Getting ready for surgery
This article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please talk to your doctor to learn the specifics of your procedure and recovery requirements. Follow all instructions from your health care team.
The Day Before Surgery
- Follow your pre-surgery diet: In order to make it easier for your surgeon to operate, you need to follow the specific diet instructions your health care team gives you. You may have to eat specific foods for a week or two before your surgery date, and you may only be able to drink clear liquids the day before your surgery (like water, tea, or clear juice or broth.) Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before surgery.
- Prepare your home: Make a comfortable space in your home where you can spend your time recovering after you return from the hospital. Stock up on liquids and foods for your bariatric diet, such as clear broth, skim milk, and juice. Make sure to refill any prescriptions you may need.
- What to do if you’re sick: It can be dangerous to undergo surgery if you are ill. If you develop a cold, cough or fever in the week leading up to your surgery, let your health care team know as soon as possible. This way your team can evaluate your condition so that they can reschedule your surgery if needed, to wait until you are well enough to have the procedure.
- Get help from a loved one: Having trusted people around to help you will make your surgery and recovery go more smoothly. Before your surgery date, ask someone to drive you to and from the hospital, and help you get settled in at home after your surgery.
The Day of Surgery
- Going to the hospital: The morning of your surgery you should bathe and remove all lotions, makeup, and jewelry. Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t bind at the waist. When going to the hospital, do not bring any valuables with you. Pack a small kit with toiletries and prescriptions, contact information of friends and family, and clothes to change into after the procedure.
- Being admitted to the hospital: Follow the instructions for registration and testing, in order to be admitted and checked in. You will change into a hospital gown and remove dentures, lenses or hearing aids. You will sign a consent form stating that you understand and agree to the surgery procedure. Health information will be measured, such as your blood pressure, breathing, temperature, and height and weight. You will be given an IV and may be given other medications.
- The surgery procedure: Most people will be nervous when going to the hospital, especially for those who are about to have surgery. Your surgical team will work to make sure your procedure is as safe and efficient as possible for you, and will try to minimize the anxiety you may feel. A typical surgical team may include your surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a surgical assistant, and nurse assistants that will help your surgeon during the procedure. Before the procedure, you will receive a sedative through your IV, and then you will be placed under anesthesia. You will be asleep at this point, and your surgical team will be monitoring your vital signs closely throughout the procedure to ensure your safety and comfort. The time it takes to complete the surgery will depend on what type of procedure you are having. However, most take between two to three hours. After the procedure is finished, you will be transferred to the recovery room in the hospital.
The Health Partner for Weight Loss Surgery app can also help you both prepare and recover from bariatric surgery. Click here to download the free app.