Preparing For Bariatric Surgery
Evaluation for Weight Loss Surgery
Your initial visit with your surgeon and/or nurse practitioner will involve review of your medical history and completion of a physical exam. You will also be asked to see our program dietitian and mental health professionals who will help evaluate your knowledge about nutrition and your commitment to change. These assessments are most often a requirement of insurance companies in the approval process and help prepare you for the process of lifestyle changes needed to succeed with postoperative weight loss.
The Impact of Medical Problems
Medical health problems are often caused by or aggravated by severe obesity and increase the need for weight-loss surgery. Our nurse navigators will review your medical history and arrange for necessary medical consults to help optimize conditions such as sleep apnea, cardiac issues and diabetes prior to surgery. This allows you to have the surgery in the safest manner and reduces your risk of complications related to your medical conditions.
Before Your Appointment
- Select a primary care physician if you don't already have one, and establish a relationship with him or her. Work with your physician to ensure that your routine health maintenance testing is current. For example, women may have a pap smear, and if over 40 years of age, a breast exam. And for men, this may include a prostate specific antigen test (PSA).
- Make a list of all the diets you have tried (a diet history) and bring it to your doctor.
- Bring any pertinent medical data to your appointment with the bariatric surgeon — this would include reports of special tests (echocardiogram, sleep study, etc.) or hospital discharge summary if you have been in the hospital.
- Bring a list of your medications with dose and schedule.
- Stop smoking. Surgical patients who use tobacco products are at a higher surgical risk.
The Hospital Stay
Minimizing Your Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Generally, patients are treated with sequential leg compression stockings and given a blood thinner prior to surgery as preventative measures. Both of these therapies continue throughout your hospitalization. The third major preventative measure involves getting the patient moving and out of bed as soon as possible after the operation to restore normal blood flow in the legs.
Length of Your Hospital Stay
Although it can vary, the hospital stay (including the day of surgery) is typically 1-2 days.