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Bariatric surgery may be an option for people who are obese, or have not been able to lose significant weight using alternative methods. This surgery may be a long-term weight-loss solution, yet, to ensure a successful recovery and weight-loss, it fundamentally depends on the patient. Before making a decision, there are a few things to know about the surgery:

  • Average hospital stay is 1-2 day(s)
  • Patient can return to work after 2-4 weeks
  • Average operation time is between 60-120 minutes
  • 99% of the cases are performed laparoscopically
  • 3-5 incisions are made (lap band patients have 1 additional incision for port placement)

Before the Operation

Patients are encouraged to attend an in-person information session with the doctor and medical team, and/or view an on-line presentation before meeting with the medical team. During the surgical consultation visit, the doctor will spend ample time with potential candidates reviewing medical history, assessing current issues, and an educational overview of the various weight loss surgery procedures. Deciding on a weight-loss procedure depends on the candidate’s medical condition, weight and risk factors. Patients are provided with a customized pre-op plan to prepare for surgery, which includes: tests and consultations, weight loss goals, nutrition guidelines, psychological evaluation, and education. Weight-loss surgery is a long-term lifestyle change; it is vital that patients are mentally prepared. Each patient will be designated a case manager who helps coordinate and support their pre-op journey.

Pre-Op classes will be made available where the medical team will go over, the entire surgical process including pre-op nutrition, what to expect at the hospital, when to resume exercise, diet progression, and vitamin supplementation.

After the Operation

As patients move through their weight-loss journey, it’s important to have a support person join them for doctor visits, and spend the first night with them at home after surgery. The medical team will go over a patient’s individual plan, but in general:

  • Strongly recommended that patients remain off from work, or regular activities for 2 weeks after surgery. Primary reason is to come accustomed to a new lifestyle and adjust to new patterns of drinking, eating, taking supplements, walking and getting enough rest.
  • Patients will return to see the bariatric surgeon 1-2 weeks after surgery for a post-op visit.
  • Patients are encouraged to follow up with their primary care physician for medication evaluation and recommendations.
  • During the first year, patients will see the bariatric surgeon for 3-4 follow up visits, and maintain a routine annual check-up visit thereafter.

The team will work with the patient to review how to take vitamins and supplements, evaluate exercise & nutrition regimen, ensure a no-smoking plan, and offer support groups. Long-term success of bariatric surgery depends heavily on the patient, so it’s important to have the support from friends, family and fellow patients to join them during their weight-loss journey.

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