Vive Bariatrics

Preparation for Bariatric Surgery: Steps for a Successful Procedure and Recovery

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that can greatly improve the health and quality of life for individuals struggling with obesity. Preparation for Bariatric Surgery is crucial for the success of the surgery and the recovery process. By following specific steps and guidelines, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for your bariatric surgery and increase the chances of a successful outcome. In this article, we will discuss the essential steps you need to take to properly prepare for bariatric surgery. Let’s dive in!

1. Consultation with Your Bariatric Surgeon

One of the first and most crucial steps in preparing for bariatric surgery is to have a thorough consultation with your bariatric surgeon. This consultation will allow you to discuss your medical history, current health conditions, and any concerns or questions you may have about the procedure. It is important to be transparent and provide your surgeon with all the necessary information to ensure that they can make an informed decision about your eligibility for the surgery.

During this consultation, your surgeon will also explain the different types of bariatric surgeries available and help you choose the one that is most suitable for your specific needs. They will discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure and provide you with realistic expectations regarding weight loss and post-operative lifestyle changes. This consultation is an excellent opportunity for you to address any concerns or doubts you may have and build trust with your surgical team.

2. Preoperative Diet

Following a specific preoperative diet is an integral part of preparing for bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed guidelines on what to eat and what to avoid in the weeks leading up to your surgery. The purpose of this diet is to reduce the size of your liver, which can make the surgery safer and more manageable.

Typically, the preoperative diet will consist of low-calorie and high-protein foods. It is essential to strictly adhere to this diet to ensure that your body is in the best possible condition for the surgery. Avoiding high-calorie and high-fat foods, sugary drinks, and processed snacks will not only help shrink your liver but also prepare you for the dietary changes you will need to make after the surgery.

3. Medical Tests and Evaluations

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, your surgeon will require you to undergo several medical tests and evaluations. These tests are essential to assess your overall health and identify any underlying conditions that may affect the surgery or recovery process. Some of the common tests include:

Blood tests: 

to check for any abnormalities or deficiencies in your blood counts, liver function, and kidney function.

Imaging tests: 

such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans to evaluate your internal organs and identify any pre-existing conditions that may affect the surgery.

Electrocardiogram (ECG): 

to assess the health of your heart and detect any potential risks during surgery.

Psychological evaluation: 

to determine your mental and emotional readiness for the surgery and help you cope with the lifestyle changes post-surgery.

It is crucial to complete all recommended tests and evaluations to ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the procedure.

4. Lifestyle Modifications

Bariatric surgery requires significant lifestyle modifications to achieve long-term success. Therefore, it is essential to start making these changes even before the surgery. Some of the lifestyle modifications you may need to consider include:

Quitting smoking: 

Smoking can increase the risk of complications during and after surgery. If you are a smoker, it is crucial to quit smoking before the procedure. Your surgeon may provide resources and support to help you quit smoking effectively.

Regular exercise: 

Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your muscles, and contribute to weight loss. Consult with your surgeon or a fitness professional to develop an exercise plan that suits your capabilities and health condition.

Healthy eating habits: 

Start adopting healthier eating habits by focusing on whole, nutritious foods. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while reducing your consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-fat meals.

Making these lifestyle modifications before surgery will not only prepare your body for the procedure but also set the foundation for long-term success in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

5. Follow Surgeon’s Instructions and Attend Preoperative Consultations

To ensure a smooth and successful bariatric surgery, it is crucial to closely follow the instructions provided by your surgeon and attend all preoperative consultations. Your surgeon will provide you with specific guidelines on medications to take or avoid, fasting instructions before surgery, and any other necessary preparations.

During preoperative consultations, you may meet with various members of your surgical team, including dietitians, psychologists, and nurses. These consultations are designed to educate you about the surgery, address any concerns or questions you may have, and provide you with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate the post-operative period successfully.

6. Understand the Procedure and Risks

It is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the bariatric surgery procedure and the potential risks involved. Take the time to research and educate yourself about the specific surgery you will be undergoing. Understanding the procedure will help you mentally and emotionally prepare for the surgery and make informed decisions about your post-operative care.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the potential risks and complications associated with bariatric surgery. While the procedure is generally safe, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and take the necessary precautions to minimize them. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you during your consultation, but it is always beneficial to do your own research and ask any additional questions you may have.

7. Prepare Your Support System

Having a strong support system is crucial for a successful and smooth recovery after bariatric surgery. Before the procedure, ensure that you have a reliable support system in place, consisting of family members, friends, or support groups who can provide emotional support, encouragement, and assistance during your recovery.

Inform your loved ones about your surgery and the lifestyle changes you will need to make post-operatively. Their understanding and support will be invaluable in helping you stay motivated, adhere to dietary guidelines, and overcome any challenges you may face during your recovery journey.

8. Plan for Post-operative Care

Preparing for bariatric surgery also involves planning for post-operative care. Before the surgery, make arrangements for your post-operative needs, such as transportation to and from the hospital, assistance with daily activities, and any necessary modifications to your living environment.

Stock your pantry with nutritious foods that align with your post-operative dietary guidelines. Prepare meals in advance, portion them appropriately, and freeze them for easy access during your recovery period. Having a well-stocked and prepared home environment will make it easier for you to follow your dietary restrictions and ensure a smooth transition to your new eating habits.

9. Mental and Emotional Preparation

Bariatric surgery is not only a physical transformation but also an emotional and mental journey. Take the time to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the changes that lie ahead. Understand that this surgery is a tool to help you achieve your weight loss goals, but it will require commitment, dedication, and lifestyle changes to succeed in the long run.

Consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor who specializes in bariatric surgery. They can provide guidance, help you navigate your emotions, and address any concerns or anxieties you may have about the procedure and the post-operative period. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation, journaling, or practicing mindfulness can also be beneficial in preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for the surgery.

10. Arrange for Post-operative Follow-up

Post-operative follow-up is a crucial aspect of your bariatric surgery journey. Before the surgery, schedule your post-operative appointments with your surgeon and other members of your surgical team. These appointments will allow your medical team to monitor your progress, address any concerns or complications, and provide guidance on your post-operative diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications.

Your surgeon may also recommend joining a support group specifically for bariatric surgery patients. These support groups provide a safe space to share experiences, ask questions, and receive ongoing support from individuals who have gone through similar journeys. Participating in support groups can significantly contribute to your overall success and provide you with a network of individuals who understand and can relate to your experiences.

11. Stay Positive and Motivated

Maintaining a positive mindset and staying motivated throughout your bariatric surgery journey is essential. Understand that the surgery is just one step in a lifelong commitment to better health. There may be challenges along the way, but focusing on your long-term goals and the positive changes you will experience can help you stay motivated and overcome any obstacles.

Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and give yourself grace during periods of difficulty. Remember that you are not alone in this journey and that your surgical team and support system are there to guide and support you every step of the way.

12. Final Preparations

In the days leading up to your surgery, make sure to follow all the specific instructions provided by your surgeon. This may include fasting requirements, stopping certain medications, and ensuring that you are mentally and emotionally prepared for the procedure.

Pack a small bag with essential items for your hospital stay, such as comfortable clothing, toiletries, and any necessary medications. Double-check that all necessary arrangements, such as transportation to the hospital, have been made.

Remember that proper preparation is key to a successful bariatric surgery and a smoother recovery. By following these steps, educating yourself, and seeking support, you are setting yourself up for a positive and transformative experience.


Proper preparation is essential for a successful bariatric surgery and a smooth recovery journey. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for your procedure. Remember to consult with your surgeon, follow the preoperative diet, complete all necessary medical tests and evaluations, and make the necessary lifestyle modifications.