal of an organ, and weight loss may be required. This is because excess weight can put more strain on the heart, and as such, could do harm to the body during the operation.

The benefits of losing weight before surgeryThere is also the fact that your blood pressure during the op changes so carrying less weight helps the body naturally keep it as regulated as possible. Also, it is advisable to lose weight before your op as depending what you are having done, the recovery time may mean you are unable to do much in the moving department, thus you’ll most likely put some weight on.

For doctors, weight is a bit of a balancing act, gone are the days where they can literally say, you’re over weight and need to lose a bit before we can operate. Now they have to sugar coat it and give you ‘healthy living guidelines’, which simply translates to ‘Stop shoving family sized bars of chocolate in your mouth morning noon and night, and wobble over to gym’. Harsh, but if it’s one doctor talking to another, they don’t mince their words when offering advice, a bit like when a teacher is speaking to another teacher, or a hairdresser speaks to another hairdresser.

For weight loss surgery such as gastric bands, it is in the UK guidelines, and NICE fully support it, you have to lose a certain amount of weight and keep it off for a period of time before they will even put your name forward for surgery, this is to protect yourself, as a band is highly risky, and to also protect the coffers, as the gastric band surgery can cost in excess of £15000.

Also the waiting period gives you, the patient, time to think and decide whether you want to continue to lose weight and maintain it yourself, or whether you think gastric bypass surgery is for you.

If your weight is of concern, be sure to talk to your doctor, because most of the time, especially GP’s, they struggle with their own weight for various reasons be that finding time to exercise, eating at their desks, and as GP’s, and specialist doctors like psychiatrists, therapists and physio therapists don’t exactly see their practices turning in to an episode of ER every day, running around at double speed and saving someone’s life with seconds to spare, they have a pretty stationary job.

So ask them for their own techniques for losing weight, they will have adjusted their lives for their job, but will have spoken to countless other people who are in the same boat, and as such will have subconsciously tailored what they think is best from different elements of other peoples diet plans, such as Bob lost weight by upping his vegetable intake and cutting down on meat, June lost weight by swapping her Friday night pizza and instead having pasta or rice, and Phil lost weight by moving from drinking 4 pints of heavy beer a day to 4 glasses of white wine with soda water.

All of these little things people tell their doctor get stored away in their head and eventually all piece together and as your doctor will usually get to know you as a person, can swap and change things to advise you on weight loss.