How should I prepare for bariatric surgery?

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Before undergoing bariatric surgery, many patients are required to undergo six months of supervised weight loss. In this video, Thomas Brown, MD, explains how Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center helps these patients achieve their weight loss goals.
Bariatric surgery requires lifestyle modifications. In this video, bariatric surgeon John L. Coon, MD, FACS, of Riverside Community Hospital, explains the changes surgery will bring for patients preparing for treatment.
To prepare for bariatric surgery, make sure you're mentally and physically ready. In this video, Richard DiCicco, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Memorial Hospital of Tampa, describes the steps you'll take as part of this preparation.
Before weight loss surgery, lifestyle changes must be  to ensure weight loss maintenance after surgery. In this video, surgeon Dilendra Weerasinghe, MD, of Fawcett Memorial Hospital, explains how to prepare for bariatric surgery.
Marc M. Zare, MD
Bariatric Medicine
A psychological exam is required for anyone undergoing bariatric surgery. In this video Marc Zare, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital, explains how a mental-health specialist conducts an evaluation to measure a patient's well-being.
Your surgeon will work with your primary-care doctor’s office to schedule your surgery, along with any tests needed before your surgery. These may include blood tests, CT scan, ultrasound, X-rays and EKG.
Preparation for effective bariatric surgery typically involves a team approach, and you could meet with the following experts:
  • Bariatric nurse coordinator: will talk with you about your expectations before, during and after surgery.
  • Registered dietitian: will discuss postoperative food recommendations and nutritional supplements.
  • Physical therapist: will create a postoperative exercise plan to help you recover faster.
  • Respiratory therapist: will teach you breathing exercises that can prevent complications after surgery.
  • Social worker:  will discuss your pre- and post-surgery concerns.
On the day of your surgery, you will meet again with a bariatric nurse coordinator to ask any questions you may have. We recommend speaking with your anesthesiologist to discuss pain management and respiratory function and to review your medical history. Speak with your surgeon about any last-minute questions.
Your surgeon’s office will have detailed instructions for the pre-operative period. Most commonly, you will be asked to maintain a specialized pre-operative diet for the immediate 1-2 weeks preceding your operation to allow for a weight loss of approximately 10-20 lbs. This will allow for a rapid decrease in your liver and abdominal body fat. In doing so, patient safety is increased and the risk for injury to the liver is decreased during the operation. It also assists in preparing the body for surgery and recovery after the operation. Increased protein intake will help preserve muscle mass and decrease atrophy in the recovery period. It will also help the patient accommodate to the post-operative diet that is required after surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.