What You Can Do to Prepare for Bariatric Surgery

Jul 27 • 2015

Are you considering undergoing bariatric surgery? Gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries change your digestive system and help you lose weight by limiting the amount of food you can eat, reducing the absorption of nutrients, or both. When diet and exercise do not work and you have serious health problems because of weight, this is a potential solution.

Bariatric surgery can help reduce the risk of weight-related health problems like:

  • Severe sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Stroke

Once you have spoken with your doctor about the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery and made the choice to move forward, there are some things you can do to prepare:

  • Many doctors ask patients to lose weight before the surgery. This shows your commitment to improving your health. Oftentimes it is recommended to lose between 15 and 30 pounds before having the┬ásurgery.
  • If you smoke, it is important to quit before surgery. Not only does this benefit your long-term health, but it also reduces risk of complications during the operation, including issues like pneumonia.
  • Meet with a nutritionist to discuss how you will change the way you are eating. If you begin to update your food habits before the surgery takes place, it will be easier to adapt to the changes that come with surgery, such as eating more slowly, paying attention to the nutritional information for each meal, and eating smaller portion sizes.
  • Some doctors require a psychological evaluation before you are able to undergo bariatric surgery. This simply helps confirm that you understand the risks and challenges that will come with the surgery and that you are mentally capable of handling the process.

Baptist Memorial Health Care offers a variety of weight-loss surgery options, which you can learn more about here.