Bariatric Surgery Preparation
Before your bariatric surgery, you have several consultations with your a bariatric physician, a nutritionist, and a psychologist. You consult with your bariatric doctor about which weight loss procedure is right for you, consider the risks and the life-changing effects expected afterward, and find out whether the procedure is covered by your insurance or whether it can be financed.
Pre-screening tests are performed about a week prior to bariatric surgery. The following tests and procedures are common for weight-loss surgery:
- Chest x-ray
- Blood work
- Nutritional consultation
- Psychological consultation
Your surgeon also decides if additional medical clearance is necessary from a cardiologist, pulminologist, or other medical specialists.
It is recommended by most doctors to begin changes to your health regimen. The following are activities and changes recommended prior to bariatric surgery:
- Quit smoking at least 30 days prior to surgery.
- Begin taking a daily multivitamin.
- Maintain a healthy diet by eating foods low in fat and high in fiber.
- Eliminate fast food, fried foods, and foods high in sugar.
- Drink non-caloric or low-calorie beverages.
- Decrease consumption of carbonated beverages and caffeine.
- Begin walking 10 to 20 minutes per day.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
- Attend bariatric support group meetings.
- Learn as much as you can about bariatric surgery and the lifestyle changes that are required after bariatric surgery.
Let your bariatric surgeon know if you have any complications to anesthesia and what medications you are taking. Medications that your surgeon prescribes before and after your procedure may interact with your bariatric surgery. There is a possibility of discontinuing medications before or after surgery for a certain time. Vitamins, minerals and herbs can also interact with medications. After surgery, you must take certain medications in a crushed form.
A month to immediately before bariatric surgery
- If you are a smoker, stop smoking 30 days prior to weight-loss surgery.
- Do not drink alcohol 48 hours prior to bariatric surgery.
- Your surgeon will tell you to avoid eating and drinking within a certain period of time before surgery.
At the hospital or bariatric surgical center
Before leaving for the hospital, pack a bag with everything you need, including the following:
- Recovery supplies, personal items
- Postoperative medications
- Containers for glasses or contacts
- Comfortable clothes
- Insurance card and medical power of attorney
- Advance directive or living will
- Postoperative care instructions from your surgeon
Remove any valuables, credit cards, and other items of value from your wallet or purse. Leave jewelry at home.
After checking into the hospital early in the morning, there is usually final paperwork and last-minute tests. Then, the anesthesiologist will discuss your medical history and answer any questions that you may have. Make sure you made plans for an escort home from the hospital as well as a support network of friends and family for the next few weeks to help with your after care.
Find out more about bariatric surgery
For more information on bariatric surgery, browse the menu options above. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, use our bariatric surgeon locator.
Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.