Leading up to your surgery date for weight loss surgery is full of all kinds of things. Emotions ranging from high to low. You question if what you are about to do is right or wrong… Uncertainty about what to expect post op as far as pain and managing life… These are all normal and understandable questions and things to think about, and they should have ample time dedicated to them!
However, having a little cheat sheet about what to have for preop, post op (in hospital) and post op life at home can’t hurt, can it?
I had considered making a blog and video post regarding this matter and made mention of it in one of my most recent update videos, and some people have asked me to go ahead and do that, that they would appreciate it!
So, with that, the following items are what I personally found to be helpful, or not helpful, for the 3 stages listed above 🙂
Pre Op Items I Suggest
- Protein powders – you can often get sample protein powders from stores like GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, bodybuilding.com (you have to buy smaller samples, but better than a huge jug)
- I would recommend these so that you can find some brands you enjoy. There are SOOOOO many to try. Some great “bariatric” friendly ones are Premier Protein (they make prepackaged single serving shakes), Isopure (they are high in protein and low in sugar), or even Cellucor could be fun (they have so many incredibly vast flavors, like toasted marshmallow, lava cake, etc!)
- Do not go crazy buying huge tubs at this point… I’ve heard many people say their flavor preferences change post op almost immediately. For me, that wasn’t the case. For you it could be, and that would totally suck to drop $50 on a container of protein and decide you do not like!
- Another reason to load up: they aren’t going anywhere 🙂 When you get home from the hospital you are normally in a situation that you can walk a little bit. You’ll be able to get out to the store and buy them in no time (or order online)
- A good multivitamin
- I wasn’t instructed to take bariatric multivitamins before surgery, but was instructed to take a good multi. Post op vitamin requirements are different than prebariatric, so check with surgeon group and find out what they would recommend. Now is the time to see if you can stomach a multivitamin at all, or if you need to find one that works better for you
Loose fitting clothing
- You definitely want a loose fitting shirt(s) for post op. You’re going to be swollen from the surgery stress on your body + the fact they pump you full of gas (for laproscopic) during surgery. It takes some time for that to go down, so you want some shirts that are comfortable to wear. I found them great for lounging around the house, sleeping in, etc.
- Some loose gym shorts are great, too. You could even rock these during your hospital stay (easier once catheter is out, should you get one). Again, this makes it easy to handle swelling post op, and for putting on what not for using the rest room
Post Op/Hospital Items I Suggest
Now for the good stuff! First, I want to include items that I suggest for in the hospital, but I also want to give some reasons about why you may not want to bring other items with you.
- Your lips will be SO dry after surgery. You’re getting pumped full of liquid and nutrients thru your IV, but you’re not getting much water. For whatever reason your lips may be incredibly dry, so bring your favorite chapstick (mine was the normal Burts Bees. Nice and pepperminty!)
- Your loose fitting clothing from above!
- I actually packed all kinds of clothes… Multiple shirts… shorts… some toe socks… I wore one thing my entire hospital stay. My boxer briefs (nice bright red Christmas ones!). Once my catheter was out, I slipped on my boxer briefs and didnt care any more about my hospital gown being untied. I just let it flow, baby!
- Some other people had the nurse temporarily unhook their IV (theres a disconnect in it, they dont have to remove so dont worry!) and put on pajamas or some loose clothing. They got to walk around in shirts while I had on my gown 😛 Not a bad idea!
- Biotene mouth spray
- Like chap stick, your mouth may be incredibly dry. I used my Biotene a few times for the first 36 hours post op, but then since I was allowed ice chips immediately I didnt need it too often. However, it was HUGELY beneficial.
- A laptop or tablet device
- This one for me was HUGE.. I loaded up my laptop with a bunch of movies, I think like 8. I was in a private room and I got bored of the 12 channels for tv pretty quickly… So, I used my laptop and in between my walking and sleeping, I would watch a movie on my bed table. Pause it, nap a little, and continue the movie. I don’t really remember the movies thanks to being on Morphine, but I did pass my time without ever being bored thanks to it. You could also use Netflix, HULU, etc. Most hospitals now-a-days have free wifi for patients, so you can stream all the content…
- YOUR CHARGERS!!!$)*@!)($*@(#)*@#%
- PLEASE bring your cellphone/laptop/tablet chargers! I cannot imagine how much it would suck to be sitting in the hospital and run out of juice and have no way to fix it! Granted, my hospital was 1.5 hours from my home, so it would be easy enough to send a friend/family member to grab it, but may as well bring with ya, you know?
- TIP! – Consider buying a longer wire for your plug. I use a super long iPhone wire because I dont have a nightstand at home. I was able to plug the phone into wall behind me, and still had plenty of slack wire to set phone down next to me. I use a 6′ iPhone cable off Amazon 🙂
- Your favorite pillow 🙂
- The hospital bed had two pillows, but the comfort of using my own pillow was incredible.. I wanted to sit up for the most part, even sleeping, so I was able to stack the two hospital pillows + my down pillow and was INCREDIBLY comfortable.
- TIP! – If you bring your pillow, use a nonwhite pillow case so it stands out and you can identify yours easily 🙂
- Mio Fit – post op at home
- Mio Fit is a water supplement you can purchase at your local supermarket. They come in multiple flavors but the FIT variant has 0 caffeine, 0 sugars and 0 calories. They do have electrolytes and help to soften the water so that you are getting as much hydration as possible while you drink. They taste good and have been vital to me getting in all my water 🙂
- I personally LOVE the lemon-lime. The berry blast is great, as well, but did not care for the orange.
- Water Vessel – post op at home
- I previously posted about my RTIC 30oz tumbler (link here) and how much I loved it. I STILL DO! I use it every day and it helps me get in plenty of cool/hot liquids. So far I have had no spills anywhere 🙂
- Whichever you choose, find one that is insulated and can hold a decent amount of liquids for you.
No Things for Hospital!
- Excess clothing!
- You wont use it! Have one set of clothes, thats all you should need. I literally used the stuff I walked in the hospital with
- I brought my Kindle but I did not even touch it… I wanted to read, and considered it… Looking back now, I’d have been wasting my time. If I can’t remember any movies I watched then theres no way I’d remember anything I had read!
- TIP! – Magazines are probably fine 🙂