How to prepare for bariatric surgery

Once you’ve made the decision to have weight loss surgery, you will need to wait several months before the big day arrives. In the meantime, focus on completing these pre-surgery tasks. Concentrating on your well-being can help you feel more prepared for surgery when the day arrives.

  • Medical evaluations. You’ll need to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation and history, including evaluation of the causes of your weight issues and any related complications. Your doctor will pay special attention to certain factors that could affect a recommendation for bariatric surgery. You’ll need physical, psychological, and nutritional evaluations.
  • Diet and exercise plan. Your doctors will give you a comprehensive plan for how to eat and exercise in the months leading up to surgery. These plans will help prepare you for the diet and exercise habits you will need to maintain after your surgery.
  • Other health conditions. If you have any obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep disorders or liver issues, they’ll need to be in control before having surgery. Talk to your doctor about what this means for you.
  • Support groups. Weight loss surgery patients are strongly urged to attend support group meetings. Ask your surgical practice where you can find a support group.
  • Insurance coverage. Contact your insurance provider to avoid any problems with coverage later. Some providers require notice of the surgery in advance in order to make sure it is covered. 
  • Communicate with your team. Talk to your surgeon about any tests, labs or medications you may need. Make sure the office has all of your latest medical information, such as medical history and current medications. And if you don't completely understand the risks and benefits of your procedure, take this opportunity to ask questions.