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Losing weight before surgery reduces risks

It may seem like your doctor is adding insult to injury when he tells you to lose weight before surgery can be performed. This is most common with joint replacement surgery since the procedure can be safely delayed while weight loss is attempted. The challenge may seem impossible, especially if movement has become painful, however the advantages weight loss provides are worth the effort.

Importance of weight loss
Being overweight is not simply a vanity issue. It is a health issue. According to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), patients who are obese have a significantly higher rate of complications following surgery. Being overweight can increase the risks for infection, blood clots, blood loss, breathing difficulties and slow healing.

In addition, being overweight can make the surgery more difficult to perform due to low visibility. Quite often the veins are harder to find, which leads to challenges in administering needed medications. There is often more blood loss that slows down the procedure and increases the amount of time anesthesia is used. A longer anesthesia time can cause breathing issues.

Carrying around too much weight can affect recovery also, especially for joint replacement patients. The AAOS points out that overweight patients will have more difficulty experiencing the increased mobility and range of motion experienced by people of normal weight.

Many joint replacement patients and others facing surgery make plans to lose weight after the surgery when they are feeling better. However, studies show that few patients are able to reach this goal. Having to lose weight in order to have surgery is often the best motivation to make a change. Meeting this challenge before the procedure will increase the chances for success.

Challenge of weight loss
There are many methods available for losing weight but the bottom line is that you will need to burn more calories than you consume. A good place to start is to keep track of your meals over a three or four day period to determine your average daily intake of calories. Next, subtract 300 calories from that number. Then strive to keep your daily calorie intake at that number or below it. It is important to eat regularly rather than skip a meal. Keeping a constant food intake allows your metabolism to keep burning calories making weight loss more efficient.

Become more conscious of the food you eat while dieting. Think of food as medicine that your body needs to keep functioning properly. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy. Avoid sugar-laden beverages and drink plenty of water. Make an effort to have one protein, one fruit or vegetable, one whole grain and one small serving of fat during each meal to keep your energy level constant.

Exercise can help burn more calories but can be challenging if you have limited mobility due to pain. However, there are simple exercises that will strengthen muscles and burn calories. Check with a doctor or therapist for suggestions. Simply walking can also burn calories. Try to make exercise a part of your day at home. It is tempting to skip going to the gym due to the weather, time and other excuses. Try to come up with a home exercise routine that gets you moving several times a day.

When the goal is reached
Although losing weight can be a challenge, there are many rewards when the goal is reached and surgery takes place. Once your surgery is complete, continue with a commitment for improved health by choosing to recover at a short-term care rehabilitation center where all of your medical concerns can be addressed as they arise. The surgery can become a turning point in your life where you choose a healthier lifestyle for a better quality of life. One of the premiere locations for getting this life enriching level of care during recovery is Whitehall of Deerfield. The therapists, medical professionals and staff will work together to meet your needs during recovery. They will help you regain strength and mobility and provide you with tips for maintaining your health.

Whitehall of Deerfield offers a full range of therapies targeted to meet each guest’s individual needs. A clinical nurse liaison completes an assessment to discover areas that need attention. Then physical, occupational and speech therapists work one-on-one with guests seven days a week. State-of-the-art rehabilitation gyms provide all the equipment needed to reach your highest level of independence and functioning. Discharge planners help the transition back to your home go smoothly and quickly. This consistent, attentive and compassionate care is provided by everyone from the concierge to the nursing staff.

Whitehall of Deerfield has also consistently received Medicare’s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and rehabilitation centers, making it one of the best options for recovery in the area.

Whitehall of Deerfield provides its high level of health care services in a luxurious setting featuring spacious rooms and suites decorated with lavish woodwork, tasteful decor and custom furniture. Guests also enjoy a wide selection of cuisine and a stunning array of world-class amenities that make their stay at Whitehall of Deerfield feel more like a hotel get-away. Attentive concierge service, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and a newspaper to your room, valet parking for your visitors, and a Wellness Spa are just a few of the many services offered during a stay at Whitehall of Deerfield.

To arrange a tour or to learn more, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.

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