Preparing for Surgery
Bariatric Surgery requires a serious commitment to losing weight and becoming healthier. Not everyone is ready or willing to make the significant changes to their lifestyle that this surgery demands. Our evaluation process is designed to help you understand what will be expected so that together we can decide if this is the right step for you.
Part of our evaluation process is to assess your state of health to determine whether you are healthy enough to withstand the surgery. Required patient health evaluations include:
- Psychologist to assess your mental and emotional preparedness for such a life changing procedure
- Dietician to review your current eating habits and any issues you may have in following the pre and post surgical dietary regimen
- Cardiologist to ensure your heart is able to withstand the surgery
Some patients may also be required to see other specialists, depending on their health and medical conditions. These specialists may include:
- Gastroenterologist to perform an upper endoscopy to provide a better view of your current digestive system and ensure that you don’t have a gastric bleed
- Vascular surgeon if you have any vascular diseases that must be managed
- Pulmonologist if you suffer from COPD or have severe asthma
- Sleep Specialist to test for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders that may affect the surgery
- Other specialists as dictated by any medical conditions or co-morbidities you may have
All patients will start their weight loss journey before the surgery by following a medically supervised program to lose some weight before the surgery. Losing weight before the actual surgery helps ensure your body is able to withstand the surgery and prepares you for the lifestyle changes you need to follow for the rest of your life.
Bariatric surgery is for many the first step toward leading a healthier life. To prepare you for your post-surgical life, you may need to make other lifestyle changes before we can schedule your surgery.
If you smoke, you must stop smoking 6 months prior to the surgery and commit to not smoking again. Smoking is the leading causes of many diseases, including a number of cancers. Being an active smoker also increases the risk of complications during and after the surgery due to its vascular constriction properties and it makes managing anesthesia more challenging.
If you consume alcohol, we want you to commit to stopping. Alcohol is essentially empty calories and consuming it even before the surgery will make your weight loss efforts harder. After surgery, in addition to empty calories, any alcohol you drink will have less stomach surface area to be processed so will hit your bloodstream more quickly, causing you to become intoxicated even with a very small amount.
These steps are in your highest interest to assess your overall health, your ability to withstand the procedure and your psychological commitment to a lifetime of change. They are also a requirement of the insurance company if your surgery is deemed medically necessary and will therefore be covered by insurance.