What to Expect from Bariatric Surgery

Sometimes diet and exercise alone are not enough to help you lose weight; bariatric surgery can help.

The purpose of bariatric surgery is to use surgical techniques to limit your food intake. Candidates who will be considered for this type of surgery include:

  • People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • Men 100 pounds or more overweight
  • Women 80 pounds or more overweight
  • People with a BMI of 35 or higher and diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea
  • Some people with a BMI of 30 or higher who also have a severe obesity-related health condition.

Before Surgery
You will most likely be on a clear liquid diet for up to 48 hours prior to surgery. You will stay in the hospital for at least 3 days, so pack accordingly. You will be given tests before surgery including blood count, glucose tolerance test, urine analysis, x-ray, EKG, and others. Your doctor will likely require you to quit smoking and will determine which medications are safe for you to take.

During Surgery
There are many types of bariatric surgery. The most common are a sleeve, band, or bypass. You will be under anesthesia during the surgery and will not feel any pain. Your doctor may perform open surgery or laparoscopy using a tiny camera. During surgery, your stomach will be made smaller so you eat less food. Your food will go directly to a new opening in your small intestine so that fewer calories are absorbed.

After Surgery
You will not be able to drive yourself home after surgery so be sure to have a friend or family member there upon discharge. You will also need help around the house as you will not be able to bend or squat at first. When you first arrive home, you’ll be on a liquid diet. Then, you will need to have appropriate foods that are approved by your doctor post-surgery. These foods are typically sugar free, low fat, low calorie, whole grain, and lean. Be sure to follow your doctors orders about your diet carefully. Also, begin an approved exercise routine as soon as you are healed. You might consider walking, yoga, swimming, or biking. Extreme weight loss along with your new diet and exercise regimes may be challenging at times. Seek emotional support from those you love or a professional.

Medical Center Arlington offers the following bariatric surgical procedures:

Visit us online to learn more about how weight loss surgery can help you. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-868-6262.

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