What To Expect Before & After Bariatric Surgery

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If you’ve been considering weight loss surgery, you’re likely curious about the entire process—not just what happens during the surgery. Knowing how to prepare for bariatric surgery and what to expect after the procedure is important information to have before deciding on the surgery.

At SmartShape Weight Loss Centre, our team ensures patients are fully informed at the outset of their journeys. Equally important, our exclusive 5-year AfterCare Success Program helps patients maintain their weight loss and provides the tools for leading a healthy lifestyle.

Your Weight Loss Surgery Options

The primary weight loss surgery techniques are the gastric sleeve and mini gastric bypass procedures. Both surgeries reduce the size of the stomach and result in weight loss by:

  • Limiting the amount of food you can eat before you feel full
  • Reducing the production of ghrelin, commonly known as the “hunger hormone”

A gastric sleeve removes a portion of the stomach, creating a small sleeve about the size and shape of a banana. The 2-part mini gastric bypass surgery divides a small portion of the stomach from the rest, creating a “gastric pouch.” The second part of the procedure involves connecting the pouch to the small intestine so that food bypasses part of the intestine, reducing the amount absorbed.

Our surgeons perform both procedures using a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopy, which takes about 60 to 90 minutes in both cases.

Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Before we schedule bariatric surgery, our team conducts a thorough evaluation to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure. This includes tracking your weight history and nutrition, learning about any medical conditions you have, understanding your psychological status, and discussing the level of motivation you have to make significant lifestyle changes following your procedure.

These changes include quitting smoking (if applicable), diet restrictions, limiting alcohol consumption, and following a regular exercise routine.

How Do You Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery is generally recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or those with 30 BMI or higher who have been diagnosed with conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or high cholesterol.

Once it’s determined that you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery, preparing for the procedure begins months before your scheduled surgery date. Some of the specific steps you’ll need to take include:

  • Beginning and maintaining a workout routine designed to achieve your weight loss goals
  • Reducing the number of calories you consume daily
  • Ceasing caffeinated beverages about a month prior to surgery

Preparing yourself mentally is just as important. Having realistic expectations about weight loss surgery results and building a support system to encourage you during this journey is essential for success. You may consider joining a support group, and you can also contact your team at SmartShape to learn about resources to help you prepare.

You can also use the time before the surgery to explore financing options to help pay for the procedure.

What To Expect After Bariatric Surgery

Because most weight loss surgeries performed by our surgeons are minimally invasive, the recovery time is shorter than you might expect. Most patients can resume normal daily activities, including returning to work, within about 10 days. This is true whether you undergo a gastric sleeve or mini gastric bypass procedure. It’ll be about 4 weeks before you can start more strenuous activities.

You’ll be on a special diet that our AfterCare team designs specifically for you. Most patients start on a liquid diet for a few weeks before gradually transitioning to soft foods and then eventually solid foods. It’s very important to remain hydrated by drinking 64 ounces of fluid or more each day.

After losing significant weight, you’ll probably feel healthier than you have in years. You’ll be able to exercise for longer stretches at a time, and health conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, and other issues likely will improve as the months go by.

You’ll also benefit from working with our AfterCare Success Team, which includes registered nurses and registered dietitians. They’ll provide you with customized health, well-being, and nutrition support, plus all the educational resources you need to succeed.

Even though you’ll feel better than ever, you may be bothered by loose skin after losing weight. Skin stretched by weight gain loses its elasticity and doesn’t shrink to fit your new contours after rapid weight loss. If the appearance of loose skin bothers you, plastic surgery can remove excess skin. It’s important to make sure that infections don’t develop from overhanging skin rubbing against other skin.

Begin Your Weight Loss Journey

The health benefits of losing weight are many, especially if you have underlying medical conditions related to obesity. If you’ve been considering bariatric surgery, we encourage you to meet with one of our surgeons. You can request a free consultation using the online form to discuss your health history and weight loss program goals. You can also call us at (888) 278-7952 to schedule an appointment.