Bariatric Surgery: What Happens From the Consult to Surgery!

Bariatric Surgery: What Happens From the Consult to Surgery!

January 25, 2019

If you decide that bariatric surgery is right for you, the time from consult to surgery is more like a roller-coaster than a smooth Ferris wheel. You may vacillate between second-guessing and walking on a cloud of happiness, lose some sleep and discuss it endlessly with your trusted support team. If you are required to be on a pre-surgery weight loss program, then you’ll be busy implementing your plan.

I had bariatric surgery in 2010. My suggestions would be that you start experimenting with different types of protein, slow down your eating, develop the habit of staying hydrated, taking smaller bites, thinking about your wardrobe, and making provisions for time off from work. You might need to start your vitamin supplementation in advance. Make sure to follow the guidelines given to you by your surgeon and/or nutritionist.

Exercise And Nutrition Before Bariatric Surgery

As a patient myself, I highly recommend beginning an exercise routine and nutritional program before surgery.

Strengthen your core, increase your aerobic capacity and build a little muscle. I guarantee this step will pay off during your recovery. If you are not able to exercise because of physical limitations, bed-ridden or have other health concerns, check with your surgeon or an exercise physiologist for ideas. There are actually chair exercise programs available. Just do what you can.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that physical activity pre-surgery may reduce surgical complications, but suggests that physical activity counseling is critical to address the particular challenges and needs of bariatric surgery patients.

And here’s info from the U.S. Navy Medical site’s article, “Nutrition Recommendations Before Bariatric Surgery”:

Committing to bariatric surgery requires that you prepare ahead of time by eating a healthy diet and ensuring adequate levels of physical activity. Pre-surgery diet changes are needed to help you lose 10% of your excess body weight prior to surgery and to have better eating habits to help you lose weight after surgery and help you keep the weight off after surgery. Following the nutritional recommendations may help you demonstrate that you are able to make a commitment to the changes you will need to continue to follow lifelong.

The Importance Of Exercise

Physical activity is important in your weight loss journey. Exercise will help you with weight loss before surgery and will help to keep the weight off long-term. Check with your surgeon and team for the recommended amount of physical activity that is right for you. If you have not been active for some time, make sure you have your physician’s approval prior to engaging in physical activity. Start slowly and build up to at least 60 minutes 5 days per week.

My Night Before: I didn’t get a wink of sleep the night before my consultation. I remember the day like it was yesterday. My emotions ran the gamut from fear to hopefulness to being ecstatic. As I turned the ignition key, I said to myself, “Well, here we go.” It felt like the beginning of a new life free of the pain and anxiety of my old unhealthy life. I sat in the surgery center parking lot for at least ten minutes before going into the building.

Finally, I said a prayer and told myself, “Let’s do this.”

I entered the waiting room, which seemed friendly enough. The first thing I noticed was that the chairs were oversized, which struck me as kind and considerate. As I waited to be called, I was directed to a computer to fill out questionnaires about my lifestyle and to assess my readiness for the potential procedure. All the while, a video was shown explaining the various types of surgeries. In some ways, I wanted to run. To get in my car and return home to the life I had become accustomed to living.

The consultation was a huge step for me as it will be for you. But you are not alone — reach out for support. You are not alone.



Denise London is an author of The Bariatric Wellness Journey, a blogger, bariatric surgery veteran, co-creator of FABS fitness program and wellness product developer. Denise had gastric bypass in 2010 and over the course of her journey, she learned that bariatric wellness is about much more than eating healthy and staying active—it’s about taking care of the inner and outer you.