The preparation for bariatric surgery takes, on average, three to six months. You'll first meet with your surgeon to find out what to expect during the preparation process.
Pre-Operative Tests and Screenings
You'll undergo some medical tests to assess your surgical risk and to check your gastrointestinal anatomy. Patients undergo a pulmonary workup, as well as an EKG stress test or echocardiogram to make sure there are no underlying problems. Other tests may include an Upper GI and/or endoscopy to check for any abnormalities of the intestines that may impact surgery. In some cases, a sleep study is performed to diagnose sleep apnea.
Preliminary Weight Loss
You'll begin shedding pounds even before the surgery by beginning to incorporate the strategies you'll need for success. Your multidisciplinary team will guide you through this process by explaining proper food choices and helping you put together an exercise program to increase your level of physical activity. Patients must weigh less than 400 pounds to qualify for any of our surgical procedures.
Your dietician will be an important member of your weight-loss team. You'll learn to incorporate dietary changes into your life, how to read labels, eat smaller meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism, and how to control your portions - even how to limit portion size when dining out.
Psychological Evaluation and Support
Patients must undergo an evaluation to determine whether their expectations for weight loss are realistic. It's important to understand that success is based on your level of commitment to a healthier future, and a surgical procedure is just one step in your lifestyle change.
Education and Support Groups
All bariatric patients are required to attend pre-operative education classes and support groups. These are free and conveniently located at Torrance Memorial.
This ninety-minute free lecture is an excellent way to learn more about the basics of bariatric surgery. Torrance Memorial's bariatric surgeons will give you an in-depth explanation of the various surgical options, former bariatric patients will discuss their experiences, and you'll get to ask our bariatric staff any questions you may have about the program. Seating is limited, so call 310-373-6864 to attend our next lecture.
Torrance Memorial offers a variety of free support groups, designed to help you successfully lose weight and keep it off. At these sessions you will have the opportunity to speak with our surgeons, our bariatric staff and patients who have successfully navigated the process so you know what to expect along the way.
There are support groups for each specific surgical option, but you can also attend general groups. In addition, you'll be expected to bring a "coach" - a friend, significant other or family member who will give you the emotional support you need to stay on track.
After your surgery, you are encouraged to receive education and guidance from the Torrance Memorial team. Classes such as "Eating Normally" can teach you how to improve your eating habits. You'll also learn how to handle friends and co-workers who may not be supportive of your new habits.