Bariatric surgery requires a significant personal investment on the patient’s part. The preparation is vital, and it can sometimes be complex and lengthy.

Indeed, the preparation process before any operation is long and sometimes takes several months. This is relative to the type of surgery you will undergo. The more complex the surgery, the more prep work is involved before and after the surgery.

Bariatric surgery usually involves months of preparation. You will meet with various medical professionals (surgeon, nutritionist, doctor, psychologist/psychiatrist, dietician) during this time. These doctors are at your disposal to inform you and, of course, to examine you. If necessary, they may ask for more in-depth examinations such as blood tests, x-rays, request for an endoscopy, and so on. All these tests ensure you have no underlying issues, and everything is as it should be before the surgery.

If you are scheduled for bariatric surgery, discover the steps and key points of this process:

This is how the pre-operative period is structured

Prepare your documentation:

Keep all your consultation documentation in a folder you can easily access. Ask your pharmacist to print out an up-to-date list of your medicines and keep this in the same folder. Remember to bring your doctor’s prescription, and if you are covered by insurance or social security, make sure to have these necessary documents, not a copy.

Inform a family member:

It’s essential to inform someone that you will be undergoing surgery. They can act as your emergency contact. This can be someone important to you, a close friend, a neighbor, or a family. Ask them to follow you for appointments closer to the surgery date so that they can also be informed of the process; they can understand and support you throughout this journey. You can also let them know of the documentation you’ve prepared and give them access to it in case they need it to help you with any hospital administration duties, such as registration.

Preparing for your surgery appointment:

You and your emergency contact need to know the location of the surgery and the time. While GPS, online maps, and satellite navigation software are helpful, it’s always a good idea to keep details of the hospital or clinic’s location written on a note and kept with the rest of your documents. Some clinics or hospitals will also require you to come in a day before to be measured and weight.

Preparing for your meeting with the nutritionist

Depending on the plan the clinic has set for you, you’d also have some meetings with your assigned nutritionist to go through the essentials of your diet before and after the operation (you will be given a brochure at the beginning of the meeting). Nutritionists at are incredibly open to any concerns you may have, so remember to ask as many questions as you can during this meeting to be well-informed of your needs and that your concerns have been addressed.

Sometimes, you would be requested to take extra tests such as an electrocardiogram and a lung x-ray to ensure the heart and lungs function correctly.

The day before the surgery, you’ll generally receive a call from the receptionists reconfirming the time and date of the surgery.

Preparing for your surgery day

 You may have done all the prep work, and you’re ready with all your paperwork; your body is in good shape, and your vitals are at their proper levels. However, feeling anxious or worried is normal, and surgery can be stressful. Therefore, the more organized and prepared you are, the less stressed you will be. Having your emergency contact with you and family and friends who make you feel comfortable and at ease.

On your part, you must prepare yourself in specific ways, such as:

  • Preparing your at-home meals in advance.
  • Arrange for help with cleaning and shopping when you return.
  • Do your laundry.
  • Determine who will accompany you to medical appointments.
  • Plan for transportation when you are discharged from the hospital.
  • If needed, arrange for someone to stay with you at home for a few days.
  • The day before surgery
  • Make sure you follow your nurse’s instructions.
  • Bring your suitcase with you containing your personal belongings.

From midnight the night before the operation 

 Your meeting with your nutritionist would have already given you all the details necessary on what and how to prepare the day and night before surgery foodwise. But here’s a quick reminder:

  • Do not eat any solid food.
  • Do not eat or drink dairy products.
  • Do not drink alcohol or smoke.
  • Liquids allowed: water, tea, coffee, and juice with powdered drink mix.

The morning of the surgery

 This is the day! Take it all in and breathe in and out deeply if you feel anxious. Remember that you are under a professional’s care so everything will go well. If you need to meditate to calm your nerves, do that. It’s also helpful to take a long shower and wash from chin to toe with a disinfectant in your hospital room.

  • Dress in clean clothes after the shower or use the hospital gown provided.
  • Do not wear make-up, nail polish, cream, deodorant, perfume, jewelry, or body piercing.
  • Do not shave the operated area. The nurses will do this if the area needs to be shaved.
  • Do not take milk, dairy products, solid food, or nutritional supplements such as Ensure or Boost.
  • Do not drink low-calorie drinks.

The day after surgery

You’ll wake up a little drowsy after the surgery. From here on, you’ll have your nurses check in on your, and your doctor will also come in to explain how the surgery went and if there were any complications. This means you’ve successfully done your bariatric surgery! Just a few more things to remember:

  • Follow the post-op instructions given to you by your doctor and nurses. They will tell you when you can be discharged.
  • If you can walk, walk around your room and try to stay out of bed if you’re feeling well enough.
  • If you feel pain, notify the nurse if the pain is too much to handle.
  • You should follow a liquid diet with nutritional supplements during your hospital stay.