Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

If you are considering bariatric surgery or are anticipating surgery in the months to come, it is helpful to obtain a general idea of how to prepare your mind, body and home for this transformative experience. By preparing adequately, you can increase your chances of ensuring life-long benefits for your health and wellbeing through bariatric surgery.

Once you and your doctor have agreed upon surgery as a necessary component of your integrated weight loss journey, our experienced specialists will help you prepare for your specific type of procedure with detailed instructions for before and after. Generally, it is helpful to expect the following requirements:


Generally about two weeks before the date of your procedure, you will be asked to adopt a low calorie diet. Adhering to this goal will benefit you in many ways. Dieting responsibly will shrink your liver, therefore making the operation easier to complete.

Further, patients who shed even a small amount of their excess weight before surgery typically experience fewer post-operative complications. Eating carefully before surgery will also help you develop healthy habits ahead of time, which will play a major role in the long-term success of your bariatric surgery.

Lab Tests and Exams

In the weeks approaching your procedure, your doctor may request some additional tests, scans or exams to better understand your physical state and identify any potential problems with completing your surgery. While this oftentimes does not occur, please try to proactively complete the tests if your bariatric surgeon deems it necessary. This will help ensure that your surgery does not have to be delayed.

Physical Activity

Like dieting, committing to regular physical activity can have significant effects on the success of your bariatric procedure. Patients who dedicate themselves to exercise prior to their procedure experience a much smoother transition into post-surgical life and the new daily routines it necessitates.

Additionally, losing pounds prior to bariatric surgery usually leads to greater weight loss and lasting change. Implementing regular exercise into your routine can even help prepare your body and lungs for the stress of surgery.

Eliminating Risk Factors

Prior to undergoing bariatric surgery, it is important to reduce potential risk factors. Stop smoking at least 30 days before your procedure, as tobacco can make the lungs sensitive during surgery. Smoking may also impede your body’s natural healing processes by restricting blood flow.

Some surgeons may reserve the right to refuse to operate if you continue to smoke despite their recommendation. It is also necessary to refrain from alcohol use for at least 48 hours before your bariatric surgery. Doctors typically advise restraining caffeine intake, beginning one month before surgery.

Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications if there is a chance they will interact with your bariatric surgery or the necessary post-operative prescriptions. For an effective and safe surgery, be transparent with your physician about all medications you are taking, as well as vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.

Honesty is incredibly important for your safety – Some medications can increase the risk of bleeding during surgery, while others may increase the likelihood that a blood clot will occur.

Planning for Recovery

Making concrete plans for life after surgery is a crucial part of the preparation process. Because you will need rest after your procedure, ensure that your house is extremely clean before you leave. Knock out any looming chores ahead of time.

Pre-package meals for family members if necessary and make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked with the foods your doctor says you’ll be able to eat as you recover. Determine who will drive you to and from your surgery. It is also wise to have a family member stay with you for a few days, as medication will hinder you from participating in some activities and you may need emotional support during the initial healing process.

In advance, discuss plans for maintaining your new dietary and exercise guidelines with your family and friends. Consider joining a bariatric support group or gathering a group of like-minded individuals who are also striving to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent threatening complications, such as heart disease.

Select a primary care physician and commit to regular check-ups to monitor your overall health.

Day Of Surgery

On the day of your surgery, expect to be under very strict dietary guidelines. Follow your physician’s instructions – Not doing so can lead to post-operative pain or may even cause your procedure to be postponed or cancelled. Be open and communicative with attendants, nurses and doctors about any changes in your body since your last appointment and all concerns you may have.

To ensure the highest standards of safety and patient-centric care, please be transparent with your doctor about your preparation or lack thereof for surgery. Your surgeon is not there to judge you; they simply want to ensure the most safe and comfortable experience possible for each patient.

Most patients typically stay the night after their surgery so that medical professionals can monitor their initial recovery and their post-operative pain, allowing them to administer relief accordingly. Pack an overnight bag containing important items such as toiletries, loose-fitting clothes and books or magazines to bring with you on the day of surgery.

The team of experienced bariatric experts at Lumin Bariatric Weight Loss is here to support and encourage you on every step of your weight loss journey. Before and after bariatric surgery, we offer nutritional counseling and detailed instructions to guide you in the pursuit of an active, healthy life. If you have any questions about Lumin Bariatric Weight Loss or any of the bariatric procedures that we offer, Contact Us using the form on our website. We look forward to meeting with you!

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