When preparing for your upcoming gastric sleeve surgery, it’s essential to pack the right items you’ll need throughout your stay in Mexico. While the recovery process is straightforward, you’ll want to prepare for a week-long visit. Here are some helpful tips to help you pack and get ready for your bariatric surgery.
What Should I Pack in My Hospital Bag for Bariatric Surgery?
At Renew Bariatrics, we recommend certain products for your gastric sleeve success. Please view this list here of our packing list for an example.
Below are various examples you might want to bring on your medical trip to Mexico:
- Documents – Bring your passport (or original birth certificate), and valid forms of ID with you to the hospital. Bring your COVID vaccine documents (if you have them). Also, bring any documents your surgeon requires for surgery.
- Money – While it’s better to use your debit or credit card for all expenses throughout your trip, you may also need some cash on hand. These times may include tipping the bellhop at your hotel or grabbing something to drink from the vending machine. You won’t need to change your USD to Mexican Pesos – everywhere in Tijuana will accept US dollars.
- Entertainment – You’ll be spending plenty of time in recovery after surgery, so make sure you bring something to keep yourself entertained. Portable gaming devices, tablets, magazines, and books are great ways to stay busy during downtime.
- Chargers and extension cords – Make sure to bring your chargers along and consider bringing a spare one in case your primary one breaks. In addition, an extension cord is a great way to keep all your devices plugged in and within reach.
- Lotion and lip balm – A moisturizing lip balm and lotion are great ways to keep your skin hydrated. On a related note, it may be a good idea to pack a spray bottle that you can fill with water to refresh your face and mouth.
- Petroleum jelly and wet wipes – Wet wipes can help you feel much cleaner after each trip to the restroom. In addition, you can apply petroleum jelly to soothe any irritations on the skin.
- Water bottle – After the first several hours, you will be permitted to drink water again. However, you may not be able to eat anything for a while.
- Clothes – It’s crucial to feel as comfortable as possible during recovery. Pack comfortable underwear, warm socks, and a bra that does not have wiring in it. You’ll also want several loose-fitting pajamas, pants, and oversized t-shirts. Pack a pair of flip-flops to wear while showering, and slip on shoes that don’t require bending over to put them on.
- Toiletries – Pack all the personal hygiene items you’ll need during your stay, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, hair brush and soap. If you have a favorite pillow and blanket, pack them to stay comfortable during your trip.
- Gas X strips – While the hospital may provide a few strips, you’ll want plenty on hand to relieve discomfort from bloating and pressure, especially after your surgery.
Make sure to leave your expensive jewelry and sentimental items at home. Because your trip will be short, leaving things of high personal or monetary value behind is best since you don’t want to lose them.
Remember that everything you bring you will have to bring back. So it’s best to travel light. After gastric sleeve surgery, you will limited to lifting things no more than 10 pounds. If your luggage is more than that, it will put you at risk of severe complications.
Pack light, especially if you’re not bringing a companion.
What Do I Need After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
While your surgeon will discuss all after-care steps with you, it’s best to know what to expect after your procedure. Following is a general guideline of what you may need and actions to take post-surgery.
- Activities – After gastric sleeve surgery, you’ll want to take it easy and relax as much as possible. Avoid any strenuous activity, and do not lift anything heavy. Try to walk as much as possible and hold a pillow over your incision whenever you cough or sneeze. Depending on your physician’s instructions, it may be okay to shower. Remember to pat the incisions dry to avoid opening them.
- Heating pad – You’ll want to pack your heating pad to use after your surgical procedure. A heating pad will relieve bloating and discomfort by encouraging your abdominal muscles to loosen up.
- Dietary considerations – Your doctor will inform you of any specialized diet recommendations. Depending on your circumstances, you may remain on a liquid diet for several days. When your doctor does advise you to resume eating solid foods, only take a few bites and eat smaller portions throughout the day. You may notice that some foods cause discomfort due to their texture, so eliminating these items from your diet is recommended to keep your pain level at bay.
- Bariatric vitamins – Don’t forget to buy your bariatric vitamins before surgery, as it can take several days to arrive from Amazon or another store.
- Beverages – Avoid drinking liquids when eating meals, which can cause discomfort. Do not drink anything that has carbonation. Check with your physician before consuming any alcoholic beverages.
- Medications – Take all medications as directed and pay close attention to the instructions for any new ones you receive. If you have an adverse reaction to your pain medication or think it’s making you sick to your stomach, be sure to tell your doctor so they can switch you to a different one.
- Incisions – Keep your incisions clean with warm, soapy water and pat them instead of rubbing them dry. If the tape is covering the stitches, be sure to leave the pieces there. They should fall off on their own within a week.
- Large envelope – You’ll receive plenty of paperwork throughout your stay at the surgical center. A large envelope will help keep everything together so you can keep track of all of it.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Consider After Surgery?
After your surgery, remember to relax and allow the hospital staff to take care of you. It would help if you also considered bringing a travel companion or two to assist you after surgery. Stay hydrated, keep walking as much as you can, and breathe. By following the advice of your physician and being prepared, you’ll enjoy a better post-op recovery period and decrease your chance of complications.