Weight Loss Surgery

Preparations for Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery is like other major surgeries. The best preparation is to understand the risks and potential benefits and to closely follow your doctor's instructions.

To mentally prepare yourself:

  • Understand the surgical process and what to expect afterwards.
  • Talk to people who have had weight loss surgery by attending a support group before surgery.
  • Write a letter to yourself and your surgeon explaining your reasons for having the surgery and outlining your plans to maintain your weight loss after surgery. Start a journal about your experience. Record how you feel now; the obstacles you encounter; the things you hope to be able to do after surgery.
  • Get a letter of support from your family. It helps to know you have people behind you, waiting to help.

To physically prepare yourself, strictly follow your doctor's guidelines. These usually include, but are not limited to:

  • Restricting yourself to a low carbohydrate, mostly liquid diet 10-14 days before surgery.
  • You MUST stop smoking for at least three months before surgery or it will be cancelled.
  • Be certain to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding any medications you may be taking to control other health conditions. Check with the pharmacist for liquid forms or if you can crush the tablets or pills.
  • Arrive on time, with supplies from home for a two- to four-day hospital stay. If you use special equipment for sleep apnea, you should bring your machine to the hospital.