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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

How To Be Successful With Weight Loss Surgery

by Francisco Arnold

Many people who either do not reach their goal after weight loss surgery or regain the weight had unrealistic expectations of the procedure. Choosing surgical weight loss is a journey, and there are key differences between the people who find success with this method and those who do not.

View It As A Tool

No matter the type of surgery you have, it is not "the easy way out." Surgery is just another tool in your arsenal, and you need to treat it as such. Within the first year of surgery, your weight loss is likely to be dramatic with little effort on your part. Eventually, you will become accustomed to a smaller stomach and may find certain foods no longer make you nauseated or cause other gastrointestinal distress. At this point, the road becomes harder and it is tempting to eat poorly or to graze throughout the day. Adhering to the dietary guidelines from your surgeon or nutritionist will make it easier for changes after surgery to stick and turn into a lifestyle.

Talk With Others

There are plenty of people who had weight loss surgery that share their journey in forums or in video diaries. Although this information is good, it can be misleading if you are only viewing certain people. Much like any other life experience, some people have the tendency to only show their successes. However, many will stop chronicling their experience if they fall off the wagon or regain their weight. Engage with people who have shared their experiences, for better or worse, especially those who are several years out from surgery. These will be the best people to use as a resource for information (not only about the surgery itself but what they are doing several years later to stay on track). You will easily notice that the key to sustained weight loss is getting back on track after you have a misstep.

Plan Ahead

Once you have a surgery date, this is the best time to start preparing for your new life after surgery. In the weeks after the procedure, you will have a strict diet to follow, such as liquids, then soft foods. Use this opportunity to clear out your refrigerator and cabinets so you are not tempted to eat something not approved for your diet. Have your post-op foods easily accessible, especially since it may be hard to go out immediately after surgery. Soon after your post-op diet, you will transition to eating solid foods. You should start listing items you can purchase and recipes that other bariatric patients recommend.

Many people who have had this surgery like to meal prep so it is easier to stay on track. They are less likely to be tempted by other foods. Another issue you may have to confront is how to eat when going out. This is a good time to view online menus of restaurants and seek recommendations from others about handling concerns around social gatherings and eating at restaurants.

There are similarities between weight loss surgery and losing weight in conventional ways. In both situations, the key to success is making consistent changes that turn into a lifestyle.