Skip to main content
Vonda Bennett before and after bariatric surgery

Following bariatric surgery at UMMC, Vonda Bennett lost a total of 153 pounds and no longer suffers from diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you’re considering surgical weight loss, there’s a lot of information you need to know before bariatric surgery.

This is not a single procedure but a lifelong change. The process leading up to it is meant to prepare you for the next chapter in your life. These are the steps you will need to take:

Attend a Weight Loss Seminar

If you're considering bariatric surgery, sign up for our free weight loss seminar presented by Dr. Mark Kligman. If you prefer to watch a seminar from home before attending in person, you can register to watch our weight loss seminar here.

At the seminar, you will receive a health questionnaire. Our office will need to receive this form from you before scheduling your initial appointment.

Meet With Our Bariatric Surgeon

At this appointment, in addition to talking with the doctor about which surgery is right for you, we will record your weight and measurements.

If your health insurance plan requires you to have a referral, ask your primary care physician to provide you with a referral form, and bring it with you.

Learn more about our bariatric surgery specialists.

In this interview, our patient navigator answers questions about what happens before and after bariatric surgery.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Once you have decided to have weight loss surgery, you must attend our medical nutrition therapy. We provide six consecutive months of free nutrition education, taught by one of our registered dietitians or physicians.

Our nutrition education program meets the requirements of most health insurance plans that cover weight loss surgery and it will set the stage for your success after surgery.

These sessions take place in one of our four locations in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Queen Anne's County and Charles County. The surgery takes place at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. See our list of locations.

What Therapy Covers

Our goal is to improve your current health and help you prepare for the many lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery. Our experts provide information to:

  • Help you develop small, specific and consistent goals for healthy weight loss
  • Support you before surgery in making realistic lifestyle changes
  • Educate you on postoperative bariatric surgery recovery
  • Inspire you to achieve long-lasting weight maintenance

Specific topics we cover at our nutrition therapy sessions include:

  • A food diary to track your food intake
  • Exercise for all stages of your recovery after surgery, including life-long fitness
  • Water intake and vitamins
  • Mindful eating to recognize true hunger
  • Portion control to understand serving size

Nutrition Therapy Appointments

  • Please arrive on time. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late, do not come. Please call our office to reschedule at 1-800-492-5538.
  • Do not bring children.
  • Complete all paperwork before class.

Requirements for Health Insurance Coverage

If your health plan covers your weight loss surgery, it may require specific details to document your medical nutrition therapy. Each monthly note must contain:

  • Patient’s full name
  • Date of therapy appointment
  • Current weight and weight change since the previous appointment
  • Current diet
  • Your nutrition education
  • Adherence to your medical nutrition program
  • Recommendations for progress
  • Physician’s signature

Schedule a Psychological Review

As part of the preparation for surgery, all patients must meet with a psychologist or licensed clinical social worker. Your insurance may or may not pay for this visit. Our office can help you find a professional. The purpose of this visit is to help ensure that you:

  • Have realistic expectations
  • Comprehend the surgery and its potential risks
  • Have the capacity to make lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise, lifelong vitamins, physician follow-up, etc.)
  • Have the ability to give informed consent

Preoperative Preparation

There will be a series of educational and medical appointments and tests to prepare for the surgery. Also, you will need to go on a liver-shrinking diet two weeks prior to surgery.

If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please call us at 410-328-8940.

Recognized as an Accredited Center and Quality Program by the American College of Surgeons, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery